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Original Prints - Covers - Old Advertising
ROCKWELL - PARRISH - LEYENDECKER - ETC.
(Fairview and Montrose area)
Houston, Texas 77006
Jim Farrell has been endorsed both
by his colleagues and:
• Women Lawyer's Association • Women's Political Caucus
• North Houston Lawyer's Association • Area Five Democrats
• Suburban Lawyer's Association
We appreciate your vote.
COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT #2
Paid for by Jim Farrell for Judge Committee, Phillip Farrell, Chairman, 609 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77002
Special thanks to Jerry McAfee, Marilyn Marshall Jones and Brad
Morris for researching and editing this article.
Each election year Harris County voters
are inundated with campaign promises
from the numerous candidates for our
jstate and federal legislatures. However,
little is generally heard from our local
We see faces on billboards and hear
names on the radio, but seldom hear
these candidates discuss judicial issues or
the role of the court to which they aspire.
And when it comes time to choose between these candidates, the record shows
that fewer than half of us who show up at
the polls exercise our right to vote in the
The irony is that the people whom we
elect to these offices may make decisions
that directly affect our lives. Legislators
do write our laws, but judges regularly
interpret, define and apply these laws.
Judges can dismiss our rape cases, take
away our children, our property or our
freedom. By any standard, they have significant power in our society.
There are an awesome 77 judicial positions which are filled by the electorate.
The judges serve for a four year term and
are elected on a county-wide basis except
justices of the peace. They are elected on
a precinct basis. Municipal judges are
appointed by the Mayor. Before we can
educatedly choose these judges, we must
first be acquainted with the organization
of the judicial system in Harris County.
There are two separate criteria which
determine which kind of case any individual judge will hear. These are: 1. the
subject matter of the suit and 2. the
amount of money involved in the suit.
Viewing judges, and their courts, from
the standpoint of the subject matter of
the suit reveals that there are two types
of courts in every county throughout the
State of Texas: civil courts and criminal
The criminal courts hear cases involving violations of the criminal law, and
civil courts hear all other cases.
Criminal district courts handle only
criminal cases in which the punishment is
for an alleged offense against the law of a
felony nature. A felony is a crime for
which the punishment can range from a
minimum of two years in prison and up
to $5,000.00 fine (third degree felony)
up to a maximum of capital punishment.
County criminal courts at law consider
cases where the punishment for an alleged
offense against the law is of a misdemeanor nature. A misdemeanor is an
offense against the law for which the
punishment ranges from a minimum of a
$200.00 fine to a maximum of one year
in jail or $2,000.00 fine or both.
Justice of the peace courts hear a
limited number of criminal cases as well.
The number of cases they hear is limited
because they consider only offenses in
which the punishment is $200.00 or less.
Municipal courts hear cases involving
violations of city ordinances such as traffic regulations.
Civil district courts handle disputes
where the amount of money in controversy is $500.00 or more. They are also
known as courts of general jurisdiction
meaning that the civil district courts hear
cases which are not specifically designated to some other court.
Family district courts (previously
known as courts of domestic relations)
consider cases involving divorces and all
of the problems arising out of divorces including custody of children, visitation
rights and division of property. They also
hear adoption cases.
Juvenile courts hear cases in which a
juvenile has allegedly violated a criminal
law, or done something which suggests
that there is a need of some sort of court
ordered supervision. As a practical matter, juveniles, due to their age, are tried
for committing a crime without the trial
being a criminal proceeding. By virtue of
recent legislation, juvenile courts are now
known as family district courts.
Probate courts handle cases relating to
the estates of deceased persons. They also
deal with persons of unsound mind or
habitual drunkards (i.e. those in need of
committment to some sort of mental
The justice of the peace courts consider cases in which the amount in controversy is $200.00 or less. They also have
exclusive jurisdiction of forcible entry
and detainer cases (in which a landlord
wants to eject a tenant for nonpayment
of rent or whatever). A "JP's" jurisdictional territory is limited to the precinct
of residence. Harris County is divided
into eight such justice precincts and two
Justices of the Peace are elected in each
The contested judgeship races in the Democratic pimary this year are:
245th Judicial Dist. Ct. (*FD)
246th Judicial Dist. Ct. (FD)
247th Judicial Dist. Ct. (FD)
248th Judicial Dist. Ct. (**CrD)
263rd Judicial Dist. Ct. (CrD)
308th Judicial Dist. Ct. (FD)
312th Judicial Dist. Ct. (FD)
County Crim. Ct. No. 2
County Crim. Ct. No. 3
County Crim. Ct. No. 6
County Crim. Ct. No. 8
County Civil Ct. No. 1
Probate Court No. 1
JP - Pet. 4, Pos. 1
JP - Pet. 6, Pos. 2
JP - Pet. 8, Pos. 1
: Schuble, Shivers
: Greene, Peavy, Thorne
: Harrison, Levy, Wettman
: James, Stafford
: Beene, Burns, Bush, Clayton, Dassa, Dunn,
Ellis, Hearn, Hernandez, Hocker, Moore,
Plummer, Powell, White
: Echols, Stewart
: Holloway, Johnson, Salazar, Thiel
: Berrera, Brady, Ferrell, Sanders, Stack
: Duncan, Wiesenthal
: Bonner, Gay, Hazel, Most, Musselwhite,
: Hargrove, McAfee, Mendoza, Richardson
: Miller, Witenberg
: Bear, Richter
: Howell, McElroy
: Compion, Rodriguez
: Dixon, Wilson
*FD —Family district courts handling family law matters
**CrD—Criminal district courts
(60 candidates are running for 17 judicial positions)