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    Authority of Constables

    The Texas constable is provided for in the Texas Constitution of 1876 (Article 5, Section 18), which calls for the election of a constable in each Texas precinct of a county. Counties may have between one and eight precincts each, depending on their population. The term of office for Texas constables is four years. However, when vacancies arise, the commissioner’s court of the respective county has the authority to appoint a replacement to serve out the remaining term. If no person is elected and qualified under law to fill an office of constable for seven consecutive years, the respective commissioner's court may declare the office dormant and it may not be filled by election or appointment. However, the commissioner's court may reinstate the office by a majority vote or by calling an election where a majority of precinct voters approve it.

    Authority


    In Texas, constables and their deputies are fully empowered peace officers with county-wide jurisdiction and thus, may legally exercise their authority in any precinct within their county. However, some constables’ offices limit themselves to providing law enforcement services only to their respective precinct, except in the case of serving civil and criminal process. Constables and their deputies may serve civil process in any precinct in their county and any contiguous county and can serve arrest warrants anywhere in the state. The duties of a Texas constable generally include providing bailiffs for the justice of the peace court(s) within his precinct and serving process issued there and from any other court. Moreover, some constables’ offices limit themselves to only these activities but others provide patrol, investigative, and security services as well.