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New Judges

Congratulations on being elected or appointed to the office of Justice of the Peace! We are here to help. The Texas Justice Court Training Center is responsible for providing the 80 hours of education that new judges are required to attend. This page is a starting off point for you to access our resources and get training information.

If you are the JP Elect or have been appointed, please fill out our new judge form

If you won the primary election but have not won the general or have not been appointed, then please email April at adw167@txstate.edu. You may fill out the new judge form as soon as the November election is complete. 


For Judge Elects and Judges Who Take Office After April 1, 2022 

New Judges will attend 3 seminars in the upcoming year. Mark your calendars!

  • New Judge Stage I - December 11 - 15, 2022
  • New Judge Stage II - January 29 - February 2, 2023
  • New Judge Stage III - April 9 - 12, 2023

All programs will take place in San Marcos, TX. Courts that will have a new judge will receive a registration and information packet that will include how to register, hotel information, and a detailed agenda. 


Important!

If you are a Judge who has been appointed after April 1, 2022, please read below. 

New Requirement: All justices of the peace must be in compliance with educational requirements related to magistrate duties. 

The magistrate duties requirement includes an eight-hour course on magistrate duties within 90 days of taking office, including a DPS (Department of Public Safety) course on accessing criminal history records. All judges taking office after April 1, 2022 must receive this education within 90 days of taking office.

What are my next steps?

First, take our online bail education classes within 90 days of taking office. You can start with the TJCTC Magistration Module. There are three components to complete; you do not have to complete them in one sitting. You can start, stop, and continue as your schedule allows. To take the classes, visit our Bail Education page.

Please note: You cannot receive credit for the class if you have not been appointed to JP yet. If you will be elected in November, don't worry - we have you covered! And will provide education at our new judge programs covering this topic.

Next, thoroughly review the bail page, including information on classes necessary to access criminal history records. Then, take the criminal history records class necessary for the role you play in your county’s magistration process.

Finally, we understand that this requirement can be overwhelming when you’ve just taken office. Keep in mind that this new process has probably been initiated in your county by other JP’s in coordination with the county judge and jail staff. For example, they may have already designated a Local Administrative User (LAU). Reach out to them to find out where your county is in the process. If you are still having trouble following the process, you can contact our legal help line and our staff attorneys will be ready to assist.

How do I make sure my credit is counted?

When you complete the 8-hours of education on our bail education page, send us the form on the page and we will add your credit to your educational transcript. For the DPS class, you will just need to keep a copy of your completion certificate for your records.


Education Requirements

The Rules of Judicial Education state that each justice of the peace will complete within one year after taking office an 80-hour live course of instruction from the Texas Justice Court Training Center. 

You can actually get started right now! There are two modules that we recommend Judges complete before attending our new judge training in December: 

Legal Research and Resources

New Judge Toolkit - found on our New JP Resources page 

 

 

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  • TJCTC New Judge Policies

    • No. Due to grant constraints, our 80 hour seminars are only for elected or appointed justices of the peace or visiting judges. 

    • Check out our online learning to go in-depth on specific topics. 

      Also, we have workshops all throughout the year you are welcome to attend.

      Did you just get appointed? Check out our new judge resource page for a basic overview of the justice court jurisdiction. 

       

    • For questions concerning your education requirements and the seminars, contact Jessica Foreman at jessforeman@txstate.edu. 

      For questions regarding registration for an event, contact April Williams at adw167@txstate.edu or 512.347.9927. 

      For legal questions, call our main line at 512.347.9927 and ask to speak to the attorney on-call.

    • Enrollment is subject to receipt of an online registration from each participant. The registration fee provides for program costs and meals. Pursuant to grant conditions, the registration fee is mandatory and returned to the grant to be spent as restricted funds. If you or your county cannot pay this fee, please contact Thea Whalen at td24@txstate.edu to receive a waiver. 

      The Texas State overhead assessment fee is a voluntary fee deposited into TJCTC's private fund account and is used for unrestricted activity expenses that the grant cannot cover, such as salaries, benefits, and excess food and lodging costs. 

      The breakdown between the fees is detailed on your invoice that is emailed to you once registered. The registration fee should be paid in full prior to the state of the event. 

    • All room nights are a $55/night charge regardless of location. This is a voluntary fee to cover the difference between the grant allowed GSA rate and the cost charged by the property. This cost allows education seminars to continue to be held in preferred locations throughout the state.