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Federal Systems Multiple simultaneous governments Citizens elect state governments State governments shape and administer policy over citizens Citizens and states share power to elect central government Central government shapes and administers policy Over states Over citizens States and central government share power About 2 dozen countries in the world are federal systems Central Government State A State B State C Citizens Citizens Citizens
CIVIL The Texas Court System Texas Supreme Court (Civil) Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Intermediate Courts of Appeal CRIMINAL Texas District Courts Probate Court Constitutional County Courts & County Courts at Law Justice of the Peace Municipal Court
Mode of Election • Texas uses direct partisan election • 4-year term for original courts • 6-year term for appellate courts • Exception: municipal courts—generally appointed by city government • Qualifications • Vary with each court • JP has loosest requirements • Registered voter • Resident of same county precinct as court • ‘familiar with the law’—Attorney license not a requirement
Texas Judicial Jurisdiction • Current structure established in 1965 • Intended to clarify jurisdictional boundaries • Overlapping jurisdiction in civil actions remains