County offices and courts reopening in Hays County

Hays+County+Historic+Courthouse

Rebecca Harrell

Hays County Historic Courthouse

Daniella Carrera, News Reporter

Offices, lobbies, courts and parks within the Hays County system are in varying stages of reopening to the public. All members of the public who enter county buildings should wear face coverings and maintain six feet between themselves and others who are not in their own family.

Below are the current status of many of the offices and courts as they begin to reopen:

  • County Clerk, Elaine Cardenas — The County Clerk’s office is open at all locations by appointment only to issue marriage licenses along with birth and death certificates. 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 — In-person hearings commenced June 1, and the lobby is open. They request everyone call before entering, if possible, at 512.393.7625 or email [email protected] 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 — 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 Carey – The JP-5 in Buda is open M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Five Mile Dam, Jacob’s Well Natural Area and Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve are now open. The Parks Department is 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.

Below are the current status of district 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.
  • Commissioners for Pct. 1, Debbie Ingalsbe, Pct. 2, Mark Jones and Pct. 3, Lon Shell have staff available to answer the phones, but they are continuing to do meetings through phone or digital platforms. Additionally, Commissioner Ingalsbe is meeting in person.
  • 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. 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.


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