The Circuit Clerk is an elected official and is an officer within the judicial system and plays a pivotal role in that system. This official is elected for a six-year term.
One of the main responsibilities of this office is to store and maintain all circuit and family court records. The following are the different types of records that are filed and entered in the office:
- Civil cases
- Miscellaneous civil cases such as name changes, infant settlements, Substitution of Trustees, etc.
- Domestic cases such as paternity, custody, visitation or child support
- Domestic violence
- Criminal cases which includes felony and misdemeanor
- Bound over cases from Magistrate Court
- Miscellaneous criminal cases such as Petition for Probation or Petition for Home Incarceration
- Juvenile cases which includes delinquents, status and abuse and neglect
- Guardianships for infants and incapacitated adults
- Mental hygiene cases
The Circuit Clerk Office is also responsible for processing orders from all of the previously listed cases. An order is signed by a judge; the instructions or outcome of a case must be followed as stated in the order.
Duties & Responsibilities
Other duties of the office include obtaining information from the Voter’s Registration List and Department of Motor Vehicles List to randomly select citizens for jury duty. The juror information is processed and updated for use when trials are scheduled in Circuit and Magistrate Court.
Citizens are also able to apply for passports in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Applications are available in the office and online at www.travel.state.gov. To apply for a passport, you are required to submit a certified copy of your birth certificate, which includes a raised seal and a file date. You will also need two identical passport photos which have to be 2″ x 2″ in size and the photos need to be taken at a valid photography studio or business where available such as CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart or Post Net.
You will need to present a valid photo identification such as a driver’s license when you apply in the office. Please remember that you DO NOT sign the application until you are in the office and have been given an oath by one of the Circuit Clerk Deputies. If you have an expired passport and it was issued in the last 15 years, you need to complete the renewal application, following the instructions on the form and renew the passport by mail.
Examples of some of the other duties the Circuit Clerk’s Office is responsible for are:
- Serve as the Clerk to the Circuit and Family Court
- Issue mesne (during the progress of a case) process
- Issue final process to enforce and execute judgments
- Appoint a guardian ad litem where required
- Respond to other requests that do not require a court order
- Responsible for papers filed in the office; serve as registrar, recorder and custodian for all pleadings, documents and funds pertaining to cases filed in Circuit Court and Family Court
- Responsible for the administration and management of the petit and grand jury systems in the county
- Create the master list of prospective jurors; select panels for attendance, qualify and summon jurors, provide juror orientation and monitor jurors’ attendance and mileage
- Serve as fee officer of the court
- Report various statistics to governmental agencies
- Appoint deputy clerks subject to the review of the court and/or County Commission