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Laura-Perez-Reyes-Feb-2022

 

Mission Statement

To provide administrative and case management support to the judicial system, effectively secure the integrity of court records, and serve the public in a professional, timely and efficient manner.  We are dedicated to the fair and impartial administration of justice and shall consistently strive to accomplish our mission by ensuring that everyone within our organization and those who use it are afforded high quality service and treated in a professional, courteous and respectful manner.

Organization Goals

  • Uphold integrity and public trust.
  • Optimize the use of technology to enhance performance of the office and staff.
  • Foster and maintain a healthy, innovative and collaborative work environment.
  • Continually improve our service to the judiciary, private bar, external entities and the public.
  • Constantly improve the level of knowledge and professionalism of staff.
  • Success is linked to commitment, and we are committed to excellence.

Our Office Instills

  • Exceptional internal and external customer service
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Integrity
  • Effective teamwork environment
  • Commitment

Vision

When we look to the future, we must remember what we have learned from the past. Vision is the ability to apply our knowledge and skills to the challenges of tomorrow.

The District Clerk of Cameron County provides support staff for the District Courts and works with the Judges to obtain timely disposition of all court cases. The district clerk is a registrar, recorder, and custodian of all documents that are part of criminal and civil actions. Approximately 7,300 cases are filed and 9,000 are disposed annually. These cases include personal injury, divorces, workers compensation, adoptions, and child support cases, to name a few. Approximately 5,000 cases are pending in Cameron County.

Appeals

 

When filing civil and criminal appellate documents at the District Clerk’s Office, we request that you please visit our information desk inside. One of our Appeal Clerks will be summoned to assist you. We appreciate the public’s cooperation in disseminating these instructions to any staff and/or couriers conducting business at our office on your behalf.

Our Appeals Clerks can also be contacted via email:

For more appellate information, please visit the official site of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals.

District Clerks Announcements

Jury Cancellation

Juries for the remainder of March are cancelled. This action is being taken pursuant to the recommendation made by the office of Court Administration. Attached you will find a copy of the recommendation. If you have any questions, please advise.

Case Search

To visit Cameron District Courts Quicklink click HERE

 

To visit our Public Portal please click HERE

Child Support

Our caseload is composed of all Cameron County cases heard in the family courts that establish paternity and order child support payments through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit (TXCSDU). We assist the public in providing the necessary support to address general child support concerns. Our office currently offers the following child support payment options:
  • Garnishment of your wages may be deducted from your payroll with a court order
  • Child support payments can be made at a Western Union at designated locations
  • Your child support payment can be drafted from your bank account, by logging on to Expert Pay or calling (800) 403-0879.
  • Child support payments can be sent to the TXCSDU by personal check, money order, or cashier’s check (do not send cash) made payable to TXSCDU. (Include your case ID # and court cause number.)
  • Texas Child Support Disbursement Units
    P.O. Box 659791
    San Antonio, Texas 78265-9791
Receiving Child Support
The Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit is expanding the options for receiving your Child Support payments. You can now have your payments deposited directly onto the Texas Debit Card.
As the official child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas, you can also visit the Texas Attorney General website for other child support related matters.
AG Data Gathering Form
The Attorney General of Texas introduces the Data Gathering Form to the County of Cameron. Attorneys are encouraged to complete this form when submitting court ordered payments. Once received at the district clerk office, the data will be entered on the Texas Child Support Enforcement System (TXCSES) and will create an immediate account for child support payment from the non-custodial parent. By utilizing this form, the amount of time it takes for child support payments to be sent to the custodial parents is greatly reduced. This will also assist the Office of the Attorney General in the following:
  • Establishing and enforcing child support orders
  • Establishing and enforcing medical support orders
  • Reviewing and adjusting child support payments
  • Collecting and distributing child support payments
  • Assisting parents in obtaining the financial support necessary for the child
Legal Advice
The district clerk office cannot dispense legal advice or disseminate forms to file a case in family courts. However, there are different options and alternatives you can use to seek legal advice:
  • The Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to the residents of Southwest Texas who are unable to afford the fees of attorneys in private practice. Interested individuals can apply for legal aid by calling 1.888.988.9996.
  • Office of the Attorney General of Texas can provide parents with a full range of child support service at no cost.
  • For assistance in locating a private attorney, contact the State Bar of Texas or the Cameron County Bar Association for further details.

