Grayson County Magistrates

The office of magistrate is the successor to the office of the justice of the peace, which was abolished in 1974. Magistrates are authorized to issue arrest and search warrants, to admit to bail or commit to jail persons charged with offenses, to administer oaths and take acknowledgments, and to act as conservators of the peace. They also have the same power as district courts to issue warrants and subpoenas within the county in which they have jurisdiction. Magistrates are authorized to perform all other acts or functions that are provided specifically by law and may assist in federal criminal proceedings as authorized by federal law.

The chief circuit court judge appoints at least one magistrate for each county within the district, as well as any other personnel in the office of the magistrate. These positions and any substitute magistrates must be authorized by the Committee on District Courts. Although appointments are made for four-year terms, they are revocable at the pleasure of the appointing judge. Magistrates must be United States citizens and residents of the judicial district that they are appointed to serve. No person may be appointed who is the spouse of, a saw enforcement officer or certain judicial personnel, or who is the chief executive officer or a member of a local governing body for any political subdivision in the state.

Magistrates operate under the supervision of the chief circuit court judge, who may delegate this authority to the chief judge of the general district courts. Salaries are fixed annually by the Committee on District Courts and paid by the state. All fees collected by or on behalf of the magistrates are paid to the appropriate circuit court, commissioner in chancery, state or federal agency or to the appropriate district court. Each county must provide suitable office space, furniture, and other necessary equipment for its fulltime magistrates.