About the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals

About the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals

Fifth Court of Appeals

JUSTICES OF THE FIFTH COURT OF APPEALS

 
Molly
Francis
Douglas S.
Lang
Elizabeth
Lang-Miers
Ada
Brown
Robert M.
Fillmore
Lana
Myers
David
Evans
David
Lewis
         
Michael
O′Neill
Jim
Moseley
Carolyn Wright,
Chief Justice
David
Bridges
Kerry.
FitzGerald


LOCATION:

Fifth Court of Appeals
George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Bldg.
600 Commerce Street, Suite 200
Dallas, Texas 75202-4658
Phone: 214-712-3450
Facsimile: 214-745-1083

OPERATING HOURS:

8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday (except holidays)
Lisa Matz, Clerk of the Court
Phone: 214-712-3450

Gayle Humpa, Business Administrator
Phone: 214-712-3434

LEGAL CITATION

Texas Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Texas Government Code Annotated, Section 22.201

JURISDICTION

The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas has jurisdiction over appeals from both district and county courts located in Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Rockwall and Kaufman counties. The Court hears both civil and criminal appeals.

HISTORY OF THE APPELLATE COURTS

Texas achieved its independence from Mexico in 1836. In 1876, some 40 years later, the Supreme Court of Texas was still the only appellate court and had jurisdiction of both civil and criminal cases and decided questions of fact as well as of law.

Our present Constitution, as ratified in 1876, provided for two appellate courts, the Supreme Court, having jurisdiction of civil cases only, and the Court of Appeals, having jurisdiction of all criminal cases and of certain civil cases. The judicial section was amended in 1891 to create the Courts of Civil Appeals as intermediate appellate courts; and the name of the Court of Appeals was changed to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

By an Act approved 1892, the Courts of Civil Appeals for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd District were created. They were located at Galveston, Fort Worth and Austin. By subsequent legislation, the number of Courts increased to eleven. The 1st located in Galveston was moved to Houston in 1892, 2nd in Fort Worth, 3rd in Austin, 4th San Antonio, 5th Dallas (both in 1893), 6th Texarkana (1907), 7th Amarillo, 8th El Paso (both in 1911), 9th Beaumont (1915), 10th Waco (1923), and the 11th Eastland (1925). During the early 70's, Courts of Civil Appeals were also added at Tyler (12th), Corpus Christi (13th), and the Houston Court split to become the 1st and 14th.

The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas was formally opened on September 4, 1893. There was a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices until 1978 (85 years) when three additional Justices were authorized. In 1981, criminal jurisdiction was added and six additional justices. In 1983, an additional justice position was created and the present configuration is 12 Justices and one Chief Justice. Statewide, there are a total of 80 Appellate Court Justices.

JUSTICES OF THE FIFTH COURT OF APPEALS


Carolyn Wright Chief Justice  
Jim Moseley Justice
David Bridges Justice
Michael J. O'Neill Justice
Kerry P. FitzGerald Justice
Molly Francis Justice
Douglas S. Lang Justice
Elizabeth Lang-Miers Justice
Robert M. Fillmore Justice
Lana Myers Justice
David Evans Justice
David Lewis Justice
Ada Brown Justice

HOW APPEALS ARE DECIDED

A case is not decided by the Court until the record of the proceedings in the trial court and the briefs are filed by both parties to the appeal. The case is then "submitted" for decision.

Each case is set for submission before three justices on the Court. In certain circumstances, cases may be heard by a panel consisting of all of the justices (en banc). Cases are generally set for submission on Tuesday and Wednesday of each week and a panel of three justices hear all of the submitted cases that are argued.

Each case is assigned to one of the justices on the panel to author the opinion. At times, other justices may author concurring and/or dissenting opinions.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE COURT

Correspondence or other communications relative to any matter before the court must be conducted with the Office of the Clerk of the Court and may not be addressed to or conducted with any of the justices or other members of the court's staff.

Like all judges, the Justices of the Courts of Appeals are required by law to observe very strict ethical standards -- far stricter than for any other public official. These standards absolutely forbid the Justices and their staffs to talk with anyone about pending cases or to explain or elaborate upon an opinion the Court has issued. We understand that many people would like to talk to the Justices and their staffs about cases, but the laws of Texas strictly prohibit this practice. See Tex. R. App. P. 9.6

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Updated: 11-Mar-2014

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