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Clerk of the Court

The Circuit Court Clerk, charged with more than 800 statutory responsibilities, is an elected official responsible for the administration of the Southampton County 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 ensures that members of the judiciary are provided administrative support during courtroom proceedings. In criminal cases, the Clerk makes certain that all proceedings are recorded and memorialized, administers all criminal case records, and coordinates case scheduling and other case-related activities with prosecutors and law enforcement. The Clerk's Office also lends overall judicial support by managing juries, maintaining and disposing of evidence, issuing arrest and other legal documents to be served, investing/distributing monies on the part of litigants or third party beneficiaries, collecting criminal fines and costs, and serving as repository for the Court's records. Inquiries concerning the Court, its procedures and policies, and the Court's records should be directed to the Clerk's Office, which essentially serves as the Court's clearinghouse for information. In conjunction with this responsibility and in accordance with statutory provisions, the Clerk's Office routinely provides statistical data, case-related information and court documents to state, local, and federal agencies as well as to the general public, attorneys, litigants, and the media.

On the non-judicial side, the Circuit Court Clerk serves as the probate judge in admitting or denying wills to probate and in qualifying executors, administrators, guardians, an/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 office is a hub for information for use by commercial entities. Efficient operation of the Clerk's Office is critical to a vibrant business climate in Southampton 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 and costs, real estate transfer fees, recordation taxes, and a myriad of other fees authorized by statute. The Clerk's Office generates revenue for the state and county annually. Such monies are used to fund citizen services of all types, while fines and costs collected in criminal cases produce significant revenue for funding the prosecution and incarceration of criminal defendants.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court, as an elected official, is directly accountable to the citizens who elected him. As such, he is committed to exceeding customer expectations and providing the highest quality service possible to county taxpayers. Hopefully, the information contained herein will prove beneficial as both an educational tool and as a resource for use by all citizens who have a need to utilize the services of the Southampton County Circuit Court Clerk's Office. If at any time additional information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk's Office.

               Rick Francis
     Clerk of the Circuit Court
 
 
The Southampton County Courthouse, constructed in June 1834 was extensively remodeled in 1924 adding the four-columned portico on the front as well as the annex on the rear. The Courthouse stands tall on the green between Courtland's Main Street and the Nottoway River, a few yards from the site of the Flower's Bridge.
 
 
Clerk of the Circuit Court
22350 Main St.
P.O. Box 190
Courtland, VA 23837
(757) 653-2200
 
 
 




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