Ellis County Court at Law #3: Why a New Court?

Ellis County currently has two statutory county courts at law. The Ellis County Court at Law #1 is presided by the Hon. Judge Jim Chapman. This court has been tasked with civil, probate, and Child Protective Service cases.  Ellis County Court at Law #2 is presided  by the Hon. Gene Calvert Jr. This court has primarily been tasked to handle all Ellis County class A and B misdemeanor criminal cases. Unfortunately, along with the rapid population growth of Ellis County, the misdemeanor criminal case load has become overwhelming.

In March of 2019, the Ellis County Commissioner’s Court began discussions regarding the creation of an additional Statutory Court at Law: The Ellis County Court at Law #3. The Ellis County Bar Association began the dialogue after voicing concern regarding the backlog of misdemeanor criminal cases. All five of the elected Ellis County Judges and Ellis County District attorney joined in advocating for the creation of the new court. When the Ellis County Justice Center was constructed, physical space was wisely set aside to allow for the addition of courtrooms as they became necessary. The Ellis County Court at Law #3 is now being scheduled for construction and will officially begin operations on January 1, 2021.

After discussion and hearings, the Ellis County Commissioner’s Court subsequently passed a resolution calling for the creation of the new Ellis County Court at Law #3. State Representative John Wray was requested by the Commissioner’s Court to pass legislation legally authorizing the new court. Representative Wray answered their call. Senate Bill 891, authorizing the creation of the new court, is now State law.

Review Public Records relating to the genesis of the new court here

In a press release regarding the new law, Representative Wray stated: "After hearing from the citizens and members of the judiciary in Ellis County, it was apparent that the caseload was far too great for only two courts. Our county judiciary and their staff have been carrying the load for us, and it's time to provide them some relief. We took this information to the Office of Court Administration, and their data confirmed what we were hearing - that Ellis County had grown to a size that required a larger judicial presence than we currently have.”

Ellis County citizens will have the responsibility to elect the initial presiding judge of the new County Court at Law #3.  Joe Gallo has the criminal law experience that sets him apart as uniquely qualified for this judicial position.

The Republican primary election will be held on
Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

The general election will be held on
Tuesday, November 3, 2020.