In Texas, what is an “intermediate court of appeals”?
In Texas, there are fourteen intermediate courts of appeals, and they are often referred to simply as “courts of appeals.” The courts of appeals are “intermediate” because they are between the Texas state trial courts and the highest Texas state appellate courts (the Texas Supreme Court for civil cases and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for criminal cases). Prior to September 1, 1981, Texas intermediate appellate courts only heard civil cases, and all criminal appeals were taken directly from the trial court to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Currently, appeals of capital punishment cases are taken directly to the Court of Criminal Appeals (as opposed to first being taken to the intermediate court of appeals).
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