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County Judge

Wes Ritchey

414 Denver Avenue, Suite 301
Dalhart, Tx. 79022
(806) 244-2450

The county judge is the presiding officer and a voting member of the commissioners court and constitutional county court. Actual judicial responsibilities of county judges vary among counties because statutory county courts at law exist with overlapping jurisdiction in many counties. In a few counties, portions of usual county court jurisdiction have been assigned to district courts. In many major metropolitan areas, the job of the county judge is primarily administrative rather than judicial in nature.

In the role of presiding officer of the commissioners court, the county judge oversees all county government departments through the court's responsibility for approving annual budgets for the entire county.

Generally, county courts have jurisdiction in civil cases when the amount in controversy is at least $200 but not over $10,000. County courts also have jurisdiction in probate matters, appellate (from justice of the peace courts) jurisdiction over Class C misdemeanors, and original jurisdiction in Class A and B misdemeanors.

Constitutional county judges have original jurisdiction in probate matters, including mental illness and guardianships. The county judge may act as juvenile judge and serve on the county juvenile board, as well as conduct marriages and act as a coroner, when necessary. A county judge is not required to be an attorney, but the Texas Constitution stipulates that the county judge "shall be well-informed in the law of the state."



Dallam County, Texas
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