The Texas Constitution, Section 20,
Article 5, provides in Sec. 20:
"There shall be elected for each county, by qualified voters, a County
Clerk who shall hold this 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 the Legislature."
The County Clerk's duties as set out
in the State Constitution and in Texas State Statutes, include keeping all
public records, whether they be records of the Commissioner's Court, the
County Court, the County Courts-at-Law, or any records filed by the general
The Clerk's offices contain a library
of records, such as deeds, maps, plats, and other records pertaining to
property located within the county. These records are open to the public and
provide valuable data regarding the size, shape and location, legal
description and property owner of all property situated in the County.
Recording and Filing Instruments
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, require the greatest amount of storage space and
usually take up a larger portion of the clerk's time than any other single
duty. These legal instruments will be:
- Instruments that
prove ownership or interest in real or personal property, such as deeds,
deeds of trusts, contracts, mortgages, and liens of various types;
concerning the identity or commercial activities, (also know as UCC Financing Statements);
concerning the identity of persons and businesses (also known as Assumed
Name Certificates, and DBA).
The instruments are filed and recorded
in a safe and permanent manner and a computerized index is provided so
records may be easily and completely retrieved.
Recording and Filing Subdivisions and Plats
Clerk's office files, indexes and
properly stores all plats for subdivisions located in the county of Kaufman.
The County Clerk
is responsible for the filing and indexing of the following records of a
- Birth and death certificates that occur outside certain cities
with registrars, such as the City of Terrell;
- Issuance of Marriage Licenses;
- Military Discharges;
- Cattle brands or ownership marks on animals;
- Records relating to estates of deceased residents;
- Records relating to guardianships of minors and incompetents.
County Courts-at-Law Records -
The County Clerk, as clerk of this court, is responsible for filing
and indexing all papers involved in civil and criminal suits. She
tracks all types of bonds, prepares the judges' docket sheet, issues
warrants, abstracts of judgments, and executions.
Commissioner's Court Records - The
County Clerk as an ex-officio member of the Court and has the responsibility
of being present or having a deputy present at every official meeting of the
Court. The Clerk writes the Court minutes and records all bids, proposals and
contracts made by the Court.