Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas – “Keeper of the Records”

History of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas

  • The office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas traces its origin to the medieval cleric who maintained the records, was responsible for correspondence, and had various powers to issue writs and other processes ordered by the court. The cleric was generally one of the more educated and trusted persons in the community.
  • In creating a state judicial system, the 1802 Ohio State Constitution provided for the appointment of a Clerk of Court for each county. The judges of the Common Pleas Court made the appointment for a seven year term.
  • Under the 1851 Constitution, the office became elective for a three year term that was extended to four years in 1936.
  • The official title is Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, but most often the office-holder is referred to as the Clerk of Courts.
  • Many prominent Ohioans have served as Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States, was a Clerk of Courts when he was elected President in 1840.
  • The duties mandated by the statutes of the Ohio Revised Code have grown tremendously over the years. The responsibilities of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas are now set forth in over 250 sections of the Ohio Revised Code, Section 2303.

The Clerk of Courts Office Today – “Core of the Court”

  • The Clerk of Courts office, as the “core of the Court,” plays a vital role in serving the interests of justice. This includes filing, docketing, indexing, and preserving all court pleadings for civil, felony criminal, domestic relations, and appellate cases.
  • The Clerk of Courts must also follow procedure required by law and issue writs to carry out Court orders. Some of these writs include summons, subpoenas, warrants to arrest and to convey to penal institutions, and signing the death warrant in capital cases.
  • In Montgomery County, the duties of the Montgomery County Municipal Court Clerk are assigned to the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas. The office also serves the Second District Court of Appeals.
  • In addition to processing all Court paperwork, the Clerk of Courts must preserve all of these records for future generations. The Montgomery County Clerk of Courts uses innovative technology to streamline processes and maintain archival quality retention in order to permanently preserve the Court records.

The Clerk of Courts Office – Auto Title and Passport Agent

  • The Clerk of Courts Office issues Certificates of Title for automobiles, motorcycles, mobile homes, travel trailers, campers, motor homes, and watercraft.
  • The Clerk of Courts Office collects millions of dollars in sales and use taxes from purchasers of automobiles and other motor vehicles.
  • The Clerk of Courts Office also processes U.S. Passport Applications as an authorized Passport Acceptance Agency for the U.S. State Department.

The Clerk of Courts Office – Responsible Financial Agent

  • In addition to collecting sales taxes for the purchase of motor vehicles, the Clerk of Courts is responsible for collecting all revenue related to court costs, bonds, fines, and forfeitures.
  • The Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas is responsible for receiving and disbursing millions of other dollars which are directed to various accounts of the county and state.
  • The Clerk may invest undisbursed funds which generate interest revenue for the county general fund.

The Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas also:

  • Accepts Bonds
  • Calls Juries
  • Records and Certifies Notary Commissions
  • Administers Oaths
  • Files State Tax Liens
  • Files Judgment Liens

And serves as a member of the:

  • County Data Processing Board
  • County Records Commission
  • County Microfilm Board