217st District Court

100 N Main, Suite 310
Jacksboro, TX 76458
Phone # 940-567-2141
Fax # 940-567-2696

Office Hours: 8:00am -5:00pm

Honorable Brock Smith


The district court has exclusive jurisdiction on felony cases, cases involving title to land, and election contest cases. It shares jurisdiction with the county courts, and in some case justice of the peace courts, for civil cases (its lowest limit for hearing a case is a mere $200 in controversy, while JP courts can hear cases up to $10,000). Family law jurisdiction varies depending on the existence of a county court-at-law; in some counties, the district courts share jurisdiction over divorces, child custody and support matters, adoptions and child welfare cases with county courts at law. Also, probate jurisdiction varies depending on the existence of a statutory probate court in the county. In some larger counties, such as Harris County, the district courts are specialized, some hearing family matters, others hearing criminal cases, and a third set hearing non-family civil cases.

In more rural areas, as many as five counties share a district court; urban counties, on the other hand, have multiple district courts, which in some cases specialize in civil, criminal, family law or juvenile matters.

District court judges are required to be licensed attorneys. Due to this, defendants in counties which only have the traditional constitutional county court may ask to have their cases transferred to that county's district court for trial if the district judge consents. However, defendants in counties with the county court at law structure do not have this option, as the county court at law judges are required to have law degrees.

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