SearchTX is a web portal to allow judges to secure access to a consolidated database of case information that has been e-filed. The sole purpose of the e-file system developed by the oca was to provide a delivery system for attorneys to file documents electronically to the courts and that the information would only be retained 30 days. Plans to make it available to the public are in the near future as is set to go into effect early next year.
According to Lori Oliver District Clerk this program will lead to a loss in revenue for the county in copy and document fees. Between Jan-Dec 2015, the District Clerk's office collected $3,531 in copy fees which were placed in the General Fund of Shelby County. So far for 2016, Jan 1 - Dec 27, 2016, the records reflect a collection of $9,130 in copy fees which will go into the General Fund. Any loss of a revenue source for the County could eventually mean a loss of service to the residents of Shelby County. The fees charged by the county offices assist in the funding of County & State government. Shelby County and other Counties throughout the State should be able to maintain control of their records and any fee revenue these records provide to each respective county. This may seem like a small amount of money for this office, but for other offices and larger county offices this is very significant. This isn't just an issue about a fee or control of papers, but instead is about the protection of the Shelby County historical record as well as other individual Texas Counties historical records.