Sammye Bennett, Elizabeth Attaway, Judge Jeff Doran
We are honored to serve the people of Anderson County in the Court at Law.
The Anderson County Court at Law was created by the Texas Legislature to serve the people as a readily accessible forum with broad jurisdiction. Our goal is to be available all day, every day; to provide prompt settings; to give parties the opportunity, within the rules, to be heard; to treat everyone who comes to the court with courtesy and respect; and to follow the law.
This court has concurrent original jurisdiction with the district courts in cases of divorce, child custody, child support, child abuse and neglect, probate, trusts, criminal felonies, and civil cases with amounts in controversy from $500.00 to $200,000.00. This court has concurrent original jurisdiction with the county court in probate, guardianship, mental health, civil, and criminal misdemeanors. The court also has jurisdiction over appeals from the justice and municipal courts.
The Court at Law is the designated Juvenile Court for Anderson County, and Judge Doran has served as Chair of the Juvenile Board since 2003. He also serves as Chair of the Bail Bond Board.
For over 4o years Judge Doran has had a singular commitment, both professionally and personally, to the welfare of children. Generations of children have benefited from his devotion to them as a teacher, lawyer, advocate, coach, mentor, and youth leader. Judge Doran brought his focus on children to the work of the court. He has been widely recognized, including by the Children’s Commission of the Texas Supreme Court, for his innovative and effective methods of ensuring that the court’s first priority is to meet the needs of the children who come before it. One newspaper has called him a “Champion for Children.”
Judge Doran graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Theology and History from Christian Brothers University. He received his Juris Doctor Degree with Law Review Honors from Loyola University School of Law. Judge Doran also has a Certificate of Special Competence from the Texas College for Judicial Studies.
Elizabeth Attaway, Court Coordinator
Mrs. Attaway has served the people of Anderson County as Court Coordinator for over 10 years. She dedicates her days to giving prompt, helpful, and cheerful service to those who contact the court. If you have a question about court procedures, dockets and case status, or want to set a case on the docket, she will assist you. If you have been summoned to jury service, Mrs. Attaway will help you determine your eligibility for an exemption and answer any other questions you may have. Even if you find yourself in the wrong place, she will see that you are directed to the proper place.
Sammye Bennett, Court Reporter
Mrs. Bennett makes an accurate record of court proceedings. She will transcribe the record of a hearing or trial upon receipt of a written request specifying the case name and number and the date of the proceeding. She will respond with an estimate of the cost of the record and will begin transcription when arrangements for payment have been confirmed. The written request may be made at the offices of the court or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please understand that the rules that govern the conduct of Texas judges and their staffs do not permit conversations about particular cases except in court when all parties have had notice and a fair opportunity to be present. This rule is designed to make sure that everyone is treated fairly, and we strictly adhere to it. In the same way, neither the Judge nor his staff are permitted to give legal advice. Please do not be offended or feel we are putting you off when we follow these rules. We will do our best to ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to be heard, but we will do it in a way that is fair to all concerned consistent with these rules.
Clerks of the Court at Law:
The Anderson County Court at Law is one of a handful of courts in Texas that is supported by both the District Clerk and the County Clerk. Because we maintain files in both clerks’ offices, it can be confusing. Generally, if a case could be filed in a district court, our file will be with the District Clerk. If it could be filed in a county court the file will be with the County Clerk. The clerks of both offices and Mrs. Attaway are very familiar with this issue and will be happy to help you get to the right place for what you seek.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO COURT HERE ARE THE RULES OF DRESS AND DECORUM
Contact the Court at Law:
The Historic Anderson County Courthouse
500 North Church Street, Third Floor
Palestine, Texas 75801
Office Hours: 8am - 5pm (closed 12p-1p for lunch)
Phone: (903) 723-7469
County Court at Law
500 N. Church St., Suite 11
Palestine, TX 75801
Phone: (903) 723-7496