Editor’s Note: This is the 12th of 13 weekly columns on Clinton County departments leading up to the celebration of the courthouse’s 100th anniversary celebration. Today’s column features the Clinton County Clerk of Courts Office.
In 1802 the Ohio Constitution provided for the appointment of a Clerk of Courts for each county. In 1851 under the constitution the office became an elected office for a three-year term which was extended to four years in 1936.
The duties of the Clerk of Courts are mandated by the statutes of the Ohio Revised Code and have grown greatly over the years; the Clerk of Courts duties are stated in over 250 sections of Ohio Revised Code. The office is also the Clerk of Court to the 12th District Court of Appeals.
The Clinton County Clerk of Courts office is located on the third floor of the Courthouse. Upon entering the office, the first thing you notice is the beautiful 9-foot long wood and marble-top counter; the other is the safe made for the Clerk of Courts office by Hall’s Safe and Lock Company of Cincinnati in 1867.
An interesting story about the safe is when the courthouse was being built, they moved the safe from the old courthouse and left a wall open in the new courthouse and used a crane to place the safe in the Clerk’s office, where it remains today.
The Clerk of Courts office has a vital role in serving the interest of justice. This includes filing, docketing, indexing and preserving all court pleadings for civil, felony criminal and domestic relations cases.
The office also issues writs which carry out court orders such as subpoenas, warrants to arrest, warrants to convey to prison and signing the death warrant in capital cases and accepts bonds, and files state tax and judgment liens.
The office is also a passport acceptance agent — you may go to our website at www.clintoncountycourts.org and find all the information you need to obtain a passport.
In 2018 the legal office filed 214 civil cases, 231 domestic cases, 371 criminal cases and 1,242 liens. The office paid in to the county $162,231.60 and $14,476.62 to the state as well as $22,601.04 to the sheriff for fees paid through the office.
In 1921 the office began recording automobile bills of sales, then in 1938 the name was changed to Certificate of Title and remains so today. The Title office was located in the Courthouse until 2002 when the county purchased the building located at 180 E. Sugartree St., then Clerk of Courts Joann Chamberlin and Deputy Registrar Barb Lieurance teamed together to create a one-stop shop so the citizens of Clinton County could obtain their title and license tags in one location.
In 2018 the title office processed 38,780 regular and memo automobile/boat titles.
There have been 22 Clerks of Courts in Clinton County with the last six being housed in this Courthouse.
Cynthia R. Bailey is the current Clerk of Courts who is supported by an amazing staff in both the Legal and Title offices. These ladies work hard every day to assist the public and to ensure that all paperwork whether legal or title is processed as accurately and efficiently as possible.
Staff in the Legal office are Joette Haydu, Tanya West, Amanda Gordley, Tina Ferrence and Debra Lynch. The title office is Lorraine Earley, Janell Smart, Chasity Goldie and Barbara Roberts.
Legal Office hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
Title Office hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.