County Courts at Law
The County Courts at Law are trial courts individually created by the Legislature. County Court at Law No. 1 of Brazos County first convened in 1977, followed by County Court at Law No. 2 in 1986.
The jurisdiction of these courts varies by county, but in Brazos County the two County Courts at Law have broad, identical jurisdiction, including misdemeanor criminal, family, condemnation, and probate which includes estates, guardianship and mental health.
Civil trial jurisdiction is concurrent with the District Courts up to $200,000. The County Courts at Law also hear appeals from justice of the peace courts and municipal courts, and administrative appeals of driver's license suspensions after hearings before the Department of Public Safety.
County Court at Law Judges have additional duties required by Texas law, such as:
- Determining probable cause and issuance of search and arrest warrants involving crimes occurring in Brazos County
- Participate in adopting a county indigent defense plan to provide for adequate representation by counsel of indigent citizens accused of adult and juvenile crimes
- Participate in adopting local rules of practice in Brazos County to provide for the effective and efficient disposition of all cases filed in the county
- Performing wedding ceremonies and determining requests to waive the 72-hour waiting period between issuance of a marriage license and performance of the wedding ceremony
- Serving as members of the Brazos County Juvenile Board, which is responsible for providing juvenile services in the county
- Serving on the Brazos County Bail Bond Board which is responsible for licensing of bondsmen in the county and resolving complaints against them
- Trying and determining specific cases in other counties within the State of Texas when assigned by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas or the Presiding Judge of Second Administrative Region
Become a Judge
To become a County Court at Law Judge in Brazos County, you must be a U.S. citizen, be at least 25 years of age, be a resident of Brazos County for at least two years, and have been a lawyer for at least four years.
County Court at Law Judges in Brazos County are elected in county-wide partisan elections to four-year terms of office. Vacancies that occur in the office of County Court at Law Judge are filled by appointment of the Brazos County Commissioners Court.