Hays County District Clerk Held in Contempt Over Failed Jury Summons Delivery

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (AP) – The Hays County District Clerk was held in contempt of court Tuesday following issues with the delivery of jury summons, according to an attorney present at the hearing.

Hays County District Clerk Avrey Anderson Sr. disclosed on Jan. 4 a mistake made by a vendor that affected over 6,000 jury notices across multiple county offices. As a result, Hays County officials had to hand deliver the summons to potential jurors.

Hays County Judge Tanner Neidhardt summoned Anderson to explain the issues with the deliveries. However, Anderson’s explanation was not satisfactory to Judge Neidhardt, resulting in him being held in contempt of court. Anderson was warned that further instances would result in a $500 fine and 30 days in the Hays County Jail.

Anderson declined to comment at this time.

The district clerk in Texas oversees all filed district court lawsuits and is responsible for tracking lawsuits from filing to conclusion and preparing case records for judges.

Thomas Just, an attorney who filed a civil lawsuit against Anderson in September, highlighted the importance of jury summons in ensuring a fair trial. Without proper summons, trials cannot proceed, resulting in individuals staying in jail without their constitutional right to a speedy trial.

In the upcoming 2022 District Clerk election, Avrey Anderson, a 19-year-old, was elected over the incumbent Beverly Crumley. Both candidates believed that party affiliation played a role in the election results.

The district clerk’s role is crucial in the court system, handling various tasks such as sending out jury summons and preparing files for criminal cases. The political affiliation of the district clerk has no impact on the work they perform.

In summary, the Hays County District Clerk was held in contempt of court for issues with the delivery of jury summons. This case highlights the significance of timely summons in ensuring individuals receive a fair trial.