Law:Title 9. Public Buildings And Grounds. Subtitle B. County Public Buildings from Chapter 292. Auxiliary County Buildings (Texas)

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Subtitle B. County Public Buildings

Contents

Chapter 292. Auxiliary County Buildings

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  292.001.  Authority For Buildings Other Than Courthouse; Lease To Other Persons; Location Of Justice Of Peace Court.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may purchase, construct, or provide by other means, including a lease or a lease with an option to purchase, or may reconstruct, improve, or equip a building or rooms, other than the courthouse, for the housing of county or district offices, county or district courts, justice of the peace courts, county records or equipment (including voting machines), or county jail facilities, or for the conducting of other public business, if the commissioners court determines that the additional building or rooms are necessary. The commissioners court may purchase and improve the necessary site for the building or rooms.

(b)  The building or rooms must be located in the county seat. However, if the building or rooms are for housing county jail facilities, the building or rooms may be located anywhere in the county at the discretion of the commissioners court.

(c)  The commissioners court may lease or rent to any person any part of the building or rooms that are not necessary for the purposes described by Subsection (a).

(d)  A justice of the peace court may not be housed or conducted in a building located outside the court's precinct except as provided by Section 27.051(f), Government Code, or unless the justice of the peace court is situated in the county courthouse in a county with a population of at least 242,000 persons but no more than 248,000 persons.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 64(b), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1223, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 31, Sec. 1, eff. Oct. 18, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 825, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 84, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1409, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.002.  Facilities Outside County Seat.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may provide an office building or a jail facility at a location in the county outside the county seat in the same manner that is applicable to such a building or facility at the county seat. The commissioners court may provide for the building or facility through the issuance of bonds as provided by Subtitles A, C, and D, Title 9, Government Code, or through the issuance of other evidences of indebtedness in the same manner as bonds or evidences of indebtedness applicable to a courthouse or jail at the county seat. The commissioners court may provide office space in the building or facility for any county or precinct office except a court required by law to sit at the county seat. However, a county officer who is provided space in the building or facility shall maintain an office at the county seat and shall keep the original records of office at that office.

(b)  The commissioners court may authorize places located in the county but outside the municipality designated as the county seat as auxiliary courts for the holding of court proceedings and may designate those places as auxiliary county seats for this purpose.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 419, Sec. 1, eff. May 28, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 8.304, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.0025.  Facilities Outside County Seat In Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies only to a county that has a population of 18,000 or less.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may provide an auxiliary court, office building, or jail facility at a location in the county and within five miles of the boundaries of the county seat in the same manner that is applicable to a court, building, or facility at the county seat. The commissioners court may provide for the building or facility through the issuance of bonds or other evidences of indebtedness as provided under Section 292.002 and may provide office space in the building or facility for any county or precinct office.

(c)  The auxiliary court may be used for the holding of court proceedings, including district court proceedings. For the purpose of the court proceedings, the commissioners court may designate the location of the auxiliary court as an auxiliary county seat.

(d)  The records of a county officer who is provided space at a court, building, or facility under this section and the records of the auxiliary court may be kept at the court, building, or facility.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 1, eff. May 27, 2003.



Section  292.003.  Facilities In Certain Municipalities Outside County Seat.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may provide, maintain, and repair a branch office building or a branch jail in a municipality with a population of 15,000 or more, other than the county seat, in the same manner as the court may take those actions at the county seat. The commissioners court may finance those actions through the issuance of bonds as provided by Subtitles A, C, and D, Title 9, Government Code, or through the issuance of evidences of indebtedness in the same manner as evidences of indebtedness applicable to a courthouse or jail at the county seat. Taxes may be levied for the bonds or evidences of indebtedness in the same manner and subject to the same limitations applicable to a courthouse or jail at the county seat. The cost of the facility may not exceed two percent of the taxable value of the property in the county in the previous year. The commissioners court has custody of and shall care for the facility.

(b)  On provision of a facility under this section, the commissioners court may allow a county officer, except the district clerk, a county or district judge, the county clerk, and the county treasurer, to maintain a branch office and provide deputies in the municipality where the facility is located, in the manner authorized by Sections 292.024, 292.026, and 292.028. The commissioners court may limit the authorization and maintenance of branch offices.

(c)  A county officer shall keep the original records of office at the county seat.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 64(c), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 8.305, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.004.  Facilities Within Municipality Designated As County Seat.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may provide, inside the municipality designated as the county seat, an auxiliary courthouse, a jail, a parking garage, a facility for district, county, and precinct administrative and judicial offices and courtrooms, or any facility related to the administration of civil or criminal justice. For the purposes of this section, the municipality designated as the county seat includes territory added to the municipality after it became the county seat but excludes any part of the municipality outside the county.

(b)  The commissioners court may:

(1)  acquire a necessary site;

(2)  purchase, construct, equip, or enlarge the facility; and

(3)  repair and maintain the facility.

(c)  If the commissioners court designates the facility as an auxiliary courthouse, the facility may not replace the courthouse at the county seat.

(d)  A court required by law to hold its terms at the county seat may hold its terms at a court facility provided under this section.

