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Profiles: Fort Bend County Clerk Laura Richard

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

(FORT BEND COUNTY) – In 2021 the Fort Bend County Clerk’s Office filed 6,700 birth certificates, 4,400 death certificates, issued 5,230 marriage licenses and filed thousands more documents relating to mental health cases and misdemeanor cases in county courts. In total, Fort Bend County Clerk Laura Richard and her staff of almost 100 filed 215,000 documents.

“The county clerk is a volume business, everything has big numbers associated with it,” Richard said. “We keep track of all of that.”

Richard, running as a Republican, was first elected in 2015 and is up for re-election in November. She is facing Democrat Toni Smith on the ballot.

Laura Richard

The county clerk serves as clerk and custodian of records for the Commissioners Court, Constitutional County Court, and Statutory County Courts, acts as a recorder, local registrar, and custodian of important public records, including all bonds, deeds, birth and death certificates, assumed names (DBA), and livestock brands, ensuring that records are maintained in a secure, archival manner and also issues marriage licenses.

“We call it the circle of life,” said Richard. “Birth certificates, to start a business you file a DBA, when you buy a home the deed if filed with the county clerk, marriage licenses and death certificates. It is truly from the beginning of life through the end of life.”

Since taking office in 2015 Richard has launched a free service for Fort Bend County residents called Property Fraud Alert. It allows homeowners to register their name and receive email or text notifications any time a document is filed with their name on it.

“Fraudsters use the method of recording what looks to be authentic documents and then steal people’s property and houses,” said Richard. “Your house can go into foreclosure without you even knowing it. Or people can file a lien against your property and you may not be aware until you try to sell that property.”

Richard says her office is vigilant about attempting to catch any fraudulent documents and send anything suspicious to legal counsel.

“We are pretty good at catching these types of documents but fraudsters are also good at what they do,” she said.

Residents can sign up for the program by visiting Property Fraud Alert.

Prior to running for county clerk, Richard spent 20 years doing sales and marketing in the technology sector. After retiring from that career, she became involved in non-profits and was eventually hired as executive director of Mental Health America of Fort Bend County. After that, she went on to be the executive director of Fort Bend Cares.

“I have had some great jobs in my life, but I always tell people this has been my favorite job of all,” she said. “I love interacting with our customers, they are my favorite. Each and every day we can help them with their concerns in life. I also like working with my staff. I have an excellent, really customer service-focused staff. The mission of my office is to provide excellent customer service while being vigilant and efficient with taxpayer dollars.”


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