The Clerk is known as the “Record Keeper of the County.” It is our Goal to Preserve our past and Protect the current, all while Progressing.
Effingham County was founded February 5, 1777 named for Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham. Our History in Effingham County is rich, and it is the responsibility of the clerk to maintain and preserve these records.
Our office is the record keeper of all Deeds, Liens, Plats, UCC (Uniform Commercial Code), Criminal and Civil Filings in both Superior and State Court’s, Issuance of Notaries Public, Military Discharge (DD214), List of Confederate Soldiers, and much more.
The Role of the Clerk
The Clerk of Superior Court is one of four Constitutional Officers in each County. Being a Constitutional Officer means my position was created by act of the Legislature in the state constitution. The Clerk has been a county constitutional officer since the framers of the Georgia Constitution of 1798 provided for election of the Clerk of Superior Court in each of Georgia’s counties.|
The Clerk is the elected official responsible for protecting the integrity of public records and serves as the Court’s fiduciary officer. The Clerk receives, manages, and processes all court documents, collects and disburses all court fees, fines, and court costs, and provides the public with access to court records. As keeper of public records, the Clerk records deeds, mortgages, charters, and commissions notaries public. In effect, the Clerk runs the “business arm” of the local court system and answers first and foremost to the public, ensuring the public’s interests protected. The Clerk is the mandated custodian of all county legal documents.
As an elected public official in each of Georgia’s 159 counties, the Clerk of Superior Court provides for an important checks and balances within the county government and judicial system. Citizens’ case files, court records, property deeds, and mortgages are handled and protected by the Clerk, an impartial officer elected directly by and answerable to the people of the county, and is not an employee or appointee of any county commission or judiciary.
Although elected to be your Clerk of Superior Court, I also serve as Clerk to the State and Juvenile Courts. I serve the same function in these Courts, however, I serve in State Court and Juvenile Courts through local legislation rather than by election. Again, I am solely responsible for maintaining the integrity of the court’s records and funds. I further serve as Effingham County Jury Clerk. In the role of jury Clerk, I am responsible for maintaining the integrity of the jury pool or ‘box.’ As a citizen of Effingham County over the age of 18, meeting all other minimum requirements of a juror, your name will be on the list of eligible jurors. The jury information is confidential in every aspect. As your Clerk, it is my duty to ensure that information on each juror is handle with extreme care to maintain integrity of the list and confidentiality of the juror data. I am also responsible for the summoning of jurors for trials and for those called to sit on Grand Jury.
Effective July 1, 2010, as per HB 346, Clerks in Georgia assumed the duties for oversight to the Effingham County Board of Equalization. This is the citizen review panel which determines the equality of property taxation by the county assessor. In this role, I am responsible for the day to day management functions of the Board itself including the records on each tax dispute. I oversee the delivery of notices and decision letters to parties and providing a fair and impartial setting for the hearings. Above all, I am the custodian of those records.
Clerk at Work
In August of 2020 I was elected as your Clerk of Superior Court. When I came into the Office I noticed the day to day operations were smooth but needed some fresh ideas. I give credit where credit is due, Hon. Elizabeth Z. Hursey has served our great County well for over 43 years. As the Clerk she done a remarkable job and left the office much better than she found it. Thank you Mrs. Elizabeth!
We did not waste any time getting right to work after taking office. All of the things that were done were done at NO COST to the taxpayers. We were upgraded all of the computers in the office, placed computers in the Courtrooms so Deputy Clerks could work real time. We started accepting Credit and Debit Cards in the office for all functions of our office. Worked with the Sheriff and State Patrol to automate citation imports into our court software for processing. We now have all plats scanned and indexed back to Jan 1, 1965, this making searching from home possible. The front office was given a full makeover making it ADA Compliant and more appealing to the citizens who we service, this also gave each Deputy Clerk a private workspace. A full integration with the Tax Assessor to allow the viewing of plats real time. This is just a few of our accomplishments over the two years in office. I am excited about our future and hope to get to serve you in the years to come.