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Judge Clay Jenkins
County Judge
Clay Jenkins

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What Does the County Judge Do?

411 Elm Street • Dallas, Texas  75202 • Phone: 214-653-7949 • Fax: 214-653-6586

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.

Although they must be well informed in the law, there is no requirement for county judges to have a formal legal education or a license to practice law. After election, however, a county judge is required to attain thirty hours of judicial education during their first year in office and sixteen hours every year thereafter in order to remain up to date regarding new laws and procedures related to their judicial responsibilities.

In Dallas County, the county judge is by statute responsible for the Truancy Courts system which hears cases regarding the Failure to Attend School and Parent Contributing to Non-Attendance policies for Dallas, Garland, Highland Park, Mesquite, Richardson independent school districts and a few charter schools. Five full-time magistrates who report to the County Judge hear these cases.

The Dallas County Judge is also responsible for the county’s disaster and emergency preparedness. He has appointed a Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to manage the county’s 24-hour operation.