Texas Counties Deliver – learn how county government serves you
Zapata County Judge

Judge Joe Rathmell
Serving since 2011
Phone: (956) 765-9920
Fax: (956) 765-9926
Physical Address & Mailing Address
200 E. 7th Avenue, Ste. 115
Zapata, TX 78076

County Judge's Office Services: 
Occupational Drivers License
Beer & Wine License

Class A & B Misdemeanors

  • The County Judge is the senior elected official in the county and is elected via a county wide election every four years. The County Judge serves as the county’s chief executive officer and presides over a five member Commissioners’ Court, which has budgetary and administrative authority over county government operations.

    In Zapata County, the County Judge has judicial responsibility for certain criminal, civil and probate matters. Additional responsibilities include final county approval on beer and wine license applications, juvenile work permits, and temporary guardianship hearings. 

    The County Judge is required by the Texas Association of Counties to fulfill a yearly quota of continuing education courses on matters relating to county government. 

    The County Judge may perform civil marriages and serves as the head of civil defense, disaster relief, and county welfare, as well as represents the county both ceremonially and contractually.

    The office of the County Judge is located in the first floor of the Zapata County courthouse. 

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