It may not make any difference to you, but the County Clerk, Liberty County, Texas, has opted to close the Clerk’s Office to the public except by appointment only. I’ve been around a good many years, and I don’t know of this ever happening before. As per a short conversation I had with her, this has nothing to do with the virus but is so that she can “better serve the citizens of Liberty County.” A lot of us who live in the north end of the county seldom go to Liberty, and when we do,
it is many times a spur of the moment kind of thing. Having to try to get an appointment that coincides with an unplanned trip to Liberty doesn’t better serve me. The majority of my very few trips to the Clerk’s office are to just look at a deed, maybe some probate, or just to check and see if the oil companies are working in the records and buying leases. I doubt if the Clerk would even know I’m there. Most of the time, my visits just aren’t worth the trouble of talking to a machine and trying to make an appointment.
The County Judge’s office stance on the situation is: “She’s an elected official; I can’t tell her what to do.”
I assume it’s legal for her to do this; surely, she checked on it before taking these measures; however, Local Government Code, Title 6 Records. Subtitle B. County Records, Chapter 191. General Records Provisions Affecting Counties, Section 191.006 (https://statutes.capitol. texas.gov/SOTWDocs/LG/htm/LG.191. htm ) seems to say otherwise. To me, it seems like she really learned to enjoy not having to deal with the public coming in and out of her office during the virus shut-down and is just extending the restrictions for her benefit, not ours.
Additionally, I resent having to tell a policeman/security guard why I’m there before I can even get in the door. As a taxpayer and citizen of Liberty County, isn’t this my courthouse too?
Please remember this when it comes time to vote.
– Larry Dever Cleveland