The public will soon have access to more hours for Clarke County Clerk of Court office.
An Iowa Judicial Branch press release states Iowa Supreme Court approved a 2013-14 Judicial Branch budget that will ensure all Iowans will soon have full-time access to the state’s 100 clerk of court offices.
The $167.7 million budget, a 3.5 percent increase over the current fiscal year’s budget, includes additional resources to serve Iowa’s troubled youths and their families and more support for judges and magistrates.
“I think it’s going to be very beneficial that we are all going to be open at the same time for the same hours throughout the entire state,” said Linda Graves, Clarke County Clerk of Court. “So, people will get better service. We will always be open to the public.”
Currently, all clerk of court offices in the state are closed to the public 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 21 offices are closed for additional hours during the work day.
In the budget, the supreme court authorized more than 40 additional positions for the state’s clerk of court offices so all the offices will be open to the public 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“I don’t know if we’re going to have other positions being filled, if we’re going to have a little extra help or not,” Graves said. “I don’t know that for sure. I don’t know if we’re going to be a county that will get more help.”
In northwest Iowa, 29 offices will open July 15, while the remaining clerk offices and the clerk of appellate court office will be open full time Sept. 3.
Some clerk’s offices may be closed during the lunch hour in some smaller counties, and some offices may temporarily close in order to cover special circumstances such as staff training or unexpected staff shortages.
The clerk of court office in Clarke County is currently open to the public for the noon lunch hour and will continue to be open when the new hours start in September, Graves said.
“When we were closed from 2:30 to 4:30 (p.m.) we were still here working,” Graves said. “It was just an opportunity for us to catch up with our work. So, we’ll just be back open, and people don’t have to worry about coming in or we’re not open or answering the door.”
Juvenile court officers
The press release states the addition of 13 juvenile court officers will help the court meet its goal of all juvenile court officers meeting face to face with young offenders entering the court system.
Juvenile court officers work with juvenile court judges to identify the underlying problems a child may be experiencing and then help match the needs of the child with the services available in the community.
All court users should notice fewer postponements of court dates.
This year’s budget includes the addition of 13 court reporter positions. The budget also includes four new information technology positions to help with the implementation of electronic filing in the state. The Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) is implemented in about half the state and is expected to be fully implemented statewide by 2015.
Graves said she thinks it’s a good idea for people to have access to the clerk of court’s office during full-time hours.
“I think it will be good that we’re open and able to meet the needs of the residents of Clarke County,” she said.