Hays County district clerk resigns amid lawsuit for removal

The elected Hays County district clerk has resigned from his position amid a lawsuit for his removal.

Avrey Anderson has been at the center of a lawsuit to remove him from office which claims the 20-year-old is incompetent.

In his resignation letter addressed to the district judges, he said the removal suit has "taken a toll on my life to where I do not enjoy hardly anything anymore."

"I was elected at 19 and every move I have made since the beginning of my tenure has been under a microscope. I do not believe I am incompetent in executing specific statutory duties. I have made mistakes, but I do not believe leaving will prevent these mistakes from occurring," he said in the letter.

He also outlined some of the "few good things" he has done while in office, including the automation of appellate clerk records, saving of hearing notices for cases when they're created, and other processes.

His resignation is effective July 5.

Anderson was sworn in as the Hays County District Clerk in 2023 at the age of 19. A petition was filed last September to remove Anderson from office, according to Hays County Attorney Chloe Love.

"Jury summons weren't going out, subpoenas weren't going out. Protective orders weren't being given to law enforcement. The list goes on and on. It was very, very clear that Mr. Anderson had no intent of learning how to do his job," attorney Thomas Just said. 

Attorneys Chloe Love and Thomas Just filed a lawsuit to remove Anderson in September 2023.

"A number of attorneys in the community had been, everyone had been saying, 'someone needs to do something, someone do something,'" Just said. "Ms. Love and I kind of looked at each other and said, 'well, why not us? This needs to be fixed.'"

The lawsuit is now moot with Anderson's resignation. 

"It's good news. I'm very pleased that he went ahead and made the right decision and spared Hays County and the rest of us what would have been a very difficult and embarrassing trial," Just said. 

Last year, Anderson tried to remove Hays County District Attorney Kelly Higgins using a law aimed at holding so-called "rogue District Attorneys" accountable. That petition was then dropped.

Higgins says of Anderson's resignation:

"I am hopeful that Mr. Anderson’s resignation will lead to a better outcomes here in our courthouse. I look forward to a more cooperative and professional relationship between the Clerk’s Office, the courts, our office, and the public. Our office simply wants to do the work we swore to do without interference, and I believe we are better positioned now to be able to do that.

I wish Mr. Anderson good luck in all his future endeavors. We bear him no ill will, although my mom still thinks it was rotten of him to call me a jack*** in the Chronicle last year when he tried to remove me from office. It didn’t bother me as much. I’ve been called worse, and by more serious people."

Just says Assistant District Clerk Maximiliano Hernandez has stepped into the role

In January, there were nearly 6,000 jury notices hand-delivered by constables after the district clerk said technology did not mail out the documents, resulting in jurors not appearing in court.

Anderson spoke to FOX 7 Austin at the time and blamed the technology company for the issue, but it was later revealed in a show cause hearing that Anderson did have the ability to verify whether the jury summons had gone out. 

In February, a Hays County District Judge ruled Anderson was incompetent.

In late June, a hearing was held in front of a visiting Travis County judge to determine if Anderson should be temporarily removed pending a trial, which was set for October. The judge said at the time she needed time to deliberate.


Honorable 428th, 453rd, 207th, 274th, 22nd, and 483rd District Judges: 

I find it is time for me to leave government for a while. I have learned a lot about the courts during my tenure. Currently, I have been facing a Chapter 87 removal suit which has been incredibly stressful. It has taken a toll on my life to where I do not enjoy hardly anything anymore. I do not believe it is good for justice and the courts for me to continue in my role currently. Perhaps one day I will be able to get back into the government sector but for now I believe it is best for the people of Hays County to have someone who hopefully attracts less negative attention to themselves. 

I was elected at 19 and every move I have made since the beginning of my tenure has been under a microscope. I do not believe I am incompetent in executing specific statutory duties. I have made mistakes, but I do not believe leaving will prevent these mistakes from occurring. Hopefully someone older than me will be given the benefit of the doubt. Somehow, I feel as though the focus of error and mistake has been on my age alone and not on the fact that our office has served the courts similarly to how clerks in other counties serve their courts. 

I have done a few good things in this office that hopefully will make It better in the long run. This includes automating the appellate clerk’s records, automating the saving of hearing notices to cases upon their creation, automating various processes. Additionally, I made efforts to get the case manager to automatically send notifications when events are added to attorneys and parties. These efforts will be halted by my resignation, but I am sure that another clerk can figure these things out. 

The reason this letter is being given to the district judges that have a district in whole or in part in Hays County is because district judges have the power of appointing a new district clerk upon vacancy in the office pursuant to Section 51.301 Government Code. There is no power to deny my resignation according to Section 201.001.(a) Election Code. Section 201.002 Election Code states that "Unless otherwise provided by law, the authority to act on a public officer's resignation or an officer-elect's declination is the officer or body authorized to make an appointment or order a special election to fill a vacancy in the office." 

Since District Judges of the county are the body authorized to make an appointment under Section 51.301 Government Code I send this resignation to your secretaries, and to you all directly. Pursuant to Section 201.023 "If an officer submits a resignation, whether to be effective immediately or at a future date, a vacancy occurs on the date the resignation is accepted by the appropriate authority or on the eighth day after the date of its receipt by the authority, whichever is earlier." 

Where some officers have chosen to make their resignations effective at various times, I choose to vacate office and resign from my official capacity as District Clerk of Hays County in its entirety on the 5 th of July 2024. I will not be the clerk on that date. Many people have a recommendation as to whom they wish to be appointed during my vacation. It is out of my hands now. Good luck to you all. 

Thank you, Avrey J. Anderson