Contact Us

Appeals Department (956) 550-1748
Civil Department (956) 544-0838
Criminal Department (956) 544-0839
Bookkeeping / Collections/Excess Funds (956) 574-8131
Jury Department (956) 544-0842
Juvenile Department (956) 247-8146
Child Support Department (956) 544-0840
Passport Department (956) 544-0886
Records Department (956) 574-8130
Fax (956) 544-0841

Expunctions
dcexpunctions@co.cameron.tx.us
(956) 544-0839

Passport Questions
passport@co.cameron.tx.us
(956) 544-0886

Request Copies
dcrecords@co.cameron.tx.us
(956) 574-8130

Francisco Monreal Jr., Chief Deputy
francisco.monreal01@co.cameron.tx.us

Alejandro Cuellar, Court Clerk Manager
alejandro.cuellar@co.cameron.tx.us

Silvia Mata, Appeals Clerk/Court Assistant
silvia.mata@co.cameron.tx.us

Rosa Maria Ochoa, Civil Manager
Rmochoa@co.cameron.tx.us

Ezequiel Zepeda, Criminal Manager
Ezequiel.zepeda2@co.cameron.tx.us

Beatriz Losoya, Jury/Child Support Manager
Beatriz.losoya@co.cameron.tx.us
ccjury@co.cameron.tx.us

Clarissa Lugo, Juvenile Court Assistant
clarissa.lugo@co.cameron.tx.us

Cesar Rodriguez, Records Management Manager
cgrodriguez@co.cameron.tx.us

Celso Amaro, Bookkeeping Manager
celso.amaro@co.cameron.tx.us


Laura Perez-Reyes
Office of the District Clerk

Cameron County Courthouse
Judicial Building – 3rd Floor
974 E. Harrison St.
Brownsville Texas 78520
lperez.reyes@co.cameron.tx.us

Excess Funds

 

Requests may be submitted to:

Celso Amaro
Email: Celso.Amaro@co.cameron.tx.us
Phone #: (956) 550-1479

District Clerk’s Office
974 East Harrison St.
Brownsville, TX 78520

There is a $40.00 Fee for processing Excess Funds list requests.

FAQ’s

 

1. Where are you located?
The Cameron County District Clerk’s Office is located at:
Cameron County Courthouse
Judicial Building – 3rd Floor
974 E. Harrison St.
Brownsville Texas 78520
2. What do I have to do if my address changes during the court process?

If your address changes during the course of a civil action, you or your attorney must provide our office (the clerk of the court) with written notice of your new address. Please visit the “Forms” section on this website to access a copy of the “Notice of Current Address” template that you can use to notify the clerk: https://www.cameroncountytx.gov/cameron-county-district-clerk/forms

3. Where do I mail my child support payments?
Texas State Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 659791
San Antonio, Texas 78265
4. How do I address discriminatory provisions in real property records?

The Texas Legislature recently amended the Property Code to provide a streamlined procedure for addressing discriminatory provisions in real property records. Although state law already declared restrictions and provisions in real property records that prohibit the use, sale or transfer of real property to a person based on race, color, religion, or national origin to be void and unenforceable, Senate Bill 30, which took effect on September 1, 2021, establishes a  process for a property owner, or another person that the owner authorizes, to request a judicial  review of specific property records to  determine whether they contain prohibited discriminatory provisions.

The bill sets out the contents of the documents required to be submitted to the court as well as a suggested format for the court’s findings and order. Under certain circumstances, the court may issue its determination without conducting a hearing. No filing fees may be charged under the statute.

