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Complaint against constable cites behavior while serving eviction notice

Donald Brian Knowles, Garry Adams

Burnet County Precinct 2 Constable Garry Adams (right) sits beside opponent Donald Brian Knowles during a Republican candidates forum on Feb. 8, 2024. Adams won the March 5 primary election. Footage of a bizarre interaction between Adams and a former Burnet County resident during the serving of an eviction notice at 1 a.m. in August 2023 has raised questions about the professional accountability of elected law enforcement. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

A video recording taken last summer of a Burnet County constable arguing with a woman while serving an eviction notice at 1 a.m. recently surfaced on social media and is raising questions about who regulates elected law enforcement officers.

Former Burnet County resident Halley Kilburn filed a complaint with the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 29 against Precinct 2 Constable Garry Adams for his early morning visit to her home in August 2023 to serve the notice. obtained footage taken by Kilburn of the interaction. It depicts Adams standing beside his car, which is pulled up to the front of her home just outside of a fenced yard, headlights shining on her front door and through her windows. Adams confronts Kilburn when she opens the door as he throws the eviction notice over the fence into her yard.  

In the video, Kilburn repeatedly asks for Adam’s name and badge number and why he arrived so early in the morning.

Adams initially ignores her request for a name and badge number, stating, “I don’t have one” to both questions, but does eventually tell her his last name. 

Another exchange goes like this:

“There is protocol for this type of thing,” Kilburn says.

“There is not. Is there? What is it, Ms. California?” Adams responds.

Kilburn shouts over Adams, repeatedly saying “bye, bye, bye” and demanding that he leave. Adams mocks her, shouting “bye, bye, bye” as he walks closer to the fence.

The interaction ends with Kilburn telling him to never come back and Adams answering, “I will be back.”

“We looked into the complaint and did follow through,” Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd told “There will be no criminal charges filed (against Adams).”

Legally, a constable can serve civil papers, like an eviction notice, at any hour of any day other than Sunday. Adams didn’t break the law by arguing with Kilburn in the wee hours, but it could be viewed as unprofessional.

“I was recently made aware of the video, and I am very concerned with the level of unprofessionalism displayed,” Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead told “The papers being served were issued out of my court, but the court has no involvement with the actual service of the papers or how they are served.”

Adams and Whitehead represent the same precinct and their jobs do occasionally intersect, but the JP stressed that constables are elected officials and solely responsible and accountable for their actions and behavior. Whitehead handles civil matters, like evictions and small claims court cases, in the precinct; Adams serves eviction notices and informs residents that they are being sued. Both justice of the peace and constable are elected positions, but neither works for or answers to the other.

“The court is only responsible for settling the dispute in the case before the court after the constable has lawfully served the cause of action citation to the parties specified,” Whitehead said.

Like all elected officials, constables are accountable to voters. Adams has been the Precinct 2 constable since 2013, and he just won the March 5 Republican primary. With no Democratic challenger in November, he essentially sealed his re-election bid.

“There’s really not a regulatory agency like the judges have,” Travis County Precinct 5 Constable Carlos Lopez told, referring to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. “Really, they are elected officials and they are beholden to the people, the voters.”

Constables are law enforcement officers who have the power to arrest, write tickets, or do anything else a certified peace officer can do. Their main function, however, is to serve civil papers in their precinct.

Kilburn told that she did not file a complaint against Adams sooner because she believed it wouldn’t be heard in the county, but after seeing Adams’ re-election posters in early 2024, she decided to follow through.

“I didn’t file a complaint sooner because I felt like it was such a ‘men’s club,’” she said. 

Kilburn said she was involved in a disagreement with the landlord of Castle View RV Park in Briggs over a lack of services. 

“There was an eviction notice, but it was based on false information,” she said. “He (Adams) came, not to serve papers, but to harass me. There was no late payment, no behavior issues, no documented reasons to evict me. I had already given my notice that I was leaving within a week. They had him come down anyway.” 

Adams explained that he had attempted to make contact with Kilburn by phone and written notice regarding her eviction several times before his early morning visit.

“She had every opportunity in the world to contact me,” he said. “I did everything I could to get her to talk to me. I drove by (that night) and saw the TV on, so I stopped. I stayed outside the fence.”

5 thoughts on “Complaint against constable cites behavior while serving eviction notice

  1. Unprofessional? Perhaps a bit with the mocking. But, based on this report, he did not harm or threaten her in any way. He was just doing his job despite her apparent efforts to avoid him and taunt him. If she has a beef with the landlord or judge, she should take it up with them. The person serving the papers is literally just the messenger. Thanks to the DailyTrib for reporting on this. Transparency is good.

  2. My guess is the constable tried to meet with her several times during regular hours but she evaded him. So he showed up when he knew she was home.
    She is being evicted because she is not paying what she agreed to.
    Not the constables fault he is dealing with an absolutely irresponsible person. And before you deride me for not being compassionate towards her. Imagine your the property owner trying to make your payments so you don’t default and get your property repossessed.

    1. He needs some serious training: all of his sophmoric comments show that he is in need of serious training. Did the county party support this candidate?

    2. If you read the entire article, you will see it was NOT over no -payment, it was a dispute between landlord and tenant over services not being handled properly. Probably refusing to make needed repairs.
      The constables actions are a new low for Burnet County.

      1. His attitude is very immature and unprofessional – it’s too bad that the voters have no recourse.

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