Select your state


civil courts

Civil courts hear civil matters—which are generally lawsuits regarding disputes between persons or entities in which money, property, or personal rights under the law are at issue. Civil matters are distinguishable from criminal matters, which generally involve a city, state, or federal government prosecuting a person or entity for the commission of a crime.

In Texas, civil courts are responsible for adjudicating non-criminal disputes between parties, which may include individuals, businesses, or other entities. These disputes often involve issues such as contracts, torts (civil wrongs like negligence), property, family law (such as divorce and custody), and probate matters. The Texas court system is structured with several levels of civil courts, including Justice of the Peace Courts for small claims up to $20,000, County Courts at Law and District Courts that handle larger and more complex cases, and specialized courts like Family and Probate Courts. Appeals from these courts can be taken to the Texas Courts of Appeals and ultimately to the Texas Supreme Court, which is the highest civil court in the state. Civil matters are distinct from criminal cases, where the government prosecutes individuals or entities for violations of criminal law. In civil cases, the burden of proof is 'preponderance of the evidence,' which is lower than the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' standard used in criminal cases.

Legal articles related to this topic