To view the language of the bill and the format for filing with the court as well as the format for the court’s findings and order, use the link: 87(R) SB 30 – Enrolled version (texas.gov)

5. To whom do I make my check payable?
Texas State Disbursement Unit
6. What method of payment does the State Disbursement Unit accept?
The State Disbursement Unit accepts money orders, personal checks, cashier checks, and electronic transfers.
7. How do I file for child support?
Our Child Support Division does not have the paperwork to establish child support. When an individual wants to establish child support, they can hire an attorney, ask the Attorney General for representation, or go to any law library to obtain information on how to prepare a petition for child support.
8. How do I file for a divorce and how can I obtain the documents through your office?
Unfortunately, our office cannot assist you with the preparation of your documents. You are responsible for preparing the documents you wish to file. Once your documents have been completed, you may file them in person or by mail. Our physical location is Cameron County Courthouse, Judicial Building – 3rd Floor, 974 E. Harrison St., Brownsville Texas 78520. A divorce handbook can be downloaded from the Texas Young Lawyers Association Web Site at:

www.tyla.org

9. How much does it cost to file a family case (cause)?
Filing fees vary depending on the type of action. Please refer to the fee schedule. The total fee is the sum of the applicable filing fee, the process/issuance fee (if applicable), and the service fee (if applicable):

fee schedule

10. Is there a number I can call to get case information?
You can call (956) 544-0838 to request case information. Please have your case number ready. If you do not have a case number we may conduct a search which will require specific data such as names, type of case, filing dates, dates of birth, etc. A $5 fee will be assessed if a search is requested. A civil case summary/information can be accessed through our Case Public Access Link. This is a free online service that will allow you to conduct a search utilizing a case number, party and/or attorney information: Case Public Access Link
11. How can I obtain a copy of my case?
You may obtain a copy of any portion of your case in person, by mail, or by email. If you request your copies in person you will receive your copies the same day unless the record is in storage, at which point we would require at least 24 hours to request the record. If you are requesting your copies via mail or email, please refer to our Copy Request Form on our “Purchase Copies” link for further instructions: Purchase Copies
12. How can I obtain a restraining/protective order?
Unfortunately, our office cannot assist you with the preparation of your documents. You are responsible for preparing the documents you wish to file. Once you have your documents, you may file them in person or by mail. Our mailing address PO Box 87, Edinburg, Texas 78539. Our physical location is Cameron County Courthouse, Judicial Building – 3rd Floor, 974 E. Harrison St., Brownsville Texas 78520. A protective order packet downloaded from the Office of the Attorney General Web Site: Protective Order Kit
13. When will my case go to trial?
Cases are scheduled for trial depending on the nature of the case. Nonetheless, you and your attorney will always receive notice by mail regarding a scheduled trial date. You can also check the status of your case/hearing by visiting the online Case Public Access Link

Jury

Courthouse TrimTrial by jury is a fundamental principle of our system of justice and a citizen’s right to a trial by jury can be traced back to both the United States Constitution and the Texas Declaration of Independence. Although the right to a jury trial is considered a fundamental safeguard of each American’s constitutional liberties, the concept of a jury trial is hardly new, dating back to medieval England.

Your jury summons puts you in the center of this most basic right of all Americans. The United States and the State of Texas Constitutions guarantee a right to trial by jury for anyone accused of a crime, regardless of his or her race, religion, gender, national origin or economic status. Any time the facts of a civil or criminal case are in dispute, the parties have a right to have their case heard by a jury of fair and impartial citizens who will make decisions without bias or prejudice.

Faqhead

Medical Excuse:

If you want to request a temporary or permanent exemption due to medical reasons, please contact the Jury Administrator’s office at (956) 544-0842 to request an affidavit for medical exemption. This form will need to be completed, signed & notarized before submitting your request.

Click on the Link below to download a permanent exemption form for medical or age.

Medical Affidavit

Juror Selection Process:

The process for selecting prospective jurors is mandated by state law. If you are a registered voter, have a Texas driver’s license or Texas personal identification card and you live in Cameron County, your name is entered in a computer system designed to randomly select prospective jurors.

