The Clerk of Superior Court holds one of the most important offices in North Carolina local government and is vital to the local administration of justice; however, few people realize the complexity and diversity of the Clerk’s responsibilities. The Clerk of Superior Court is an elected judicial official, with many important judicial responsibilities. The clerical tasks of filing, processing, indexing, and preserving court documents are only a part of the Clerk’s job.
Unlike Clerks of Court in other states, the Clerks of Superior Court in North Carolina are judges. A Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina has four main responsibilities:
- Record Keeper
As the Probate Judge, the Clerk determines what documents meet the legal requirements for a Last Will and Testament in order to be admitted to probate. Additionally, the Clerk oversees the administration of family estates, including appointing personal representatives, auditing their accountings, and removing them from office if necessary. The Clerk also presides over many other legal matters, including incompetency and guardianship proceedings, foreclosures, partitions of property, legitimations, name changes, adoptions, and many civil hearings.
As Record Keeper, the Clerk in Buncombe County, North Carolina is responsible for filing, processing, indexing, and maintaining every piece of paper filed each year. The Clerk also provides public access to court records.
As Administrator, the Clerk in Buncombe County manages 63 employees; 10 Assistant Clerks and 53 Deputy Clerks. Those Clerks are divided into 12 divisions and are spread across nine floors of the Buncombe County Courthouse. They are responsible for assisting the public in filing and accessing court documents, staffing the courtrooms, and performing the many complex duties required in order to ensure that court records are accurate.
Finally, as Controller, the Clerk is responsible for receiving, investing, and disbursing millions of dollars for the state each year which come from court fees, traffic citations, and fines, etc.