(e)  A district, county, or precinct officer required by law to maintain an office at the county seat may maintain an office and keep official records at a facility provided under this section. The officer must also keep an office at the county seat.

(f)  This section does not limit the authority of the commissioners court under any other law relating to the providing of county facilities.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 601, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 1989.



Section  292.005.  Issuance Of Boat And Outboard Motor Certificates At Branch Offices.

Each office of the tax assessor-collector away from the courthouse that maintains a permanent, full-time employee shall accept applications for and issue boat certificates of number, boat certificates of title, and outboard motor certificates of title, as provided for by Subchapters B and B-1, Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  292.006.  Branch Office Of County Clerk.

(a) On the request of the county clerk, the commissioners court of a county may provide by any means, operate, and maintain one or more branch offices at any place in the county for the county clerk.

(b)  If a branch office is provided under this section in a building owned by the county, the commissioners court shall operate and maintain the building in the same manner that it operates and maintains the county courthouse. The commissioners court shall have care and custody of the building and may place any limitations on the use and maintenance of the building it finds necessary.

(c)  The county clerk may authorize one or more of the clerk's deputies to work in the branch office to conduct any business as determined by the county clerk and in accordance with Subsection (d).

(d)  If the recording of instruments or documents in the county's official records is permitted at a branch office by the county clerk, the recording must be by electronic means and the electronically recorded instruments or documents must be available without delay to members of the public in the county clerk's office at the county seat. For purposes of this subsection, an instrument or document is available if it is capable of being:

(1)  electronically examined by a member of the public in the county clerk's office at the county seat; and

(2)  placed into a format and medium that a member of the public can electronically process using technology that is generally available and nonproprietary.

(e)  On a daily basis, as directed by the county clerk, a deputy at a branch office shall file all original records made at that office during the previous day with the county clerk's office at the county seat not later than the start of the next business day.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 65(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 121, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Subchapter B. Auxiliary Facilities In Certain Counties

Section  292.021.  Facilities In Certain Counties With Populations Of 90,001 To 225,000.

(a) This section applies only to a county that has:

(1)  a population of 90,001 to 225,000;

(2)  an assessed valuation on property for property tax purposes of more than $125 million;

(3)  four or more municipalities; and

(4)  a municipality with a population of more than 50,000.

(b)  If the commissioners court of a county determines that the courthouse is inadequate to properly house all county offices, that the jail is inadequate to properly confine prisoners, or that an agricultural building is necessary, the commissioners court may purchase, construct, or acquire in another manner a building and, when necessary, a site for the building to satisfy the determined need at any location in the county. The building may contain an auditorium, which may be used by the commissioners court or a county office or officer for any proper county or public purpose. The building or site must be paid for from the permanent improvement fund.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  292.022.  Facilities In Certain Counties With Populations Over 110,000.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of more than 110,000.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may acquire land for a branch county office building, may purchase, construct, repair, equip, or improve the building, and may acquire the building through a lease or lease with an option to purchase, at a location in a municipality that:

(1)  has a population of 10,000 or more;

(2)  is not the county seat; and

(3)  is not contiguous to the county seat.

(c)  The commissioners court may issue bonds or certificates of indebtedness and may levy and collect taxes to implement this section. Bonds and certificates of indebtedness issued under this section are negotiable instruments and may be paid from the permanent improvement fund of the county.

(d)  Bonds and certificates of indebtedness issued under this section must:

(1)  be authorized by order of the commissioners court;

(2)  be signed by the county judge, attested by the county clerk, and registered by the county treasurer;

(3)  mature in 40 years or less;

(4)  bear interest at a rate not to exceed the interest rate prescribed by Chapter 1204, Government Code; and

(5)  have attached coupons evidencing the interest.

(e)  Bonds under this section must be issued in compliance with Subtitles A and C, Title 9, Government Code.

(f)  The commissioners court shall submit bonds and certificates issued under this section and records relating to their issuance to the attorney general. If the attorney general approves the bonds or certificates as issued in accordance with state law, the comptroller of public accounts shall register them. On approval, registration, and delivery to the purchaser, the bonds or certificates are incontestable.

(g)  This section does not permit the establishment of a branch office away from the county seat if this establishment is forbidden by other law.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1409, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 8.306, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.023.  Facilities In Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of:

(1)  35,500 to 36,000; or

(2)  76,500 to 77,000.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may provide for, operate, and maintain a branch courthouse outside the county seat. The commissioners court may provide for the branch courthouse by constructing a building or by purchasing, renting, or leasing office space. The expense of operating and maintaining the branch courthouse must be paid from county funds used to operate and maintain other county buildings.

(c)  If the branch courthouse is in a county-owned building, the commissioners court has care and custody of the building. The commissioners court:

(1)  shall operate and maintain the building as it operates and maintains the county courthouse; and

(2)  may limit the use and maintenance of the building as it finds necessary.