When directed by the State District, County or Justice Courts of Cameron County, the District Clerk makes a random selection of names, which are retrieved as needed each month. Those selected for that month receive a summons which is mailed by the Jury Administrator of Cameron County.

Because this is a random selection system, and there is not an endless supply of potential jurors, it is quite possible that you will receive more than one jury summons while you live in Cameron County. Once you have served on a jury, your name will not be re-entered into the pool for three (3) years.

Exemptions:

You can be exempted from jury duty in certain circumstances. These reasons for exemption do not disqualify you from serving — even though you may qualify for an exemption you can still serve on a jury.

But certain circumstances can impose considerable hardship for some people. If any of the following exemptions apply to you, the form on the back of the jury summons can be completed and mailed back to the Cameron County Jury Administrator’s Office.

  • Is over 70 years of age;
  • Has legal custody of a child younger than 12 years of age and the person’s service on the jury requires leaving the child    without adequate supervision;
  • Is a student of a public or private secondary school;
  • Is a person enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education;
  • Is an officer or an employee of the senate, the house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government;
  • Is summoned for service in a county with a population of at least 200,000, unless that county uses a jury plan under Section 62.011 <https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/GetStatute.aspx?Code=GV&Value=62.011>  and the period authorized under Section 62.011 <https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/GetStatute.aspx?Code=GV&Value=62.011> (b)(5) exceeds two years, and the person has served as a petit juror in the county during the 24-month period preceding the date the person is to appear for jury service;
  • Is the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself;
  • Except as provided by Subsection (b), is summoned for service in a county with a population of at least 250,000 and the person has served as a petit juror in the county during the three-year period preceding the date the person is to appear for jury service; or
  • Is a member of the United States military forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from the person’s home station and out of the person’s county of residence.

Exemptions:

If you want to request a permanent exemption for being over the age of 70, please contact the Jury Administrator’s office at (956) 544-0842 to request an age exemption form.

Non-Allowable Exemptions:

There are several common reasons given for exemption requests which are not allowable:

  • being the sole owner of a business
  • have an employer who will not pay you for your jury service (although financial hardship caused by jury service may be considered).

Jury Duty and Your Job:

The law protects your job while you are fulfilling your jury duty and you cannot be fired for serving. Your employer is not, however, required to pay you for the time missed from work while on jury duty.

Travel Assistance:

If you do not have a vehicle or do not drive, or you are unable to drive because of a physical disability, you can contact the Brownsville Urban District (BUS) at (956) 548-6050.

Tips to Make Your Jury Service More Enjoyable:

Knowing where you are going and what to expect when you get there can make any experience more enjoyable, and jury service is no exception. Getting to your assigned location, and arriving prepared are not nearly as tough as you might think.

Come Prepared:

You must bring your jury summons with you when you report for jury duty. Please fill out and sign your summons prior to reporting.

In addition, you may want to bring something to do while you wait. Jury duty does involve some waiting, so a good book or handwork will help pass the time.

You may also want to bring money for snacks, drinks, and lunch. There is a break room handy for snacks during breaks.

Dress the Part:

You may be selected for and actually serve on a jury the day you are summoned, so it’s important that you dress appropriately. Jury service is serious business, and you should dress accordingly. Business attire is recommended.

Shorts, hats, tank tops and flip-flop sandals are not allowed. T-shirts with derogatory images or messages are also not considered appropriate. When in doubt, dress seriously but with comfort in mind. Jury service can involve a good deal of sitting.

What Your Jury Service Involves:

Once you have arrived at your assigned location, your jury service is underway. You’ll find that the system is set up to guide you along with clear instructions throughout the process. Whether you are selected for a jury or not, you will still be providing an essential part of the trial by jury system.

Where To Go Once You’ve Arrived at Your Assigned Location:

If you are reporting to the Cameron County Courthouse, your service starts in the Central Jury Room, located on the first floor.

