Newly elected circuit court clerk attends orientation

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By The Staff

Kentucky’s latest class of elected circuit court clerks got a jump start on preparing to take office at a comprehensive orientation program that the Administrative Office of the Courts provided Dec. 11-13 in Lexington. The new circuit court clerks were elected in the November 2012 general election and will take office Jan. 7, 2013.

Stacy Bruner of Trimble County participated in the 2012 Circuit Court Clerks’ Newly Elected Officials Orientation.

Circuit court clerks serve six-year terms and are responsible for managing the records of Kentucky’s Circuit and District courts.

“You are joining a distinguished group of public servants who have a long history of commitment to the court system,” Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said in a letter welcoming the newly elected circuit court clerks to the orientation. “I look forward to working with each of you to continue the strong tradition of effective and efficient service to the commonwealth.”

The circuit court clerks attended sessions about driver licensing, legal forms, the court system’s case management system, communications, court technology, the legislative process and distance learning opportunities. The orientation program also covered best practices, the legal responsibilities of a circuit court clerk and the role of a chief deputy clerk, who works closely with the circuit court clerk. The event included 14.75 hours of continuing education credit for the circuit court clerks. Experienced circuit court clerks, AOC personnel and others conducted the orientation sessions.

“It’s important for the new circuit clerks to get off to a smooth start,” said Hardin County Circuit Court Clerk Loretta Crady, who is president of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks. “Six years ago, I was where these circuit clerks are - newly elected and excited about beginning my work as a circuit court clerk. The information and networking at the orientation program helped me tremendously. The program is a valuable resource for both circuit court clerks who are moving up from another position in the Office of Circuit Court Clerk and those who are new to the office.”

Twenty-nine circuit court clerks were newly elected in the November 2012 general election. Of the 29, 26 were either unopposed or won their primary election to become unopposed in the general election. The other three were opposed in the general election and won.

All newly elected circuit court clerks receive support from the AOC, the operations arm of the state court system. As part of the orientation, they were invited to an AOC resource fair, a one-stop shop to assist them with information and items they need to get started in office. Court personnel provided information about human resources issues, record-keeping, the State Law Library, court programs, stationery, email and other matters.

The circuit court clerks also received an introduction to the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks and the Trust for Life program at the orientation. The KACCC sponsors Trust for Life to promote organ and tissue donation through driver licensing and the Kentucky Organ Donor registry.

In Kentucky, one circuit court clerk is elected to serve in each of the 120 counties. They provide professional recordkeeping, receive money due the courts, pay money to required parties and the state, record legal documents, provide legal documents and other legal materials, maintain the jury system, administer oaths, handle affidavits and issue driver licenses and non-driver ID cards.

The AOC provides administrative support for the nearly 3,300 court system employees and 403 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks in Kentucky. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.