What is Texas’s “Second District Court of Appeals”?

The Second District Court of Appeals is a Texas state appellate court located on the ninth floor of the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center, 401 W. Belknap Street, Fort Worth, Texas. Until the court moved in the spring of 1998, the Second District Court of Appeals was located on the fourth floor of the historic Tarrant County courthouse (which was built in 1895), 100 E. Weatherford Street, Fort Worth Texas. The Second District Court of Appeals is sometimes referred to as the Second Court of Appeals, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, or the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas. The Second District Court of Appeals is not the same court as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which is a federal court of appeals located in New York City. Likewise, the Second District Court of Appeals is not the same court as the Second Judicial District Court, which is a Texas state trial court hearing cases in Rusk, Texas (county seat of Cherokee County). Finally, the Second District Court of Appeals is not the same as the Second Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, which covers 22 Southeast Texas counties and is based out of Conroe, Texas (a suburb of Houston). The Second District Court of Appeals generally hears appeals arising from trial courts in the following twelve counties: Archer, Clay, Cooke, Denton, Hood, Jack, Montague, Parker, Tarrant, Wichita, Wise, and Young. The Second District Court of Appeals has seven justices. The Second District Court of Appeals was known as the Second District Court of CIVIL Appeals before September 1, 1981, when its jurisdiction was expanded to also include criminal cases. The Second District Court of Appeals was one of the three original Texas courts of appeals, the other two being the First District Court of Appeals (which was located in Galveston at the time but has since moved to Houston) and the Third District Court of Appeals (located in Austin). The Second District Court of Appeals was known as the Court of Appeals for the Second SUPREME JUDICIAL District of Texas until September 1, 1987, when the Texas Legislature removed the phrase “Supreme Judicial” from naming conventions. See Act of Apr. 30, 1987, 70th Leg., R.S., ch. 148, § 1.02, sec. 22.201, 1987 Tex. Gen. Laws 534, 535; In re Williams, 123 S.W.3d 39, 41 n.2 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.). Chad Ruback served as a briefing attorney at the Second District Court of Appeals for the 1997-1998 term.

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