Texas Attorney General Opinion: DM-51 Page: 1 of 5
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Honorable Gene Green
Senate Jurisprudence Committee
P. O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
Opinion No. DM-51
Re: Authority of a commissioners court
to establish a pay scale for justices of the
peace based on the volume of cases filed
in their respective courts (RQ-51)
Dear Senator Green:
You have requested our opinion regarding the authority of the Harris County
Commissioners Court to establish a pay scale for justices of the peace based on the
volume of cases filed in their respective courts. Specifically, you question whether
this or any other classification scheme that results in a compensation differential is
constitutional. You indicate that justices' salaries are set on the basis of the number
of cases filed in each justice court and that there currently exists a difference of
nearly $10,000 between the salary of the highest paid and the lowest paid justice in
Article XVI, section 61, of the Texas Constitution requires that all justices of
the peace be compensated on a salary basis. Section 152.013 of the Local
Government Code provides, in pertinent part:
(a) Each year the commissioners court shall set the salary,
expenses, and other allowances of elected county or precinct
officers. The commissioners court shall set the items at a
regular meeting of the court during the regular budget hearing
and adoption proceedings.
Office of the iattornep @enerat
*tate of Texas
October 28, 1991
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: DM-51, text, 1991; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth273860/m1/1/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.