County Attorney Homepage

Jo Anne Bernal
County Attorney
Jo Anne Bernal
Biography

Contact Information

500 E. San Antonio
5th Floor, Suite 503
El Paso, Texas 79901
[view map]

Monday-Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Phone (915) 546-2050
Fax (915) 546-2133
Email comments@epcounty.com

Annex Offices

Downtown Office
500 E. San Antonio
5th Floor, Suite 503
El Paso, Texas 79901
Phone (915) 546-2050
Fax (915) 546-2133

Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Ysleta Annex Office
9521 Socorro Rd. Suite A-3
El Paso, Texas 79927
Phone (915) 858-2239
Fax (915) 858-0631

Monday-Friday
8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Northeast Annex Office
4641 Cohen St. Suite D
El Paso, Texas 79924
Phone (915) 759-7990
Fax (915) 858-0631

Monday-Friday
8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Northwest Office
435 E. Vinton Rd., Suite B
Vinton, Texas 79821
Phone (915) 886-1075
Fax (915) 546-2133

Monday-Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

The County Attorney’s Office believes very strongly in government transparency and we work hard every day to make it easy for residents to obtain any public documents they might need. County government can be difficult to understand, and in an attempt to save you time and effort, we would like to provide you some information on where to go and how to make a request for public documents.

Where to Make Your Request

You have to make your request directly to the public information officer or the chief administrative officer of the department or office that is the legal custodian of the records.

In the case of the County of El Paso, every elected official is the custodian of their own records. That means that if you need public records from any of the following departments, you will need to contact them directly:

County Attorney’s Office (Contracts, County litigation)

District Clerk’s Office (Lawsuits, criminal cases)

County Clerk’s Office (Business records, vital records)

Sheriff’s Office (Criminal cases, jail mugshots)

Tax Assessor-Collector (Tax records, motor vehicle registrations)

District, County and Probate Judges, Jail Magistrates, Justices of the Peace (Criminal and civil cases, arrest affidavits, warrants).

County Judge and members of Commissioners Court

District Attorney (Indictments, criminal cases)

Medical Examiner (Autopsies)

For records related to all other County departments you can make the request directly to the department head or to the El Paso County Administration. If you have any questions about where to direct your request, you can call us at (915) 546-2081.

Tips for Successful Open Records Requests

  1. Your request must be in writing. Only written requests trigger a governmental body's obligations under the Public Information Act.
  2. Your request should be for documents or other information that is already in existence.
  3. We recommend that you keep a proof of the date and time you made the request for information.
  4. It is important for you to narrow your request for documents as much as possible because, if your request requires a lot of programming or manipulation of data or involves a large number of documents, the County may charge you a fee.
  5. If a charge applies, we will let you know in advance and we will ask for your authorization before continuing with the process.
  6. A response to a request for answers to questions or legal research is not required.
  7. If your request for information is continuous, you will be asked to submit separate requests for each time
  8. If you believe that a governmental body has not responded as required by the Public Information Act, we recommend that you contact the County Attorney’s Office or the Texas AG Open Records Division Hotline at (512) 478-6736 or toll-free (877) 673-6839.

What Can You Expect After a Request is Made

The governmental body must "promptly" produce public information in response to your request. "Promptly" means that a governmental body may take a reasonable amount of time to produce the information, which varies depending on the facts in each case. The amount of information you have requested is highly relevant to what makes for a reasonable response time.

The Public Information Act prohibits the governmental body from asking you why you want the information you have requested. The governmental body may, however, ask you to clarify your request if they are uncertain as to what you want, and they may discuss with you how the scope of your request may be narrowed if you have requested a large amount of information.

If the governmental body wishes to withhold information from you, it must:

  1. Seek an Attorney General decision within 10 business days of its receipt of your request and state the exceptions to disclosure that it believes are applicable. The governmental body must also send you a copy of its letter to the attorney general requesting a decision within ten business days. If the governmental body does not notify you of its request for an attorney general decision, the information you requested is generally presumed to be open to the public.
  2. Within fifteen business days of receiving your request, the governmental body must send the attorney general its arguments for withholding the information you requested and copies of the information you have requested. You are entitled to receive this notice, however, if the letter to the attorney general contains the substance of the information requested, you may receive a redacted copy of the letter. If the governmental body does not send you a copy of this letter, you may request it from the attorney general by writing to:

Lauren Downey, Public Information Coordinator
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548
FAX (512) 494-8017

If the governmental body does not timely request an attorney general decision, notify you that it is seeking an attorney general decision, and submit to the attorney general the information you requested, the information is generally presumed to be open to the public.

Texas AG’s Public Information Act Handbook
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/og/PIA_handbook_2018.pdf

Public Records Request Form