Meagan Hassan for Justice

Texas' 14th Court of Appeals

This intermediate court has concurrent jurisdiction with the First Court of Appeals and covers ten counties in the Gulf Coast Region of Texas, including Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Chambers, Waller, Grimes, Washington, Austin, and Colorado counties.  

The Court hears appeals from every court in each of these counties, and about 55% of the caseload on any given year is criminal case appeals.  The only cases that skip the Courts of Appeals are death penalty cases, which go directly to the Court of Criminal Appeals.  So the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeals is vast, and it covers family and custody matters, search and seizure issues, will and probate cases, business and personal injury litigation, landlord-tenant conflict, and every other case that is heard by a trial court in Texas.  

The Court of Appeals is a court of mandatory jurisdiction, which means every appeal from a court in any of these ten counties *must* be heard by the 1st or 14th Court of Appeals.  But the courts above - the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals - they are courts of discretionary jurisdiction.  That means that they only hear cases they choose to decide.  In practice, this means that for roughly 90% of cases, the Court of Appeals is the court of final jurisdiction, or - in other words - they decide what the law is on certain issues for all of the ten counties they serve.  

14th Court of Appeals map.jpg