Justice Courts handle administrative proceedings, these procedures are neither criminal nor civil, and rules of civil or criminal procedure do not generally apply.
Dangerous Dogs: These types of proceedings are covered by Subchapters A & D of Ch.822 of the Health and Safety Code.
Justice Court may hear cases where:
- The dog has allegedly caused death or serious bodily injury to a person;
- When the court must determine whether a dog is a "dangerous dog" after:
- An appeal of an animal control authority determines that a dog is a "dangerous dog;" or
- A report about a dog was made directly to a justice court (only in certain counties).
- When an owner of a "dangerous dog" has allegedly failed to comply with the statutory requirements for a "dangerous dog" owner.
Disposition of Property (Property Hearing): These proceedings are covered by Chapter 47 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The purpose of these proceedings is to provide a court order stating what should be done with the personal property when: the property has been seized by law enforcement; the property is alleged to have been stolen or acquired in any illegal way, and law enforcement is not allowed to release the property without a court order. Code of Criminal Procedure Ch. 47; Art. 47.11.
Driver's License Suspension/Revocation Proceedings: The general statutes for these proceedings are found in Subchapter N of Chapter 521 of the Transportation Code. The statutes for uninsured motorist suspensions are found in Subchapter F of Chapter 601 of the Transportation Code
DPS shall suspend the person's license if it determines that any one of the following applies to the person: Transportation Code § 521.292.
- Has operated a motor vehicle on a highway while the person's license was suspended, canceled, disqualified, or revoked, or without a license after an application for a license was denied;
- Is a habitually reckless or negligent operator of a motor vehicle;
- is a habitual violator of the traffic laws; has permitted the unlawful or fraudulent use of the person's license;
- has committed an offense in another state or Canadian province that, if committed in this state, would be grounds for suspension;
- has been convicted of two or more separate offenses of a violation of a restriction imposed on the use of the license;
- has been responsible as a driver for any accident resulting in serious personal injury or serious property damage;
- is under 18 years of age and has been convicted of two or more moving violations committed within a 12-month period; or
- has committed an offense under Section 545.421 (fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer).
(Occupations code chapter 2308.456) An owner or operator of a vehicle that has been removed and placed in a vehicle storage facility or booted without the consent of the owner or operator of the vehicle is entitled to a hearing, if the owner/operator files with the court, a written request for the hearing, before the 14th day after the vehicle was removed/booted. In computing time under this subsection, Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are excluded. A hearing under this chapter shall be in the Justice Court in the County in which the vehicle was towed/booted.
The hearing shall be held in any justice court in:
- the county from which the motor vehicle was towed; or
- for booted vehicles, the county in which the parking facility is located.
- the hearing must be requested within 14 business days of the towing or booting, or your hearing right is waived. For more information, review the Occupations Code § 2308.454.
Note: A person who failed to deliver a request in accordance with the Occupations Code, Section 2308.456 (a) waives the right to a hearing. All persons should consult the Texas Occupations Code Chapter 2308 for complete information.
Occupational Driver's License
An occupational license also called an essential-need license, is a special type of restricted license issued to individuals whose driver's license has been suspended, revoked, or denied for offenses other than medical or delinquent child support.
An occupational license authorizes the operation of a non-commercial motor vehicle in connection with an individual's:
- School-related activities or
- Performance of essential household duties.
REQUEST AN OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE: MUST be made to the justice, county, or district court where the individual lives or to the Court of original jurisdiction where the offense occurred.
- Petitioner MUST live in Tarrant County OR may file in the county where the suspension occurred.
- Petitioner cannot have more than one occupational license within the last ten years preceding the date of the filing of this petition.
- The suspended license must be a Texas License.
- Petitioner can't apply for Occupational License if Petitioner never had a Texas license.
- The Petitioner could live out of the county if the license was suspended in Tarrant County.
- Justice Courts DO NOT have jurisdiction over suspension for DWI, medical advisory, mental, or child support issues.