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Hays County Offices and Courts Open for Business

Offices, lobbies, courts and parks within the Hays County system are in varying stages of reopening to the public as we navigate this new world with COVID-19. While many offices were closed during March, April and May, our employees and elected officials continued to serve the public through remote means including phone calls, online, email and video conferences.

View the quick summary below to see the current status of many of our offices, courts and parks as we begin to reopen. Please contact an office or court directly if you have questions:

NOTE: All members of the public entering County buildings should wear face coverings and maintain six feet between themselves and others who are not in their own family. Visual guides have been placed on the floor and/or walls to indicate the 6-ft. distance.

County Clerk, Elaine Cardenas – County Clerk’s office is open at all locations by appointment only to issue marriage licenses along with birth and death certificates. Otherwise, the lobbies are not open. All other business can be handled by phone or online. This office continues to provide support to the County Courts at Law.

*County Courts at Law

Judge, County Court-at-Law, 1, Robert Updegrove

Judge, County Court-at-Law, 2 Chris Johnson

Judge, County Court-at-Law, 3, Tacie Zelhart

These offices have remained open to serve all litigants and the citizens of Hays County. As Ordered by the Supreme Court of Texas and the state Office of Court Administration, during the pandemic, hearings were held remotely via teleconference. This Court continues to have hearings via teleconference. In-person hearings will commence on June 1. The lobby is open. We request everyone call before entering, if possible, at 512.393.7625 or email to set a court date or receive additional information.

District Clerk, Beverly Crumley – This office has remained open with limited controlled access to the lobby area.

Elections Office, Jennifer Anderson – This office remained open except for about two weeks at the beginning of the shut down when staff was working remotely. Currently the Elections Office is open to the public.

*Justice of the Peace 1-1, Judge Prado – Justice of the Peace 1-1 has been open to the public since May 18, 2020 without an appointment.

*Justice of the Peace 1-2, Judge Moreno – This office has been open since May 18. The public is asked to call the JP1-2 office at 512.393.7636 with any questions regarding pending cases in this court, individuals may also visit the website to make payments online or get more information regarding this office.

*Justice of the Peace 2, Judge Smith – This office reopened to the public on the 18 for walk-ins. No jury trials are taking place until August 1. Some cases have been held virtually and our office will continue to have virtual hearing until in person hearings are approved.

*Justice of the Peace 3, Judge Cable – This office has remained open.

*Justice of the Peace 4, Judge Burns – This office reopened to the public May 18; however, the Precinct 4 offices in Dripping Springs are temporarily closed to clean up and repair water damage due to a leak.

*Justice of the Peace 5, Judge Cary – The JP-5 in Buda is open M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hays County Parks & Natural Areas – Five Mile Dam, Jacob’s Well Natural Area and Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve are now open. The Parks Department is again taking reservations for these natural areas. Reservations for June 1 and beyond made prior to the COVID-19 closures are still in the system. Social distancing and wearing face coverings while in public places is strongly encouraged.

Precinct Offices –

County Judge, Ruben Becerra – staff is available answer the phone, but Judge Becerra is continuing to do meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.

Pct. 1, Debbie Ingalsbe – staff is available answer the phone, but Commissioner Ingalsbe is continuing to do meetings, through phone or digital platforms as well as in person. Please contact her office to schedule appointments.

Pct. 2, Mark Jones – staff is available answer the phone, but Commissioner Jones is continuing to do meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.

Pct. 3, Lon Shell – staff is available answer the phone, but Commissioner Shell is continuing to do meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.

Pct. 4, Walt Smith – The Pct. 4 offices are temporarily closed due to water damage, but Commissioner Smith is available for phone meetings as well as in-person meetings at the County Courthouse on certain days. Please contact his office to schedule appointments.

Tax Office, Jenifer O’Kane – Beginning June 8, County tax offices in all precincts are open to the public. NOTE: Pct. 4 offices are temporarily closed due to water damage. At the Government Center, individuals will queue in the hallway outside the Tax Office. If the line extends to the main hallway, deputies will ask those persons to wait outside until they are called back in. A similar approach will be implemented at the precinct offices. The drive-thru at the Government Center in San Marcos is back to normal operating hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

*A note about Hays County Courts and District Courts: Recognizing the need to ensure the health and safety of litigants, attorneys, visitors, court staff, judges, and other individuals entering the buildings housing the courts, the courts of Hays County will implement a series of protective measures. The full list can be found on our website.

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Hays County