Under the Texas Public Information Act, any information collected, written, and maintained on behalf of or by a governmental agency in the Lone Star State is considered public information. This includes anything filed by the court including indictments, criminal and divorce records, and all court proceedings. While public court records can serve as a means of keeping our judicial system in check, they can also result in damaging consequences. Here’s the rationale behind accessing your own court records, why you may be interested in local court records that are not yours, and how to easily obtain Hays County court records.
Why Should I View My Court Records?
If you believe your case is eligible for an expunction or nondisclosure order before you expend the efforts and funds required for a court petition it is beneficial to review your records with a lawyer to determine the presence of any detrimental information.
Court records can contain a variety of information that you may not want public, including sensitive personal information and embarrassing or harmful details of your case. While personal information like social security and banking numbers should be censored in court records, poorly filed documents have often led to this information being leaked in public records. Additionally, certain court records can contain information that is defaming or intimate such as wrongful allegations or details of an assault. Accessing your own court records is a good first step towards the expunction process or providing your case with needed closure.
Why Should I Be Interested In Accessing Local Hays County Court Records?
Accessing local court records not only gives interested citizens an insight into the justice system but aids in keeping the local courts accountable and free from corruption. When the public reviews court records they can ensure that court proceedings and documents are free of error and that the court is free of wrongdoing. If your loved one has been convicted of a crime it is always a smart idea to review their court records with a lawyer to identify if any procedural mistakes warrant an appeal. Furthermore, reviewing court proceedings involving corporations and private interest groups can ensure that your local justice system is working on behalf of the public and does not hold any corporate bias.
How Do I Access Hay County Court Records?
With a newfound understanding of the importance of reviewing court records, here are the steps involved in accessing Hays County court records.
First, if looking to access your own court records, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer who can determine if your case is eligible for expunction or a nondisclosure agreement. A lawyer can also provide massive help in combing through your court record to determine the presence of any personal or sensitive information you want to seal or any errors or wrongdoing that may grant you an appeal.
Whether or not you decide to hire a lawyer, to obtain your court records you must go through the court that your case was filed in. Hays county court records are usually filed through the District Court and can be accessed by:
- Visiting the search terminals available for public use in the reception area of the District Clerk’s office during normal operating hours.
- Contacting the district clerk’s office to conduct a search. This search costs $5 per name and covers the past ten years, with results available within two business days.
- Information on civil and criminal court cases can be accessed via the Hays County Courts Records Inquiry website. Searches are free and include pertinent information such as cause number, case type, filing date, case summary, and involved parties.
To request a records search or order digital records through the Hays County district clerk’s office, email firstname.lastname@example.org indicating whether you would prefer the documents be mailed or emailed to you. Each document filed in a specific case costs $.50 per page or $1.00 per page of a certified copy. After receiving a price quote, you can pay for the records at http://www.certifiedpayments.net using a credit card and the Bureau Code 5779509.
Prepayment is required for a records search and record copies. Search results and any ordered copies will be mailed or emailed out within 24 hours of a payment confirmation.