(d)  On approval of the commissioners court, an office, a department, a facility, a court, or other agency of the county may maintain a branch office in the branch courthouse.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 597, Sec. 96, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 85, 86, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.0231.  Facilities In Counties With Populations Under 30,000.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of less than 30,000.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may provide for, operate, and maintain a branch courthouse outside the county seat. The commissioners court may provide for a branch courthouse by constructing a building or by purchasing, renting, or leasing office space. The expense of operating and maintaining the branch courthouse must be paid from county funds used to operate and maintain other county buildings.

(c)  If the branch courthouse is in a county-owned building, the commissioners court:

(1)  has care and custody of the building;

(2)  may operate and maintain the building as it operates and maintains the county courthouse; and

(3)  may limit the use and maintenance of the building as it finds necessary.

(d)  On approval of the commissioners court, an office, a department, a facility, a court, or another agency of the county or of a judicial district may:

(1)  maintain a branch office in the branch courthouse; and

(2)  conduct any function at the branch courthouse that the entity is authorized to conduct at the courthouse located inside the county seat.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 15, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.



Section  292.024.  Tax Assessor-collector Facilities In Counties With Large Municipalities.

The commissioners court of a county may by order authorize the tax assessor-collector to maintain a branch office in a municipality with a population of 5,000 or more, other than the county seat, and to appoint a deputy assessor-collector for the branch office. The salary of a deputy assessor-collector and the expenses of the branch office are necessary expenses of the tax assessor-collector and shall be paid as the expenses of the tax assessor-collector are paid.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 87(r), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.



Section  292.025.  Facilities In Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of 32,250 to 32,350.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may construct, operate, and maintain a branch office building or a branch jail in a municipality other than the county seat in the same manner as the court may take those actions at the county seat. The commissioners court may finance those actions through the issuance of bonds as provided by Subtitles A, C, and D, Title 9, Government Code, or through the issuance of evidences of indebtedness in the same manner as evidences of indebtedness applicable to a courthouse or jail at the county seat. Taxes may be levied for the bonds or evidences of indebtedness in the same manner and subject to the same limitations applicable to a courthouse or jail at the county seat. The commissioners court has custody of and shall care for the building.

(c)  The commissioners court may allow the tax assessor-collector to maintain a branch office in the building. The commissioners court may allow the maintenance of a jail and justice court in the building. The commissioners court may limit the authorization and maintenance of facilities under this subsection as it considers proper. The expenses incidental to maintaining these facilities are expenses of the county.

(d)  A county officer shall keep the original records of office at the county seat.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 64(d), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 597, Sec. 97, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 87, 88, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 8.307, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.026.  Tax Assessor-collector Facilities In Certain Counties With Populations Over 70,000.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of more than 70,000.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may allow the tax assessor-collector to maintain a branch office in a municipality with a population of more than 1,000, other than the county seat.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  292.027.  Tax Assessor-collector Facilities In Certain Counties.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of 54,000 to 57,000.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may provide for, operate, and maintain a branch office for the tax assessor-collector. The commissioners court may provide for the branch office by constructing a building or by purchasing, renting, or leasing office space.

(c)  If the branch office is in a county-owned building, the commissioners court has custody of and shall care for the building. The commissioners court:

(1)  shall operate and maintain the building as it operates and maintains the county courthouse; and

(2)  may limit the use and maintenance of the building as it finds necessary.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 597, Sec. 98, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 89, 90, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  292.028.  Maintenance Of Certain Tax Offices. (a) The

commissioners court of a county that establishes a branch office under Section 292.025, 292.026, or 292.027 may appoint a deputy assessor-collector for that office.

(b)  The deputy assessor-collector may collect taxes from persons wishing to pay at the branch office and may issue a valid receipt for those taxes. The deputy assessor-collector is subject to the law relating to deputy tax collectors.

(c)  The deputy assessor-collector shall enter into a bond payable to the county judge and conditioned that the deputy will faithfully perform the duties of the position. The terms of the bond must be in accordance with the requirements of the tax assessor-collector and commissioners court.

(d)  The commissioners court shall fix the period of service of the deputy assessor-collector and the period that a branch office may be maintained. The salary of the deputy assessor-collector and the expenses of the branch office are necessary expenses of the tax assessor-collector and shall be paid as the expenses of the tax assessor-collector are paid.

(e)  This section does not limit the liability of the bonds of the tax assessor-collector or the deputy assessor-collector. The tax assessor-collector is liable on the assessor-collector's bond for the taxes collected by the deputy assessor-collector.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  292.029.  Court Facilities In Populous Counties.

(a) This section applies only to a county with a population of 2.2 million or more.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county may designate a specific geographical location in the county other than the county courthouse as an auxiliary county seat for the holding of nonjury court proceedings.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 91, 92, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 292.030.  Facilities In Unincorporated Area Of County.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may purchase, construct, reconstruct, improve, equip, or provide for by other means, including by lease or lease with an option to purchase, a branch office in the unincorporated area of the county.

(b)  Any county officer may maintain an office and the county may provide any county service at the branch office authorized by this section.  The maintenance of an office or the provision of a service at the branch office must be in addition to an office maintained or service provided at any other location required by law.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 502, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1094, Sec. 30, eff. September 1, 2005.


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