Before you are allowed to enter, you will pass through a metal detector. Please remember that absolutely no weapons of any kind are allowed in the building.

If you are reporting to one of the Justice of the Peace Courts, your service starts in your assigned courtroom.

What To Expect:

About 20% of prospective jurors are selected for trials. If you are not selected for a jury, you can expect to be finished in about half a day. If you are selected, you will serve for one trial. Surprisingly, the average trial lasts only three (3) days.

If you are assigned to serve at the Cameron County Courthouse, please report to the Central Jury Room on the first floor, to the Juror Check-In-Desk.

If you are assigned to serve at one of our Justice of the Peace Courts, please report directly to the Justice Court, to check in with the clerk.

After checking in, prospective jurors will be given a brief orientation by the impaneling Judge. The impaneling Judge will give further instructions and hear possible exemptions and qualifications.

Prospective jurors are assigned to panels, smaller groups from which jurors are selected. The jurors are briefed by the judge and questioned by attorneys for both sides until the jurors who will hear the case are chosen. Once the jury has been selected, those on the panel who are not chosen are sent home.

Getting Paid for Jury Service:

Jurors are paid for their service. Each prospective juror sent to a court receives six dollars ($6) for the first day. If you are selected and serve on the actual jury panel, you will receive forty dollars ($40) per day beginning the second day of service and thereafter until the trial has concluded.

Payment is processed at the end of the jury service, and a check is mailed to each juror within two to three weeks upon termination of your jury service.

You’ve Been Selected for a Jury — What Now?

Only 20% of those summoned to jury duty are ever chosen to serve on a jury, so there’s a good chance you’ll be released from your jury duty after just half a day.

If you are selected to serve, this will be an opportunity to see our justice system in action firsthand.

A Day in the Life of a Juror:

Each trial is as unique as the people involved, and there’s no way to predict how long the trial you are chosen for will last. A trial can last a day or take up to a week or more. They are seldom much longer.

During the trial, the judge will tell you what time you need to be in court each day and what time to expect each day to end. You will also be given a break for lunch.

Trials follow a set procedure which you may find familiar.

Opening Statement: Attorneys for each side may explain the case, outline any evidence they will present, and discuss the issues you will decide. This is usually a broad statement which sets the stage for witnesses and the details to follow.

Presentation of Evidence: Testimony of witnesses and exhibits are all evidence. Any exhibits will be available to the jury during their deliberations. Because you will be deciding the case based on the facts presented, it is very important to pay close attention to all evidence.

Rulings by the Judge: The judge may be asked to decide questions of law during the trial. He may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while lawyers make legal arguments. If this happens, understand that these issues must be decided so that proper evidence can be considered by the jury.

Instruction to the Jury: After all evidence has been presented, the judge may give the jury the Charge of the Court. This includes legal instructions about the case and the question the jury must answer.

Closing Arguments: This gives the lawyers an opportunity to summarize the evidence and to try to persuade the jury to accept their client’s view of the case.

Jury Deliberations and Decision: After hearing the closing arguments, the jury is sent to deliberate. During deliberations, members of the jury will decide how they will answer the questions presented in the Charge of Court and then return a final verdict.

Sequestered Juries:

Sequestered juries are very rare. Before you are assigned to such a jury, you will have an opportunity to discuss with the judge any problems this might create.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about your summons or jury duty, please call the Cameron County Jury Administrator’s Office at (956) 544-0842. Or if you want to e-mail the Cameron County Jury Administrator’s Office you can e-mail any questions to ccjury@co.cameron.tx.us).

We understand you have questions, and we’ll do everything we can to make your jury service easy and as interesting as possible. We rely on our citizens to keep our justice system running, and we thank you in advance for the very important part you play.

