Frequently Asked Questions
Probate / Civil Information
How to Probate a Will?
Answer: We have to tell customers to consult with an attorney; we cannot give legal advice. We are not aware of all legalities and the laws governing probate. The Law Library is a source for information in filing the proper documents, but there are many variations. Please see the Probate Court’s web site for any local rules.
How to get a Letter of Testamentary?
Answer: The only way to get a Letter of Testamentary or any letter in an Administration/Estate is to have a court order authorizing the letters. We cannot issue any documents without a court order in a case filed in the Probate Court. Therefore, an Estate has to be probated in order to receive Letters of authority that a financial institution may require.
Is it necessary to Probate a Will?
Answer: This is a legal question that only an attorney can give the correct answer to.
Does the Clerk’s Office supply forms?
Answer: We do not supply forms or applications to file or supplement cases. We can only issue citations, writs, abstracts, and other court ordered documents.
How do you file an Occupational Drivers License?
Answer: You file a Petition for Occupational Drivers License that is usually prepared by an attorney. The Law Library has literature to help the pro se litigant find the proper forms to prepare the appropriate case. Petitions for Occupational License are filed with the civil clerk’s.
What is the cost to file a Civil Case?
Answer: Please see Fee Sheet under the Civil Link to the left.
What is the cost to file a Probate Case?
Answer: Please see Fee Sheet under the Probate Link to the left.
What is the jurisdictional limit of the Probate/Civil Courts?
Answer: Civil - 500.00 to 100,000.00 (Effective September 1, 2011 the jurisdictional limit is $200,000)
Answer: Probate- unlimited
Can anyone make copies of a Mental Health file?
Answer: No one can see a Mental Health File, or make copies without an Order from the Judge.
How to search for a Person by name or older file?
Answer: If someone needs to find the name of a person in the Probate records, they can find the name in the computer if it is 1998 –present. If the case is older, the name must be searched in the index books located in the Records Department of the County Clerk’s Office. This will give the person a reference (case) number. If a person requests the clerk to do the search, we must have a written request with a $10.00 fee.
Can your office recommend an attorney?
Answer: We cannot recommend any attorney – we recommend you call the local Bar Association for helpful information regarding attorneys in this area
Where can I find online records for misdemeanor criminal cases filed in Wise
Answer: The Wise County Court and Records database (click here).
This will provide you with information on our criminal cases such as hearing dates, dispositions, etc. All you need to know is the defendant’s name or cause number.
How can I obtain a criminal background search?
Answer: Our office only searches Criminal Misdemeanor cases filed in Wise County. Requests can be made in writing by mail or in person. A search fee of $10.00 will be charged guaranteeing the requestor that a clerk will search criminal records from a date that you provide to present. When requesting in criminal cases we require the arrest year if possible. If certified copies of any documents are needed, a fee of $1.00 per page and $5.00 certification fee will be charged.
What is the mailing address and the location of your office?
Answer: Our office is located at 201 N. Market Street, Decatur, Texas. (We are in the lower half of the County Clerk Records Building.) Our Mailing address is County Clerk, Wise County, Court Department, P.O. Box 359, Decatur, Texas 76234.
Are all records open to the public?
Answer: Not all information is public record. Information pertaining to the case, such as dispositions, hearing dates, etc. is public record on adult cases. Personal information such as social security numbers or phone numbers may be confidential - the Civil Department of the District Attorney’s office interprets laws pertaining to “open records.”