The Indigence Program applies to individuals who are living at or below 125% of the federal poverty level, defined annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. To view these guidelines visit the Department of Health and Human Services web page.
If you feel you are indigent or are having financial hardships and would like to ask for either an Indigence Hearing or ask to do community service as a means to discharge your fines and fees, please fill out the FINANCIAL AFFIDAVIT form return it to the Court with a letter requesting a hearing. Make sure to fill out the entire form and try not to leave any blanks to the questions that are asked. Once received the Court will mail you back a Court Scheduling Order that will have a hearing date. You MUST bring supporting documentation with you to the hearing. Examples of supporting documentation are:
- Federal Income Tax Return;
- Statement of wages or pay check stubs;
- Proof if you receive unemployment benefits;
- Proof if you are on disability or receive social security;
- Proof that you are on any kind of governmental assistance like food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, welfare.
Please note that submitting false information to the Court constitutes the crime of tampering with a governmental record, punishable by incarceration and or imposition of a fine (Sect. 37.10 P.C.)
The Judge will hear sworn testimony and review your documentation concerning your financial situation to help you resolve this matter. The Judge shall inquire if you have sufficient resources to pay all or part of the fine and costs. If the Judge determines that you do not, the Judge shall determine that fine and cost should be:
- Paid by entering into a payment plan agreement or 30 day extension;
- Discharged by community service;
- Waived in full or part;
- Any combination of all methods above.
Community Service options have been expanded by the Texas Legislature to include:
- Any non-profit organization;
- Attending work and job skills training;
- A preparatory class for high school equivalency exam;
- Service at an educational institute.