One of the main responsibilities of the District Clerk is to index and secure all court records. The District Clerk is the custodian of all court pleadings and papers that are part of any cause of action on Family, Civil or Criminal, in the district courts served by the Clerk of the Court. As directed by section 51.303 of the Government Code, the clerk of a district court has custody of and shall carefully maintain and arrange the records relating to or lawfully deposited in the clerk's office.
E-filing, which began on or about January 2011, has allowed the District Clerk to successfully preserve these records in the most efficient manner and save on warehouse costs previously used to store these records; however, several in-house documents prior to 2010 are still needing to be scanned and digitized to maximize the preservation of such records. As a result, the District Clerk sought the Court's approval to onboard four (4) Data Entry Operators (GS10) on September 25, 2017. While that work was expected to be completed by March 25, 2021, due to unforeseen circumstances there are several boxes of documents still needing to be converted to a digital format within the Odyssey system to ensure that records are preserved and the integrity of the court documents are maintained.
Additionally, the District Clerk collects $10.00 on each filing pursuant to section 51.708 of the Government Code, District Court Records Technology Fund. In accordance with section 51.317 of the Government Code, District Court Records Technology Fund, these funds may be used to pay personnel costs for the purpose of digitizing court records. Further, the County Attorney's Office has issued a previous opinion (OP-16-375) referencing the allowable expenditures.
After further analyzing this request, it is recommended that these positions be extended for an additional three (3) years to allow the District Clerk's Office to fully complete this project.