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Texas Counties Deliver

History

 

The office of County Clerk has been in existence in Texas since 1836, superseding the escribano (secretary) of Spanish-Mexican rule.  Section 20, Article 5 of the Texas Constitution provides for the office.

Duties

Of all the various responsibilities assigned to the County Clerk, the recording of legal instruments is perhaps the most traditional and basic duty.  In terms of sheer volume, legal instruments constitute the major portion of paperwork flowing through the office, requiring the greatest amount of storage space, and usually taking up a larger portion of the clerk's time than any other single duty. The complexity of the recording process, along with the volume of work and the many different types of instruments required to be filed in the clerk's office, places much responsibility on the clerk.

The County Clerk also serves as Court Clerk to the Commissioners' Court and County Court.  The clerk serves as ex-officio member of the Commissioners’ Court, recording all proceedings.  The County Clerk also serves as Clerk of Court for the Washington County Court at Law.  The clerk files new cases, collects fees associated with cases and attends court. The clerk issues citations, writs, abstracts, judgments and impanels juries as required.  The County Clerk also approves bonds, administers oaths, issues subpoenas, and attends all court proceedings.

The County Clerk is the only official in the County authorized to issue, record and maintain birth and death certificates and issue marriage licenses.  The County Clerk submits monthly, quarterly and annual activity reports to the County and State and we are on call 24 hours a day for issuance of cremation and burial transfer permits. 

The County Clerk has extensive financial and fiduciary responsibilities and duties as County Recorder, Local Registrar and Clerk of Court. Collections, since 1995 when the present County Clerk into office, have increased by 250%.

The County Clerk is also the elections administrator for elections held at the County's expense.  The County Clerk is also chair of the County Elections Board.  The many responsibilities of this position include ordering ballots and related supplies, working closely with Election Judges, Early Voting Ballot Board and Central Counting Station personnel, holding Early Voting in person, handling all ballots by mail, and advising the media of election activities.

 The County Clerk serves as records management officer for the office and is responsible for developing a records management program, administering this program efficiently and effectively, preparing and filing with the director and librarian of the Texas State Library, a records control schedule, identifying and ensuring the preservation of records of permanent value, identifying and ensuring the preservation of essential records and ensuring that records management activities are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Records Act and rules adopted under it.

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