Posted by Pamela Bratton on Feb 21, 2018
Judge Bill Henry has practiced law for over 30 years and is double certified in both family and civil trial law.  He is a former assistant district attorney.  He took time to explain the Hays County court hierarchy:   Justice of the Peace handles tickets; the county court at law handles misdemeanor; the district court handles felony crimes, large civil and family cases (all important cases).  In a  typical week of non-jury dockets he will see 80 cases.  Jury dockets are 1-3 weeks usually.  In 2017 he issued 1,725 judgments and had 200 days of trials.
There are 4 district judges, 3 are in New Braunfels and he's the only one in San Marcos.  The judge described the 4 types of cases he sees.  First is criminal cases, and these typically arise from poverty and from the eastern portion of the county.  He believes in a fair, just way of making decisions.  Then there are the drug cases where the court can order rehabilitation if the offender wants it.  He supports drug court because of the 1 on 1 contact.  Family court is code driven, the judge has no leeway in decisions.  Civil cases are very technical in nature.
Hays County is adding 1 district judge and 1 county court in October 2018, and it is much needed.  His court was created in 2005 and his case load has doubled since that time.