Civil cases do not deal with criminal action, but rather with disputes between private parties. Cases may be filed in the County Court at Law when the matter in controversy exceeds $500.00 but does not exceed $100,000.00, excluding interest, statutory or punitive damage and penalties, and attorney's fees and costs as alleged on the face of the petition. Judgment nisi's (generated when a defendant fails to come to court on criminal case hearing-- also known as bond forfeiture) and occupational driver's licenses required when a person's driver's licenses is suspended are also civil matters.
The County Clerk is the Ex-Officio Clerk of the Commissioners' Court. She posts the notices of the meetings and sends notices to interested parties. She attends all regular and special meetings and takes minutes of all actions. These minutes are transcribed and recorded for public viewing.
All misdemeanor criminal cases, such as DWI's, thefts by check, possession of marihuana, criminal trespass, tampering with government records, are filed in the Clerk's Office. The Clerk issues arrest warrants and subpoenas, receives and reports payment of fines and court costs; reports dispositions to the Office of Court Administration and to the Texas Department of Public Safety and acts as the Clerk for the County Court at Law.
Probate cases deal with protecting the wishes, rights and obligations of persons regarding their property when these people are unable to do so as a result of death, or incapacitating illness, either physical or mental.
Mental illness commitments filed in the Clerk's Office are closed and confidential records. A commitment starts in the County Attorney's Office; the clerk's office assigns the cause number, prepares the writ of commitment and makes the other copies necessary for transport of the mentally ill person to the proper facility. Drug treatment commitments are also handled through the mental illness docket.