Texas Government Code

Sec. § 51.305
District Court Records Technology Fund


(a)

In this section:

(1)

“Court document” means any instrument, document, paper, or other record that the district clerk is authorized to accept for filing or maintenance.

(2)

“Deterioration” means any naturally occurring process or a natural disaster that results in the destruction or partial destruction of a court document.

(3)

“Preservation” means any process that:

(A)

suspends or reduces the deterioration of a court document; or

(B)

provides public access to a court document in a manner that reduces the risk of deterioration.

(4)

“Restoration” means any process that permits the visual enhancement of a court document, including making the document more legible.

(b)

The commissioners court of a county may adopt a district court records archive fee of not more than $10 for the filing of a suit, including an appeal from an inferior court, or a cross-action, counterclaim, intervention, contempt action, motion for new trial, or third-party petition, in any court in the county for which the district clerk accepts filings as part of the county’s annual budget. The fee must be set and itemized in the county’s budget as part of the budget preparation process and must be approved in a public meeting. The fee is for preservation and restoration services performed in connection with maintaining a district court records archive.

(c)

The county treasurer, or the official who discharges the duties commonly delegated to the county treasurer, in a county that adopts a fee under Subsection (b) shall establish a district court records technology fund in the general fund of the county for deposit of fees paid under Section 51.317 (Fees Due at Filing)(f).

(d)

Subject to Subsection (f), money generated from the fee imposed under this section may be expended only for the preservation and restoration of the district court records archive.

(e)

The district clerk shall designate the court documents that are part of the records archive for purposes of this section. The designation of court documents by the district clerk under this subsection is subject to approval by the commissioners court in a public meeting.

(f)

The district clerk in a county that adopts a fee under this section shall prepare an annual written plan for the preservation and restoration of the district court records archive. The plan may include a proposal for entering into a contract with another person for preservation and restoration services. The commissioners court shall publish notice of a public hearing on the plan in a newspaper of general circulation in the county not later than the 15th day before the date of the hearing. After the public hearing, the plan shall be considered for approval by the commissioners court. Money in the district court records technology fund may be expended only as provided by the plan. All expenditures from the records technology fund must comply with Subchapter C, Chapter 262 (Purchasing and Contracting Authority of Counties), Local Government Code.

(g)

If a county imposes a fee under this section, a notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the district clerk’s office. The notice must state the amount of the fee in the following form: “THE COMMISSIONERS COURT OF _______________ (Insert name of county) COUNTY HAS DETERMINED THAT A RECORDS ARCHIVE FEE OF $________ (Insert amount adopted by commissioners court) IS NEEDED TO PRESERVE AND RESTORE DISTRICT COURT RECORDS.”

(h)

Money remaining from the collection of fees imposed under this section after completion of a district court records archive preservation and restoration project may be expended for records management and preservation purposes in the manner provided by Section 51.317 (Fees Due at Filing)(d). The commissioners court of a county may not impose a fee under this section after the district court records archive preservation and restoration project is complete.
Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 822 (S.B. 1685), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.
Amended by:
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 927 (H.B. 1513), Sec. 1.01, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 654 (H.B. 2182), Sec. 3(a), eff. September 1, 2015.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1227 (S.B. 658), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021