We were once asked “who is your favorite employee and why”. Besides the amazing Katie Manning and the awesome Chaz Brady, we would have to say the “Court Clerk”. Are they “our” employees? To a certain extent, the Court Clerks in the State of Oklahoma are every state citizen’s employee. For our office, they are the glue that keeps the wheels of justice locked in and rolling! Here are some generalized job tasks they are “supposed” to do: Complete office tasks as necessary(such as filter through about 750 pounds of paperwork every day), keep records of court appearances(Oklahoma County, alone, had over 10,000 felonies filed in 2016), document the receipt of legal documents, record licensing requests of municipal, county and other agencies, answer official correspondence, issue licenses or permits, collect fees, prepare dockets of cases to be called by a court, and so on.
For the staff at Robert B. Carter, Attorney at Law, court clerks are so much more. There are 77 counties in the state of Oklahoma. We have had cases in 74 out of those counties. With NO exceptions, the court clerk on the other end of the phone for the last20 years has been kind, helpful and respectful. Their offices are constantly being called by other attorneys, clients, citizens, Judges, and District Attorneys. People walk up to their counters and into their offices and for the eleventh-hundredth time that day they say “No, I need an original and three copies”, “Marriages can only be performed by the Judge on Mondays”, “No, I don’t know what is going on in your dog-bite case”. And though weary, they answer each question with professional courtesy.
The phrase “un-sung hero” gets thrown around a lot and we lose the understanding of the message. The court clerks rarely get praised. Most citizens do not know the many faceted and multi-layered tasks that a clerk performs. Our staff is trained to respect the office of the clerk by providing as much information as possible when we have a question and to provide the required documentation when we file any documents.
So the next time you need to get divorced, married, adopt, buy a house, sue the owner of the dog that bit you, get a passport, or any number of legally related activities, stop by the court clerk’s office and say “Thank you”!