The Circuit Court Clerk, charged with more than 800 statutory responsibilities, is an elected official responsible for the administration of the Chesterfield Circuit Court. Such responsibilities extend beyond judicial-related business to non-judicial and fiscal activities as well.
As Chief Operating Officer of the Court, the Clerk is the custodian of the Court’s records and manages all filings, pleadings and other case records lodged with the Court and Clerk’s Office. The Clerk ensures that members of the judiciary are provided administrative support associated with courtroom proceedings, including case-related information needed to conduct those proceedings. In criminal cases, the Clerk provides assistance to law enforcement, corrections officials, prosecutors and defense counsel, and issues arrest documents and other legal process to be served on defendants, witnesses and grand jurors. The Clerk's Office also lends overall judicial support by maintaining and disposing of civil and criminal evidence, receipting criminal fines and court costs, investing and distributing monies on behalf of civil litigants or third party beneficiaries, and collecting restitution on behalf of crime victims. Inquiries concerning existing policies, procedures and records access should be directed to the Clerk's Office, which serves as the clearinghouse for court rulings and general case information. In conjunction with this responsibility and pursuant to Virginia law, the Clerk's Office routinely provides statistical data, case-related information and court documents to state, local, and federal agencies as well as to citizens, attorneys, litigants, and the media.
On the non-judicial side, the Circuit Court Clerk serves as Probate Judge in admitting or denying wills to probate and in qualifying executors, administrators, guardians, and/or conservators.
The Clerk also serves as the county's Register of Deeds and, as such, is responsible for recording all deeds, deeds of trust, powers of attorney, and real estate liens and releases. Other transactions and recordings processed by the Clerk's Office include judgments, financing statements, fictitious names for businesses, marriage licenses, concealed handgun permits, and a variety of appointments including ministers, notaries, local Commission and Board members, and law enforcement officers.
Yet another role of the Clerk is that of county archivist. The Clerk is required by statute to permanently preserve and archive the official records of the Court, in addition to probate (estate), real estate, and a vast array of other county records. The Clerk's Office maintains records dating back to 1749, the year of the county's inception. Given the volume and types of records it maintains, records management is an immense and critical responsibility of the Clerk's Office. Furthermore, because of the nature of its records, the Clerk’s Office is a hub of information for use by commercial entities. Efficient operation of the Clerk's Office is critical to a vibrant business climate in Chesterfield County.
Fiscal responsibilities of the Clerk's Office include the maintenance and investment of trust and condemnation funds as well as the collection of court fines/costs, restitution, civil filing fees, real estate transfer fees, recordation taxes, and a myriad of other fees authorized by statute. The Clerk's Office annually generates millions of dollars in revenue for both the state and county. Such monies are used to fund citizen services of all types, while fines and costs collected in criminal cases produce a significant revenue stream for funding the prosecution and incarceration of criminal defendants.
As an elected official, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is directly accountable to the citizens who elected her. As such, the Clerk is committed to exceeding customer expectations and delivering fair and impartial administrative justice to all citizens in need of service. Hopefully, the information contained herein will prove beneficial as both an educational tool and as a resource for use by all who have a need to utilize the services of the Chesterfield Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
Please contact the Clerk's Office for further information.