The clerk's primary duty is record-keeping. This includes collecting information about licenses, as well as maintaining the official documents for nearly all legal proceedings.
Some clerks are known as recorders or registrars. They photocopy and store documents, or scan them into databases.
And, municipal and court clerks also manage the release of certain public records. They provide statistics to various government authorities, as well as reviewing record requests by individuals or other third parties like news organizations.
Are Clerks hired, elected or appointed?
It depends on the exact position and jurisdiction. In many counties, municipal and circuit court clerks are either elected or appointed. However, deputy clerks are usually hired.
How do I request information from the Clerk's office?
Every clerk's office has different rules regarding access to information. Some information, such as how to obtain the forms required for a divorce filing, are available through the clerk office's website, over-the-phone, or in-person. However, obtaining copies of existing records may require additional steps. For example, a public records request may need to be submitted in writing. And, there may be fees for copies.
Can anyone become a Clerk?
Generally, yes. With the proper education and experience, anyone could become a clerk. However, for elected positions, interested candidates must be elected. Appointed positions require being chosen by the appointing authority, usually a judge or senior elected official.