Supreme Court of Texas Decisions

Unlike every other state except Oklahoma, Texas divides its highest court into two entities. While the Texas Supreme Court resolves appeals of civil matters, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals resolves appeals of criminal cases. The Texas Supreme Court dates from 1836, when Texas was an independent republic that had not yet joined the U.S. In addition to holding mandatory jurisdiction over writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, it handles matters involving discipline in the legal profession and answers questions related to Texas law that have been certified from a federal appellate court.

The Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction over appeals of other cases. It generally focuses on cases that raise questions regarding a significant legal issue. Meanwhile, the Court of Criminal Appeals has discretionary jurisdiction over all criminal cases except those that involve a death sentence or other issues that affect the liberty of a defendant, which it must review.

To serve on the Supreme Court or the Court of Criminal Appeals, a candidate must be a resident of Texas and licensed to practice law in the state. They also must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 35 and 74, and they must have served as an attorney or a judge for at least 10 years. Nine justices serve on each court, although no justice represents a specific judicial district. Texas uses partisan elections to elect its justices, each of whom serves a six-year term. In a partisan election, the party affiliation of the candidate appears on the ballot.

If a vacancy arises, the Governor of Texas will appoint a replacement justice to serve until the next general election. The Texas Senate must confirm the appointment if it is in session. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals run for those specific positions in the general election.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Texas

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Texas
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY v. PRADO (Opinion)  
Date: February 23, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0431

Justia Opinion Summary: The case involves a fatal accident that occurred at a private railroad crossing owned by Ezra Alderman Ranches, Inc. and operated by Union Pacific Railroad Company. Rolando Prado, Jr. died when his vehicle was struck by…

SEALY EMERGENCY ROOM, L.L.C. v. FREE STANDING EMERGENCY ROOM MANAGERS OF AMERICA, L.L.C. (Opinion)  
Date: February 23, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0459

Justia Opinion Summary: In a dispute between Sealy Emergency Room, L.L.C., Dr. Kannappan Krishnaswamy, and Free Standing Emergency Room Managers of America, L.L.C. (FERMA), along with its doctors, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled on two issues…

IN RE ILLINOIS NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY (Opinion)  
Date: February 23, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0872

Justia Opinion Summary: Cobalt International Energy partnered with three Angolan companies to explore and produce oil and gas off the coast of West Africa. Later, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was investigating…

MOORE v. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. (Opinion)  
Date: February 23, 2024
Docket Number: 23-0525

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of Texas examined whether a lender could rescind a loan acceleration and reaccelerate the loan simultaneously, thereby resetting the foreclosure statute of limitations under the Texas Civil Practice and…

POLK COUNTY PUBLISHING COMPANY v. COLEMAN (Opinion)  
Date: February 16, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0103

Justia Opinion Summary: In June 2020, a local newspaper in Polk County published an article criticizing a local assistant district attorney, Tommy Coleman. The article claimed that Coleman had "assisted with the prosecution of Michael Morton"…

MORATH v. LAMPASAS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT (Opinion)  
Date: February 16, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0169

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of Texas evaluated a case in which a land development company, Bellpas, Inc., sought to detach property from one school district and annex it to another. According to the Texas Education Code, if the…

ALBERT v. FORT WORTH & WESTERN RAILROAD COMPANY (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 16, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0424

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involves a dispute over the right to use a gravel crossing over a railroad track in Johnson County, Texas. The landowners, Nathan Albert and Chisholm Trail Redi-Mix, LLC, were granted an easement by necessity,…

IN RE A.R.C. (Opinion)  
Date: February 16, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0987

Justia Opinion Summary: The case in question was heard by the Supreme Court of Texas and revolved around the interpretation of the term "psychiatrist" as it applies to the involuntary civil commitment of individuals exhibiting signs of mental…

RODRIGUEZ v. SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY OF INDIANA (Opinion)  
Date: February 2, 2024
Docket Number: 23-0534

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involves a dispute between a homeowner, Mario Rodriguez, and his insurance company, Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana. After a tornado damaged Rodriguez's home, Safeco issued a payment of $27,449.88, which…

IN RE GULLEY-HURST L.L.C. (Per Curiam)
Date: February 2, 2024
Docket Number: 23-0685
HNMC, INC. v. CHAN (Opinion)  
Date: January 19, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0053

Justia Opinion Summary: In Houston, Texas, a nurse was struck and killed by a driver while crossing the public street next to the hospital where she worked. The nurse's family filed a suit against the hospital, arguing that the hospital had a…

MARSILLO v. DUNNICK (Opinion)  
Date: January 12, 2024
Docket Number: 22-0835

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of Texas considered a medical negligence case where a 13-year-old girl, Raynee Dunnick, was bitten by a rattlesnake and was treated by Dr. Kristy Marsillo at a local hospital. The hospital had a…

IN RE THE HONORABLE BRIAN WALKER (Per Curiam)
Date: January 11, 2024
Docket Number: 24-0016
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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