John E. Firth
Coryell County Judge
Coryell County Courthouse
620 East Main Street
Gatesville, Texas 76528
Phone: 254-865-5911 ext. 2222
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday
(except for County Approved Holidays)
This office is closed for lunch from 12 - 1 p.m.
Phone: 254-865-5911 ext. 2221
The Texas Constitution vests broad judicial and administrative powers in the position of County Judge, who presides over a five-member Commissioners Court, which has budgetary and administrative authority over county government operations.
The County Judge handles such widely varying matters as hearings for beer and wine license applications, hearing on admittance to State Hospitals for the mentally ill and mentally retarded, juvenile work permits and temporary guardianships for special purposes. The Judge is also responsible for calling elections, posting elections notices and for receiving and canvassing the election returns. The County Judge may perform marriages. The County Judge is also head of civil defense and disaster relief, county welfare and in counties under 225,000 population, the Judge prepares the county budget along with the County Auditor or County Clerk.
Constitutional County Court
The County Court is a constitutional county court which is defined as "a court named or described and expressly protected in a constitution, or recognized by nmae or definite ddescription in a constitution."
The primary goal of the County Court of Coryell County is to accomplish the business of the parties and counsel who have matters in the Court as quickly, pleasantly and economically as possible, within the limits imposed by Texas law.
The County Court of Coryell County is charged with the administration of Texas Probate Laws, hearing all the probate, guardianship and mental health matters filed in Coryell County.
Section 4 of the Texas Probate Code states: "The county court shall have the general jurisdiction of a probate court. It shall probate wills, grant letters testamentary and of administration, settle accounts of personal representatives, and transact all business appertaining to estates subject to administration, including the settlement, partition, and distribution of such estates."
Section 5 (c) of the Texas Probate Code outlines the jurisdiction of the County Court of Coryell County: "In those counties where there is a statutory probate court, county court at law, or other statutory court exercising the jurisdiction of a probate court, all applications, petitions and motions regarding probate and administrations shall be filed and heard in such courts and the constitutional county court, rather than in the district courts, unless otherwise provided by the legislature, and the judges of such courts may hear any of such matters sitting for the judge of any of such courts. In contested probate matters, the judge of the constitutional county court may on his own motion, and shall on the motion of any party to the proceeding, transfer the proceeding to the statutory probate court, county court at law, or other statutory court exercising the jurisdiction of a probate court, which may then hear the proceeding as if originally filed in such court."
All contested matters in which motions to transfer are filed and transferred to the County Court at Law.
Please Note: Court staff may inform you about the services of the Court and may answer questions regarding how the Court works, but they cannot answer substantive legal questions. Court staff is prohibited by law from giving legal advice. You will need to contact an attorney to seek legal advice.