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Would this be a county or state court, or is there some other court in which to bring a suit against a Texas school district? I believe some school districts straddle county lines, but I am not sure.

Which court is the correct court to file a suit against a school district issues in Texas?

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  • Please include your question in the body. – Nij May 29 '17 at 19:25
  • I'm sure your local courthouse could tell you exactly which court you need to file in based on the issue you're claiming, and could possibly even do it for you from there. – animuson May 29 '17 at 22:47
  • Every time I go to a court clerk in Texas with questions that aren't just absolutely obvious they always tell me "we are not allowed to provide legal advice." - and that's all they'd say. Some would even tell me that I need a lawyer to file. – mark b May 30 '17 at 18:25
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    I've found it hit and miss. Some have been helpful, others are like what you depict. – guero64 May 30 '17 at 18:41
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    As I note in my answer, you haven't provided enough information to provide an answer to your question. It is necessary to know something about what you are suing over to do that, and the rules are different in different parts of the state of Texas. – ohwilleke May 31 '17 at 1:17
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All of the relevant courts, including county courts, are part of the state court system. There respective jurisdictions are set forth in a pamphlet available on line prepared by the Texas Supreme Court in its role as the administrative body in charge of the judicial branch of the state of Texas.

The appropriate court depends, in part, upon the kind of relief you are seeking and the nature of the claim, which is not specified in your question, so it is impossible to answer your question definitively.

District courts in Texas are courts of general jurisdiction that have jurisdiction, at least, over all disputes involving more than $500. They also have jurisdiction to grant non-monetary relief such as injunctions. My guess is that most things you would want to sue a school district over are questions for District Courts rather than a county court, but without knowing what you want to sue over, it is hard to know.

There are actually two kinds of county courts in Texas. Constitutional county courts are limited to disputes involving $200 to $10,000. Statutory county courts have jurisdictional limits with a minimum of $500 and a maximum set on a case by case basis by statute up to $200,000 in some statutory county courts. So, you would need to know which county court was involved to know its jurisdictional limits.

There are also justice courts which have jurisdiction over claims of less than $10,000 which no minimum amount in controversy.

There may be other laws such as governmental immunity acts that also limit where you suit can be filed, but that depends upon the nature of the claim. Suits alleging a violation of constitutional rights by a school official could also be brought (and usually would be brought) in the appropriate United States District Court.

The question of which court of a given type you should file your lawsuit in is called "venue" rather than "jurisdiction." In the case of a school district, the appropriate venue would usually be either the county or district in which the event giving rise to the lawsuit occurred (e.g. in the case of a personal injury), or the county or district in which the headquarters of the school district is located. Usually, if there is more than one acceptable venue, the person who is filing the lawsuit gets to choose which one to file a lawsuit in.

Geographic venue is quite complicated in Texas because it has lots of courts with boundaries that don't fit into neat patterns.

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  • Thank you so much for the thought and effort that went into your answer. Much appreciated. – guero64 May 31 '17 at 2:49
  • This isn't an answer but just an aside from someone who's dealt with Texas' filing strangeness: Texas is very strange in that there is only one judge per district court. And sometimes district courts are shared among counties and in some counties you file your suit with a blank in the number for what court you will get. The clerk will usually assign a court number (judge) when you file. Even jurisdictions will overlap. I filed a suit once in district court when it could have gone to a county court. But it was still inside jurisdiction. The filing fee was different. – mark b May 31 '17 at 17:07

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