Justice of the Peace
Request for Information
This information is provided as a guide for the public. The Court is not allowed by law to provide legal advice.
* Open Records Policy
Courts and Judicial Branch agencies are not subject to the Texas Public Information Act nor to the Federal Freedom of Information Act.
A Judicial Branch agency means an office, board, commission, or other similar entity that is in the Judicial Branch and that serves an administrative function for a court, including a task force or committee created by a court or judge.
Records held by courts and Judicial Branch agencies that do not pertain to their adjudicative function are considered judicial records, which are governed by Rule 12 of the Rules of Judicial Administration.
* Access to Judicial Records
Access to judicial records (records other than court case records) is governed by Rule 12 of the Rules of Judicial Administration. The custodian of judicial records is usually the judge of the court. In the case of judicial records held by a Judicial Branch agency, the director of the agency is the custodian of the records.
A request to inspect or copy a judicial record must be in writing, must include sufficient information to identify the record, and must be directed to the custodian of the record.
* Appealing Denial of Access to Judicial Records
Appeals from denials of access to judicial records are to be filed with the Administrative Director of the Office of Court Administration. Appeals must be filed not later than 30 days after the date the notice of a denial is received. Petitions for review of a denial must comply with Rule 12.9 of the Rules of Judicial Administration.
Appeals are decided by a committee of presiding judges who issue written opinions explaining the committee's decision.
* Access to Court Case Records
Access to court case records is governed by common law, statutory law and court rules. Generally, the custodian of court case records is the Clerk of the Court. Neither the Office of the Attorney General nor the Special Committee of the Regional Presiding Judges can consider appeals from denials of access to court case records.
The Presiding Judges of the Administrative Judicial Regions have issued the following directive regarding the processing of appeals from denial of access to court case records that are mistakenly filed with the Office of Court Administration under Rule 12.9 of the Rules of Judicial Administration: Directive Regarding Petitions for Access to Case Records.