Skip to Content

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.


New Judge Training 

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 at the Embassy Suites San Marcos.

Download our information packet for more details. After you read the information packet, click the button below to register. 

Expand All Content
  • Registration Questions

    • 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. 

    • Yes! You can register for the new judge seminars. Even if you have a competitive election, we will still reserve a seat for your precinct so that every judge is assured a spot to attend. 

      However, you cannot get a username and password until after the November election. The week after the election, we will confirm who will enter office and allow you access to the rest of our website so you can post legal questions and sign up for other in-person programs. 

      Until that time, you are always welcome to watching any of our Online Learning or read through our Legal Resources

    • Yes, you can. All judge-elects (i.e. judges who have won the general election but have not been sworn in yet) are required to attend Stage I so that we can give you training on cases that can pop up on your first day. 

      Most courts are aware that incoming judges will need to attend Stage I and the court will have a procedure to pay us for your room nights at Stage I. However, if you have any trouble getting the lodging fee paid, please do not let that stop you from coming. We can retroactively charge the county later after you have been sworn in. For questions about that, please email April at adw167@txstate.edu or call 512.347.9927. 

    • Yes, you can! Just please pass on the information packet to the judge so that they will be aware of the dates and locations. 

      If there is a competitive election in your precinct and you are not sure who will win, go ahead and fill out the new judge registration form and put NA in the fields that you are not sure about. We will reserve a spot for your precinct and reach out to you after the election to get the winning judge's details. 

    • 1. Step one is to sign up on the New Judge Form so we can create you a username and password. 

      2. Step two is to register for the Stage I and II new judge programs.  

      3. Step three is to complete your magistration training, which is required within 90 days of taking office. See below for more details. 


      Important!

      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.

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

      For questions concerning the seminars, contact Loc Le at loc.le@txstate.edu. 

       

    • 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.

Want more info? 

Join our Coffee Talks in the Fall. 

TJCTC will be holding two informal Zoom meetings where future judges and clerks in courts that will be getting a new judge can join and ask questions about registration, hotel policies, and how the new judge seminars will work. 

These coffee chats are not required - just a helpful way to ask questions. Register for them below. 

Coffee Talk #1 - October 12th from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. 
Click here to register. 

Coffee Talk #2 - December 2nd from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. 
Click here to register.