Justices of the Peace

Home  »  Justices of the Peace

In the 1876 Constitution of the State of Texas, Article Five, Section One, the office of Justice of the Peace was established as a court with judicial power.
Today, in the Constitution of the State of Texas, Section Nineteen, Article Five, provides:

  • Exclusive civil jurisdiction in matters of $200 or less controversy
  • Justice of Peace Courts have original jurisdiction in criminal misdemeanors punishable by fine only
  • Justices of the Peace shall be ex-officio notaries public
  • Such other jurisdiction as provided by law

Civil Jurisdiction is further defined in Section 27.031, Texas Government Code. In addition to the jurisdiction and powers provided by the Constitution and other law, the justice court has original jurisdiction of:

  • Cases of forcible entry and detainer (Eviction)
  • Civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is not in the district or county court and in which the amount in controversy is not more than $10,000, exclusive of interest
  • Foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens on personal property in cases in which the amount in controversy is otherwise within the justice court’s jurisdiction

Additionally, Article 2.09 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines “magistrates” to include the Justice of the Peace. Duties of a magistrate in Article 2.10 of the Code are:

  • To cause the arrest of offenders by the use of lawful means that they may be brought to punishment
  • To issue all process intended to aid in preventing and suppressing crime
  • To preserve the peace within his jurisdiction by the use of all lawful means

Notice: Justice courts DO NOT have jurisdiction over the following suits: (1) on behalf of the State to recover penalties, forfeitures or escheats; (2) for divorce; (3) for slander or defamation; (4) for title to land; or (5) to enforce a lien on land. Gov’t Code § 27.031(b).


Precinct 1
Megan Pinson
PO Box 150
165 W Texas Avenue
Waskom, TX 75692
903-687-4374 Fax
Mon-Thur. 8:30am – 5:00pm
Friday 8:30am – 2:30pm
Judge Watkins3 Precinct 2
Clarice Watkins
200 West Houston, Suite 251
903-935-4866 Fax
  Precinct 3
Mike Smith
PO Box 394, Hallsville 75650
903-668-2979 Fax
Precinct 4
Nancy George
Marshall Office
200 West Houston, Suite 125
903-927-1826 Fax


Commissioners/Justice of the Peace/Constable Precinct Map


Click here to make online payments thru www.officialpayments.com
To pay thru Official Payments by phone call 1-800-272-9829

Jurisdiction Codes

  • JP1  6309
  • JP2  6329
  • JP3  6339
  • JP4-1  6331
  • JP4-2 6330
  • Fine Collections  6304