Texas Courts FAQ


Divorce and Child Custody

Texas Courts FAQ

 

Texas Court Structure Chart

Complaints

Where do I file a complaint against a judge?
Complaints against a judge are handled by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (512) 463-5533 or toll-free (877) 228-5750. The Commission investigates allegations of judicial misconduct and disability. As a general rule, “wrong” or unpopular decisions by a judge are not considered judicial misconduct, and are properly the subject of an appeal to a higher court. Discretionary decisions of a judge, such as evidentiary rulings at trial, granting or denying a motion, awarding or denying custody or visitation, the setting of fines and bonds, or the imposition of sentences in criminal cases, are also not normally matters for Commission review. The Commission cannot “reverse” or amend any decision made by a judge, nor remove a judge from hearing a case.
Where do I file a complaint against a lawyer?
Complaints against Texas attorneys are handled by the State Bar of Texas, Client Assistance and Grievance. Complaints regarding the unauthorized practice of law are handled by the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee.
Who can I talk to about political contributions and expenditures, personal financial disclosures, or judicial campaign financing?
Contact the Texas Ethics Commission at (512) 463-5800 or toll-free (800) 325-8506.

Records

Where can I get copies of court records?
OCA does not have or maintain records on individual cases but we maintain the following list of searchable county systems. You would need to contact the court directly, see our online Judicial Directory [or view pdf version] for contact information.
I was supposed to be in court – who do I call?
See above, and for City of Austin court location and contact information, please call (512) 974-4800 or visit their website at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/court/location.htm.
Which courts handle divorce cases?
Family law matters, which include divorces, are generally heard in district courts. The clerk can give you general information — such as filing fees and any local requirements. However, neither the district clerk nor OCA can give specific instructions on what has to happen in a particular case.
Which courts handle child support matters?
Although child support matters are handled by various district courts, statutory county courts, and associate judges in Texas, the Office of the Attorney General is the official child support enforcement agency for Texas. The OAG provides services in establishing and enforcing child support. The main number for the Child Support Division is (512) 460-6000.
I think a family member has been arrested and is being held in jail. How do I find out?
If the person is being held in Travis County, try contacting one of the following: Travis County Jail (512) 854-9021, Central Booking (512) 854-9889, or the Del Valle Correctional Facility (512) 854-4180. If the arrest did not occur in Travis County, please contact the county sheriff’s department where the family member is being held.
Is there a way to find out if a person is currently serving a term in prison?
Contact the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has an Offender Locator line at (936) 295-6371. Also, you can try searching via the VINELink website.
Who can I talk to about political contributions and expenditures, personal financial disclosures, or judicial campaign financing?
Contact the Texas Ethics Commission at (512) 463-5800 or toll-free (800) 325-8506.

Research

Where can I find information on crime victim services available in Texas?
This information is available on the Texas Attorney General’s website.
Where do I find contact information – addresses, phone numbers, etc. – for courts, judges and clerks?
This information is available on the Judicial Directory Online web page. There is both a printable directory and a searchable database.
Can I search for court records or look up a specific person to see if they have a criminal record from this site?
OCA does not have a single portal for case searches; however, OCA has compiled the following list of searchable county systems. For counties not listed, please contact the county or district clerk (depending on the type of case) for the county where the case was filed.
The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains a Crime Records Service. There may be a fee to use this service. You can visit their website or you can call the DPS main number at (512) 424-2000.
Is there any method, through your website or other, to obtain information on the amount of class action lawsuits that were filed in a particular court or county in your state?
There is no statewide source for this information. You would need to contact the district clerk’s office for each county that you are interested in (Texas has 254 counties). Contact information for the district clerks can be obtained through our online judicial directory.
Where can I go to do some legal research?
The State Law Library serves the legal research needs of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Supreme Court, Office of the Attorney General, other state agencies and commissions and the citizens of the state.
Pro se litigants and others might also try the Texas Law Help website which serves as an online resource for free and low-cost civil legal assistance in Texas.
Where can I look up Texas statutes, laws and/or legislative information?
For legislative information, please visit Texas Legislature Online. For laws and statutes, please visit the Texas Register, the Texas Administrative Code, the Texas Statutes pages, and/or the Texas Constitution pages. For Texas AG opinions, please visit the Texas Attorney General Opinions site.
What is the difference between the Federal Court System and the Texas Court System?
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States. It creates a federal system of government in which power is shared between the federal government and the state governments. Due to federalism, both the federal government and each of the state governments have their own court systems. Follow this link for more information.

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Timothy Hutton

Divorce and Custody Lawyer at Hutton Law, PLLC
Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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