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U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the highest tribunal in the nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. The Court stands as the final arbiter of the law and guardian of constitutional liberties.
Federal Court System
There are 13 judicial circuits, each with a court of appeals. The smallest court is the First Circuit with six judgeships, and the largest court is the Ninth Circuit, with 29 judgeships.
There are 89 districts in the 50 states, which are listed with their divisions in Title 28 of the U.S. Code, Sections 81-144. District courts also exist in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. In total there are 94 U.S. district courts. Some states, such as Alaska, are composed of a single judicial district. Others, such as California, are composed of multiple judicial districts.
The judicial powers of individual states are generally vested in various courts created by state constitution or (less frequently) state statute. Within the boundaries of each state and coexisting with state courts are numerous federal district and/or appellate courts that function independently. Also coexisting within state boundaries are various administrative tribunals that also hear and decide legal matters, such as worker’s compensation boards, professional licensing boards, and state administrative tribunals
Texas Judicial Branch
Texas maintains criminal district, domestic relations, juvenile, probate, and county courts of limited jurisdiction. Its court of general jurisdiction is the district court. There are separate courts of appeal for civil and criminal cases, and the state has a supreme court.
Texas Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Texas is the court of last resort for civil matters (including juvenile delinquency which the law considers to be a civil matter and not criminal) in the state of Texas. A different court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is the court of last resort for criminal matters in the State of Texas.
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) is the court of last resort for all criminal matters in the State of Texas, United States. The Court, which is based in the Supreme Court Building in Downtown Austin, is composed of a Presiding Judge and eight judges.
Bell County Justice of the Peace
The Justice of the Peace is the legal jurisdiction closest to the average citizen.
Justice of the Peace Courts have original jurisdiction in criminal matters of misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only and such other jurisdiction as may be provided by law.
A Justice of the Peace may issue warrants for search and arrest, conduct preliminary hearings, administers oaths, perform marriages and serve as a coroner in counties where there is no provision for a medical examiner. The Justice Court also functions as a small claims court in civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is not in district or county court and the amount in controversy does not exceed $10,000. They also deal with matters concerning evictions.
Bell County Courts at Law
County Courts of Law are an independent branch of government, is constitutionally entrusted with the fair and just resolution of disputes in order to preserve the rule of law and to protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Texas.
Court at Law 1; Court at Law 2; Court at Law 3
Bell County District Courts
The District Criminal Courts preside over felony cases and all misdemeanors involving official misconduct. Once a felony case is indicted by a grand jury, the case is assigned to one of the eight District Courts.