Q: Do Texas district courts have exclusive jurisdiction over at-will employment contract disputes? Case law please.
Can one remove a case from a justice of the peace court in Texas to a district court? If it is an at-will employment contract dispute.
No, in Texas, district courts do not have exclusive jurisdiction over at-will employment contract disputes. Under Section 24.007 of the Texas Government Code, a district court has jurisdiction of a civil matter in which the amount in controversy is more than $500, exclusive of interest. That is not "exclusive" jurisdiction.
Under Section 25.0003 of the Texas Government Code, a statutory county court generally has concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in civil cases in which the amount in controversy is more than $500 but does not exceed $250,000. But that jurisdiction can be altered by the specific Code section creating such courts for a particular county. For example, under Section 25.0592 of the Texas Government Code, a county court at law in Dallas County has concurrent jurisdiction with the district court in civil cases regardless of the amount in controversy.
Under Section 27.031 of the Texas Government Code, a justice court generally has concurrent jurisdiction with the district court and county court in civil cases in which the amount in controversy is not more than $20,000, exclusive of interest.
So, in a dispute under at at-will employment contract in which the amount in controversy is more than $500, but not more than $20,000, the plaintiff may bring suit in the district court, or the county court, or the justice court.
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