Starting Monday, Harrison County’s courthouse offices will be closed or operating on a limited basis, as a matter of public safety, due to the global COVID-19 virus outbreak.
“Several of the county offices are closing or offering limited hours of operation,” Harrison County Judge Chad Sims announced to residents on his “Harrison County Judge” Facebook page.
County officials made the conscious decision on Friday, and immediately began informing courthouse traffic by posting closure signs and contact information on the doors.
County Judge Chad Sims also notified department heads and elected officials that they’ll be closing and locking the front doors of the courthouse, both subcourthouses and the annex, starting Monday. The judge said the intent is to limit traffic and exposure of employees and county residents.
“We are doing our best to keep you safe and healthy as well as our employees,” he said.
He said county officials are trying to accommodate most business matters and requests by mail, email or phone.
“If you need something from the courthouse, please call that office before you drive up,” Judge Sims requested.
Residents can also call the courthouse main number at (903) 935-8400. Contact for all departments can also be found online on the county’s website at www.harrisoncountytexas.org.
Judge Sims noted on Friday that as of 10 a.m., March 20, Harrison County had no confirmed cases.
“It is my prayer that no resident of Harrison County will become infected,” he said. “It will however, take all of us working together and being diligent in our efforts to stop the spread.”
Tax Assessor- Collector Office
Effective Monday through April 10, the Harrison County Tax offices in Marshall, Hallsville and Waskom will be closed to the public for face-to-face transactions for vehicle registration renewals, boat registration, permits, placards, and property tax payments, Tax Assessor Collector Veronica King said.
“Due to COVID-19, it is essential that these preventative measures be taken to safeguard the public and tax office personnel at this time,” said King.
“If you need a title transferred, please call to make an appointment, and we will discuss steps that need to be taken,” she said.
Title appointments will only be taken from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To make an appointment for the Marshall and Hallsville offices, call 903-935-8411.
Registration renewals and property tax payments may be mailed to Harrison County Tax Office, PO Box 967, Marshall, TX 75671.
Access online vehicle renewals, 72 hour permit and 144 hour permit at: www.txdmv.gov .
For online boat renewals visit: https://apps.tpwd.state.tx.us/bora/ .
Property tax payments can be made by phone at 903-935-8411 or 1-866-549-1010 (bureau code 3165459).
King said on March 13, Gov. Greg Abbott granted a 60-day wavier for title transfers, vehicle registrations, permits, and placards.
“During this challenging time, I ask for your support and cooperation in helping keep the citizens of Harrison County safe,” she said.
County Clerk Office
County Clerk Elizabeth James also announced that her office is limiting any in-person transactions to appointments- only, beginning Monday through April 1.
“For essential business we will be accepting appointments,” said James. “Please call the office so the staff may decide the time sensitivity of the issue and proceed with making an appointment for you to personally appear.”
Appointments will be limited to required parties only. Temporary office appointment hours will be slated between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (903) 935-8403 for appointments.
For official public records recording send mail to Harrison County Clerk at P.O. Box 1356 Marshall, Texas 75671. Correct fees must be included.
Official public records search can be conducted online at countygovernmentrecords.com . Issuance of vital records, birth/death certificates, military discharge of a copy of marriage license can be ordered online at vitalcheck.com or Dshs.texas.gov/vs . A mail request form can be found on the county’s website under the County Clerk link. The form will need a notary signature, copy of the person’s ID, and a money order only.
Marriage license requests will be made by appointment only. Assumed name or DBA may also be found on the county’s website under the County Clerk’s office. The form will need a notary, check or money order.
Open records requests, including that for criminal, probate, mental illness and juvenile cases requests may be faxed to (903) 935-4877.
District Clerk’s Office
The District Clerk’s Office posted a notice that the office has temporarily suspended passport services to the public, until May 1.
“This is for the safety of all,” the notice stated.
County Judge Sims reminded that Gov. Abbott and President Donald Trump have strongly encouraged residents to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to leave.
“The majority of us are healthy and would likely have no trouble getting over the virus,” he said. “The big problem would be if you brought it to an older person or an infant. It can be deadly for them. Please stay home, not just for your safety but for those around you.”
Judge Sims reiterated the need to regularly wash one’s hands, avoid handshaking and crowds to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“One additional thing you can do to help is relieving the pressure on our medical facilities,” he said. “Doctor’s offices and emergency rooms are busy. Do not go to either one unless you are too sick to stay home. Call your doctor first. If you don’t have a regular doctor, call 2-1-1 and select option 6. 2-1-1 will connect you directly to Texas Health and Human Services.”