Description of Duties

The District Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction of Texas.  They have exclusive, appellate, or original jurisdiction of all actions, proceedings, and remedies.  District Courts have original jurisdiction in all felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters in which the amount in controversy (the amount of money or damages involved) is $200 or more, and any matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court.  In addition, district courts have original jurisdiction over all causes of action for which a remedy or jurisdiction is not provided by law or by the Constitution.  They have the power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, certiorari, sequestration, attachment, garnishment, and all writs necessary to enforce their jurisdiction. 

The District Courts are required by law to appoint the County Auditor; appoint the Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Adult Probation) Director; and serve on the County Juvenile Board which oversees the operations of the Juvenile Probation Department.

The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court.  In sparsely populated areas of the State, several counties may be served by a single district court, while an urban county may be served by many district courts.  In Bell County, all five district courts are located in the Bell County Justice Center Complex.