The Smith County Communications Office strives to promote transparency by providing the public with the most accurate, accessible and up-to-date information possible while promoting the county's brand and message of "Striving for Excellence."
Located on the first floor of the Smith County Annex Building
200 E. Ferguson, Suite 100
Tyler, Texas 75702
Email: Casey Murphy
Smith County Offices Open to the Public
Most of Smith County’s offices opened back up to the public on Friday, May 1, after the local and state “Stay at Home” Orders expired April 30.
Most county offices that had limited in-person contact with the public will reopen in a manner consistent with the guidelines and directives of the Governor Gregg Abbott’s Office and reflective of the phased reopening of private businesses. Some offices are changing the way they interact with the public while others will keep their doors closed for a bit longer.
Even though Smith County officials have revised the way some of their offices offer services to help stop the spread of COVID-19, essential services have never stopped.
“As a public entity being supported by the tax payers of our community, it is important as public servants that we do our best to meet the needs of the public even during this pandemic time,” Smith County Commissioner Jeff Warr said.
While ensuring the safety of the employees and members of the public, Smith County employees have been urged to continue practicing safe social distancing and other safety guidelines when their offices reopen to the public. Some have added floor markings of 6-feet apart, set up germ barriers, or have taken other safety precautions.
Smith County is continuing to encourage people to conduct their county business online, at www.smith-county.com, whenever they can. Most court fees and fines can be paid online, as well as property taxes and auto registration. The majority of public documents can also be obtained and paid for online.
Smith County is also encouraging people to call ahead with any business matters with the county to see if their business can be conducted online before going to a county building.
Smith County Commissioners Court meetings held at 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday will continue to be closed to the public through at least May, but will be streamed live online. People wanting to give public comment can do so by calling filling out an online form at https://tinyurl.com/wxcbbws before the start of the meeting.
Members of the public are encouraged to view the meetings live at https://www.facebook.com/SmithCountyTexas/ or on the county’s website, at https://tinyurl.com/sqjq7kw. All Commissioners Court videos are posted to www.smith-county.com after the meeting has concluded.
The Smith County Tax Office located in the Cotton Belt Building in Tyler opened its doors to the public May 1, but is limiting the number of customers in its facility at one time.
Although they are opening, Smith County Tax Assessor-Collection Gary Barber said people can still pay their property taxes over the phone, online or through mail. People can renew their auto registration online or through the mail. For more information or to make a payment, call 903-590-2920 for property taxes and 903-590-2900 for auto registration. Also visit: https://www.smith-county.com/government/elected-officials/tax-assessor.
The Smith County Tax Office substations in Noonday, Lindale and Troup will reopen at a later date.
COUNTY AND DISTRICT CLERK
The District Clerk’s Office and County Clerk’s Office have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The County and District Clerks are encouraging all members of the public to access records online. Most records obtained from the Clerks’ Offices can be ordered and paid for online.
Smith County has suspended jury duty through at least June 1, to follow guidelines announced by the Texas Judicial Branch - Office of Court Administration. Grand jury service has not been cancelled. Grand jurors are still to report when scheduled.
Smith County judges are operating under the guidance of the Texas Supreme Court and the Office of Court Administration, stating that all in-person proceedings of any size should be delayed until at least June 1.n Most of the district courts and county courts-at-law have continued to hold court proceedings virtually through zoom.
Guidelines that Smith County courts are following include:
- No jury trials until at least June 1
- OCA prohibits courts from conducting any in-person proceeding contrary to guidance issued by the Office of Court Administration regarding social distancing, maximum group size, and other restrictions and precautions.
- Requires courts to use all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely.
- No non-essential proceedings should be held in-person.
- Citizens should check with each court to find out what procedures they should follow in regard to cases pending in that court.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE/CONSTABLES OFFICES
The Justices of the Peace are also operating under the guidance of the Texas Supreme Court and the Office of Court Administration. Although court proceedings are postponed until at least June 1, they will begin opening their offices sooner.
The Constable Precinct 1 office never closed its doors to the public.
Justice of the Peace and Constable’s Office, Precinct 2, in Noonday will open its office back up to the public beginning May 18.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 in Troup will open its office to the public beginning Tuesday, May 5. The JP 3 office will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. On Mondays, the office will be closed but the phones will be manned.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 in Winona will open its offices to the public on Monday, May 4, with limited capacity and while maintaining social distancing.
The Smith County Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace and Constable’s Offices in Lindale plan to reopen their lobby to the public on Monday, May 4. In order to ensure the safety of their employees and members of the public, we will attempt to limit the number of customers in our lobby to five or less and encourage both the public and staff continue practicing safe social distancing and other safety guidelines, including the wearing of protective masks.
Most of the JP’s Offices take payments online or by phone. (Phone numbers to the JP Offices are listed at www.smith-county.com).
During the probationers visit with their probation officer scheduled in May, the probationer will be instructed to report in office for the month of June (unless otherwise notified by the county/department/officer should there be any changes in our community response to COVID-19. If those on probation have questions, they should call 903-590-2700 or visit: https://www.smith-county.com/government/departments/adult-probation for more information.
VETERAN SERVICES OFFICE
The Veteran Services Office reopened to the public on May 1. While they accept walk-ins, they encourage people to call and make an appointment in advance which will allow the staff to inform the client what paperwork they will need to bring with them in order to better assist them. The office will take several safety measures, including restricting the number of people in its office. A client can bring one other person with them when visiting the Smith County Veteran Services Office. Please call 903-590-2950 for more information or to make an appointment.
The physical office of Judicial Compliance-Collections Department will be open to the public, but will limit how many people are in their office. Payments can be made online. For help, call 903-590-4624.
The Animal Shelter, 322 East Ferguson Street, will see customers but they will not be allowed back in the kennel area. To visit dogs for possible adoption, people need to know which dogs they are interested in looking at by viewing photos online. Rescue organizations will need to make an appointment. For more information, call 903-266-4303.
The Elections Office, 302 E. Ferguson, is now open to the public. Those who are wishing to register to vote for an upcoming election can do so online: https://www.smith-county.com/government/departments/elections/voter-registration. For more information, call 903-590-4777.
From May 4-15, the Law Library will be open to the public during limited hours and plans to open for regular business hours on May 18. Those needing help obtaining materials located in the Law Library should call 903-590-1750 to request assistance. Certain forms can be emailed.
OFFICES THAT HAVE REMAINED OPEN
Smith County Offices that have remained open to the public include the Commissioners Court, Road and Bridge Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and Pre-Trial Release, among others.
ONLINE COUNTY SERVICES
Smith County Offices offer a variety of ways to make a number of online payments. These include:
- Adult Probation, fees, 903-590-2700, visit wwwo.smith-county.com, click government and Adult Probation.
For the following online payments, visit www.smith-county.com and click on Make a Payment:
- County Clerk, fines and fees, 903-590-4670
- District Clerk, fines and fees, 903-590-1660
- Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, does not accept credit card payments, 903-590-2604
- Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, fines and fees, 903-590-4831
- Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, accepts credit card payments over the phone, 903-590-4729
- Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, fines and fees, 903-590-4870
- Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, fines and fees, 903-590-4890
- Sheriff’s Office, inmate trust fund, 903-590-2661, www.jailatm.com
- Tax Office-Auto Department, Auto Registration, 903-590-2900
- Tax Office-Property Tax, property tax payments, 903-590-2920