The Court Clerk’s primary responsibilities are to record, file and maintain District Court proceedings and maintain books and files useful for locating past court records. The Court Clerk keeps summaries of court actions in an “appearance docket” on the computer; maintains case files; collects fines, fees and forfeitures, and distributes or expends collected monies to over 35 different agencies as provided by law. The Court Clerk also issues legal warrants, court orders, as well as marriage, beer, and pool hall licenses.
The County General Fund is the main revenue account for the county. The county general fund is used to pay official’s salaries plus any expenses for county maintenance and operation. However, Court system funding is derived from two sources. The primary source is court generated funding from fines, fees and bond forfeitures. The second source is state generated funding. Currently, the County General Fund pays the Court Clerk’s salary and 6 deputies.
Revenues received at the District Court level are used for local operational expense such as juror and witness costs; attorney, physician, and transcript fees; supplies, utilities, renovation and maintenance for court-occupied space paid to the county; 4 court clerk employees, part-time bailiffs and per diem court reports; purchases, rentals and maintenance of furniture and equipment.
Certain information in the Court Clerk’s office is not available for public inspection as specifically stated in the Oklahoma statutes. Some or all of the records from the following case types are defined as confidential: Adoption, Juvenile, Mental Health, some Guardianships and wills for safekeeping.
The Court Clerk handles petitions for grand juries; mails jury summons, coordinates jury selection from jury panels, pays jury fees, and performs other duties related to juries as prescribed by law. In Carter County, there are 6 jury dockets per year, one every other month. Once a year, the Court Clerk requests from the Administrative Office of the Courts, computer-generated jury panels, one for each docket set. This list comes from Oklahoma licensed drivers 18 or older.
The Court Clerk can assist with filing certain documents in the following situations: Small Claims Procedure: Actions under the small claims should be initiated by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney. The claimant should prepare an affidavit initiating the action. If requested, the Court Clerk may draft the affidavit that is provided by her office. The limit for filing in small claims is $6,000. Petition for Protective Order: A victim of domestic abuse, stalking, or harassment may seek relief by filing a petition for protective order on forms provided by the Court Clerk. The plaintiff should prepare the petition or, at the plaintiff’s request, the Court Clerk or the victim-witness coordinator can prepare or assist the plaintiff in preparing the petition.
Other types of cases filed in the Court Clerk’s office are: Divorce, Civil, Probate, Misdemeanor, Felony, and Traffic (tickets by the highway patrol, park ranger or sheriff’s department).