Court Clerk Job Profile and Description

A court clerk is someone whose job is to maintain and keep court records. They are also sometimes called clerk to the court or clerk of (the) court. They are also appropriately titled after the type of court they are attending to. E.g. a clerk of the peace attends to a justice of the peace. Also in most jurisdictions, the existence of a court of clerk signifies the court to be a court of record.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • performs clerical and secretarial duties like typing, filing, attending to court appointments, answering calls
  • administers oaths to witnesses, jurors and grand jurors during trials and hearings
  • authenticates copies of court records, prepares docket of cases to be called, contacts witnesses, lawyers, and litigants for the court and instructs them when to appear in court
  • records and transcribe minutes of court proceedings, handles financial record keeping, and acts as custodian of the court’s seal and court records
  • collects fees and other payments or deposits made with the court, prepares reports and court forms, and processes petitions and warrants
  • takes care of publication of court decisions, reviews court records for accuracy, and handles all court correspondences
  • coordinates with other related departments and staff in other legal matters

Other duties depending on the type of court and states or jurisdiction where the clerk of court works

  • reads a jury’s verdict in some jurisdictions, officiates civil weddings in many states, and processes passports and swearing in of new citizens

North Carolina

  • exercises some judicial power, hears probate, incompetency, adoption, and foreclosure cases, issues warrants, and orders for arrest, contempt, or involuntary commitment. Gives criminal first appearance, appoints indigent counsel or public defenders, and signs release and/or temporary confinement orders

New York

  • supervises all court officers in the court room as the highest ranking non-judicial person in the courtroom

Magistrate’s court

  • advises the magistrates in matters of law relating to the case (since magistrates usually have no legal qualifications while court clerks do)

Large district courts

  • supervises court staff, and oversees the hiring and training of court staff, as well as managing of court budget and other administrative concerns