Clerk of the Circuit Court


             Rick Francis
Clerk of the Circuit Court              

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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

The Clerk of the Circuit Court, 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 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 all proceedings
are recorded and memorialized, administers all criminal case records,
coordinates case scheduling and other case-related activities with
prosecutors and law enforcement. 

The Clerk's Office 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. 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 the general public,
attorneys, litigants, and media.  

On the non-judicial side, the Clerk of the Circuit Court serves as the
probate judge in admitting or denying wills to probate 
and in qualifying
executors, administrators, guardians, and/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, more
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
Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. If at any time additional information
needed, please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk's Office.

For additional information regarding access to Circuit Court Clerk records, please click here.