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The strategic goals of the Travis County Probate Court are (1) to thoughtfully and expeditiously handle our incoming caseload of whatever type (probate, guardianship, mental health, civil litigation, or condemnation) and (2) to carefully monitor our ongoing guardianships and dependent administrations. We also want to help those who interact with the Court understand the processes of the Court so that hearings and other interchanges with the Court can be as efficient and pleasant as possible for everyone involved.

See below for Court contacts, or download our list of Court contacts. Please contact the Court Coordinator when you’re not sure about the right person to call.

Note that Court staff can tell you about the services of the Court and can answer questions about how the Court works. But Court staff cannot give legal advice or answer legal questions. If you need someone to research the law and give you legal advice, you should hire an attorney.

When to call the Travis County Clerk instead of the Court?

Call the County Clerk at (512) 854-9188 with questions about fees or filing (including questions about e-filing or the status of filings) or to order new letters of guardianship or letters testamentary. Inventories, attorneys’ fees, and routine applications are held at least 10 days before review, so wait at least 11 days before calling the Clerk’s Office to ask if an order has been signed. For a small estate affidavit, please wait at least 3 weeks.

Court Coordinators:

Email the corresponding court's email to schedule or change a hearing or jury-trial setting.

Jennifer McGaffeny
Probate Court No. 1, Judge Guy Herman

[email protected], (512) 854-9258

Samantha Knueppel
Probate Court No. 2, Judge Nicholas Chu

[email protected], (512) 854-5512

Contact the Court Coordinator:

  • when you’re not sure about the right person to contact
  • when you have a question about the judge's calendar
  • to contact Judge Herman or Judge Chu (when allowed by the rules)
  • to schedule or change a hearing or jury-trial setting.
  • to schedule a wedding

Staff Attorneys

Alexandra Jones-Lafont, Senior Staff Attorney
Probate Court No. 1, Judge Guy Herman
[email protected], (512) 854-9283

Nolan Bedward, Staff Attorney
Probate Court No. 2, Judge Nicholas Chu
[email protected], (512) 854-4355

Contact with questions about:

  • the Uncontested Probate Docket 
  • hearings/applications for topics not on someone else’s list (but don’t ask substantive or strategy questions – or procedural questions if contested)
  • applications for successor trustees (except for court-created trusts)
  • For all Probate Court No. 1, heirship-related emails, use [email protected] 
  • For all Probate Court No. 2 heirship-related emails, use [email protected]  

Court Investigator (Attorney):

Ophelia Enamorado
Probate Court No. 1, Judge Guy Herman
[email protected], (512) 854-4978

Emily Rickers
Probate Court No. 2, Judge Nicholas Chu
[email protected], (512) 854-5512

Contact the Court Investigators with questions about:

  • the Uncontested Guardianship Docket
  • anything involving potential guardianships / current investigations.
  • before you file for a temporary guardianship
  • applications for management trusts & payment of claims without guardianship (formerly Probate Code sections 867 & 887)
  • applications for successor trustees of court-created trusts
  • show cause for guardians of the person
  • any other issues in ongoing guardianships of the person except annual reports

Guardianship Legal Assistant (Paralegal):

Samantha Balandran
(512) 854-9359

Contact the Guardianship Legal Assistant with all questions about annual reports, such as:

  • Due dates
  • Needed forms
  • How to answer a question on the form
  • Bond issues
  • Compliance docket for annual reports
  • or any other question about a Guardian's annual “report on the condition and well-being of a ward”

Guardianship Coordinator:

Al Benedict, BSW
[email protected], (512) 854-4359

Contact the Guardianship Coordinator with questions about:

  • any issues in ongoing guardianships of the person except annual reports
  • the volunteer Court Visitor program
  • Probate Court visits in ongoing guardianships

Social Worker:

Marsha Karrass, LCSW
[email protected], (512) 854-4359

Court Auditors:

Alesia Henderson, Senior Probate Auditor
[email protected], (512) 854-4358

Monica Limon, Auditor
[email protected], (512) 854-9755

Attorneys (and their staff) may contact the Probate Auditors with questions about:

  • accountings, including management-trust accountings
  • bonds
  • safekeeping agreements
  • commissions
  • reimbursements
  • Applications and orders to close and discharge

    Note: The [email protected] email address is the email to use when submitting back-up or when contacting either of the Probate Auditors unless you're replying to an email from one of their individual email addresses.

Business Analyst

Kirby Hernandez, Business Analyst
[email protected], (512) 854-9579

  • Contact Kirby for condemnation proceedings.

Planner Sr.

Emma Caballero, Planner, Sr.
[email protected], (512) 854-4354

Contact Emma for

  • Statutory Probate Judge Assignments & Reimbursements
  • Sales Docket Scheduling

Court Administrator:

Angelica Torres
[email protected], (512) 854-5513

Contact the Court Administrator (for either Court No. 1 or No. 2) with questions about . . .

  • County-paid services
  • Budget and Financial Management
  • Technology Management
  • Docket Management
  • Judicial Support & Personnel Matters

Associate Judges:

Please contact Assoc. Judge Tom Ruffner for cases regarding Court 1 and
Assoc.Judge Prashner for cases regarding Court 2.

Tom Ruffner
Probate Court No. 1, Judge Guy Herman
[email protected], (512) 854-9559

Dan Prashner
Probate Court No. 2, Judge Nicholas Chu
[email protected], (512) 854-9258


Assoc. Judges may be contacted...

  • before you set a hearing for a temporary administration
  • with questions about small estate affidavits
  • Attorney Ad-Litem Appointments (Judge Ruffner for both courts)

Attorneys only may email Associate Judges:

  1. in contested cases: only uncontested procedural questions (but not strategy questions) about the matters listed below

  2. in non-contested cases: procedural or substantive questions about the listed matters
    • inventories
    • attorneys’ fees 
    • monthly allowances
    • the Sales Docket
    • emergency funeral and burial expenses
    • access to safety deposit boxes
    • settlement agreements
    • applications to partition
    • applications for partial distribution
    • miscellaneous motions sent to the Court on submission including motions to substitute or withdraw

Court Reporters:

Kim Showers
Probate Court No. 1, Judge Guy Herman

[email protected], (512) 854-9086

Roxanne Davenport
Probate Court No. 2, Judge Nicholas Chu

[email protected], (512) 854-5511

  • Contact the Court Reporter when you need a hearing transcript.

Mental Health Public Defenders for Civil Commitment Proceedings:

Jamie MacLean
(512) 419-2720

Daniel Garza
(512) 854-9257

Mental Health Public Defender for Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program:

Emily Rickers
(512) 265-6242

Probate Court

travis county probate courthouse

Probate Court No.1
200 W. 8th St.
Second Floor
Austin, TX 78701
Phone
(512) 854-9258

Probate Court No.2
200 W. 8th St.
Fourth Floor
Austin, TX 78701
Phone
(512) 854-5512

Statutory Probate Judge Info
(512) 854-5518

Mailing address
P.O. Box 1748
Austin, TX 78767

Hours
M-F, 8:00-12:00
& 1:00-5:00

Court staff

Directions to the Travis County Courthouse

 

TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR’S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.5 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $9.12.