Sixth Court of Appeals

About the Court 

The Sixth Court of Civil Appeals was established by the Texas Legislature in 1907, and began operations in August of that year when Governor Tom Campbell appointed Samuel Priest Wilson, Richard B. Levy, and William Hodges as the first justices of the Court. The Court's offices were located in the old city hall building until offices were provided in the "new" municipal building. In 1985, the Court's offices were moved to the new Bi-State Justice Building in downtown Texarkana.

6th COA Photo

The Court's first official order designated Eli T. Rosborough of Marshall as clerk and Mary DeLoach of Texarkana as stenographer. The originally designated district was comprised of Bowie, Cass, Camp, Cherokee, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Marion, Panola, and Red River Counties. The Sixth Appellate District now contains nineteen counties: Bowie, Camp, Cass, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Titus, Upshur, and Wood.

The first case called was L. Y. Jesse v. H.S. Deshong from Lamar County.

After their appointments, all three justices were elected to their respective positions in 1908. The three justices drew lots for the duration of their initial terms. Beginning in 1910, each of the three initial justices were re-elected in turn.

In its first 23 years, the Court disposed of 3,884 cases and ruled on 4,966 motions, and had an average of 170 cases filed per year.

The Sixth Court was granted jurisdiction in criminal appeals in 1981, and its name was changed to Court of Appeals.

Twenty-three judges have served on the Court since its inception.