Passport Services

PROCESSING TIME – WHAT TO EXPECT:

  • Mail delays are impacting when the passport agency receives passport applications for processing. Their processing times officially begin the day they receive your application, not the day you it is mailed.
  • Routine service can take up to 18 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 18-week time frame includes up to 12 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.
  • Expedite service (for an additional $60) can take up to 12 weeks from the day an application is submitted to the day a new passport is received. The 12-week time frame includes up to 6 weeks for processing and up to 6 weeks for mailing times on the front and back end.

PASSPORT SERVICES RESUME BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Cameron County District Clerk’s Office will resume passport services by appointment only. The district clerk office temporarily suspended passport services back in March in an effort to limit non-essential services at the courthouse amid growing concerns of COVID-19.

AS PER THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, APPLICANTS ELIGIBLE TO RENEW THEIR PASSPORT (SEE FORM DS-82 FOR ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS), MUST FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE RENEWAL APPLICATION AND MAIL IT TO THE REFERENCED ADDRESS FOR PROCESSING. RENEWAL APPLICATIONS ARE NOT PROCESSED IN THIS OFFICE.

Applicants must bring all required documentation and their completed and printed application, which can be downloaded from the US Department of State website at:

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE – CONSULAR/PASSPORT DIVISION

Applicants are advised, as per the US Department of State, unless an individual has a life-or-death emergency, applicants will experience delays before receiving their passport and the return of their citizenship documents. Expedited service has also been temporarily suspended due to the significantly reduced passport operations that were implemented as a result of the pandemic.

WHAT DO I NEED TO PROCESS MY APPLICATION?

  1. Completed passport application (DS-11)
  2. Original birth certificate (long form)
  3. Valid driver’s license or government ID
  4. Passport photos (available on site)
  5. Check or money order for passport fees only ($35 execution fee paid separately)

US PASSPORT INFORMATION – GETTING STARTED

For further details logon to the Travel website
Passport Flyer Appointment 2022

Purchase Copies

To visit the Portal to Search Cases please visit our Kofile Site

Self Represented

As a Pro Se Litigant, you have decided to represent yourself in a case. This is a complicated process which will require time, work and effort. Please be informed, you will be expected to know and follow the law and court rules just as any attorney.

Below you will also find links to websites that may be helpful in this endeavor:

  • Texas Law Help – This free guide offers civil legal information to Texans who cannot afford legal help.
  • Texas Court Help – This website offers a variety of resources including a lawyer referral services link.
  • State Bar of Texas – Provides a “Pro Se Divorce HandbooK” for individuals representing themselves in Family Court.
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association – Provides Family Law resources on legal issues including how to obtain a Protective Order, Involuntary Commitment Procedures, Adoption Options and how to navigate the legal system after survyving domestic violence.
  • Texas Courts Online – Provides self-help legal forms, publications and other court information.
  • Texas Legal Services Center – A non-profit legal office which provides assistance and training to poverty law advocates and their clients in the areas of litigation support, education and communication.
  • Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc. – a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income residents in sixty-eight counties of Southwest Texas.
  • Texas State Law Library – The Texas State Law Library serves the legal research needs of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Supreme Court, Office of the Attorney General, other state agencies and commissions and the citizens of the state. The website offers links to commonly requested .
  • Cameron County Law Library – Provides access to information on legal research for the Judiciary, State, and County Officials, Members of the State and Local Bar Associates, and all Citizens of Cameron County with the best collection of law books and services available.
  • Cameron County Bar Association – The HCBA is dedicated to increasing the community’s understanding and appreciation of the legal system.
  • State Bar of Texas – The State Bar of Texas offers many different programs and services to help the public understand the legal system.
  • American Bar Association – The American Bar provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public.
  • Office of Court Administration – The OCA is a state agency that provides resources and information for the efficient administration of the judicial branch of Texas.
  • Office of Attorney General of Texas – The attorney general serves at the lawyer for the State of Texas and is charged to defend the laws and constitution of the state.
  • Texas Advocacy Project – provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault throughout the state of Texas.
  • National Father’s Resource Center – At the NFRC you will find resource attorneys available, audio clips and other resources.

Texas Judicial System Brochure for Kids