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County and District Clerk

Terri Banks

P.O. Box 1352
Dalhart, Tx. 79022
(806) 244-4751
E-Mail:clerk@dallam.org


Staff:

DeLeasa Jones: Chief Deputy
Kathy Selby: Deputy

HISTORY AND LEGAL BASIS

The Office of County Clerk has been in existence in Texas since 1836, superseding the "escribano" (secretary) of Spanish-Mexican rule. The Texas Constitution, Section 20, Article 5 provides:
Sec. 20. There shall be elected for each County, by qualified voters, a County Clerk, who shall hold his Office for four years, who shall be Clerk of the County and Commissioners' Courts and Recorder of the County, whose duties, perquisites and fees of Office shall be prescribed by Legislature, and a vacancy in whose Office shall be filled by the Commissioners' Court, until the next General Election; provided, that in Counties having a population of less than 8,000 persons there may be an election of a single Clerk, who shall perform the duties of District and County Clerks. The County Clerk is elected in the same year that voters elect the Governor of State.

RECORDING AND FILING RESPONSIBILITIES:

REAL ESTATE AND UCC RECORDS:
Of all the responsibilities of 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, require the greatest amount of storage space, and usually take up a larger portion of the Clerk's time than any other single duty. Most legal instruments concern:
Ownership or interest in real or personal property,
The identity of commercial activities, and
The identity of persons.
The instruments are filed and recorded in a safe and permanent manner, and are processed on the Optical Imager and indexed so Records may be easily and completely retrieved.

ASSUMED NAMES:
The County Clerk is responsible for filing and indexing Assumed Names Certificates of persons doing business under an individual, company, or corporation name.

VITAL STATISTICS:
All Births and Deaths occurring outside the City Limits but within the County's boundaries are registered with the Justices of the Peace that serve as the Local Registrars and a copy is filed with the Clerk. The Original Certificates are recorded by the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Texas Department of Health in Austin, Texas. The County Clerk's Office issues Marriage Licenses in their office on the 2nd floor of the County Courthouse.

MISCELLANEOUS:
The County Clerk also files various documents, such as: Hospital Liens, Cattle Brands, Various Bonds, Military Discharges, Uniform Commercial Codes (UCC's), Beer and Wine Licenses and Foreclosure Notices.

JUDICIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

Statutory County Courts occupy the middle level of hierarchy of the Court structure and are Courts supported by the County Clerk.

CRIMINAL COURT:
The County Clerk files Class A and B Misdemeanor Cases and continues the process until the case is closed or appealed to a higher Court. The County Clerk has the responsibility to collect Fines and Court Costs of persons who have been convicted and ordered to pay Fines.

CIVIL COURT:
The County Clerk files Civil Cases, that being disputes between private parties, which exceed $200.00 and not more than $100,000.00. The case proceeds until a judgment is rendered or is appealed to a higher Court.

PROBATE COURT:
The County Clerk is responsible for filing, recording, and maintaining Probate Records. Probate Cases deal with protecting the wishes, rights, and obligations of persons, regarding their property, when the persons are unable to do so as a result of death, or incapacitating illness, either physical or mental.

COMMISSIONERS' COURT:
The County Clerk is the Clerk of the Court and serves the Court during each of its Meetings. The Clerk posts Notices of the Agenda and attends all of the Meetings as Ex-Officio Clerk. The Clerk takes the Minutes of those Meetings.

RECORDS MANAGEMENT:
The County Clerk serves as Records Management Officer for all the non-elected Offices by Commissioners' Court. As such, the County Clerk is responsible for the implementation of the policies and procedures consistent with the Local Government Records Act; in order to provide for cost-effective and efficient Record keeping.

CONTINUING EDUCATION:
The County Clerk must successfully complete 20 hours of instruction in the performance of the duties of Office, within a year of the day on which the Clerk first takes office. Subsequently, 20 hours of Continuing Education Courses, each 12-month period, must be completed.


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Dallam County, Texas
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