Circuit Clerk Barbara Whiteley
Phone: (479) 637-2642
Fax: (479) 637-0124
Duties Of The Circuit ClerkThe Circuit Clerk is an elected official in county government. The Constitution of the State of Arkansas provides for the election of the Circuit Clerk to a two-year term of office with the requirements that he/she be a qualified elector and resident. In the event of a vacancy in office, the Quorum Court fills the vacancy by appointment, the appointee serving until the next general election, when a successor is elected. Before beginning his/her duties, the Circuit Clerk must enter into an official bond for the protection of the county. This may be accomplished either through the State Blanket Bond Program which covers all employees on the payroll, or a Surety Bond purchased for the officer. Finally, the clerk must also take the constitutional oath of office.
The Circuit Clerk is entitled to that salary fixed for his/her office by applicable law and Quorum Court appropriation, but he/she cannot keep the various fees collected in the performance of his/her duties as the Circuit Clerk, as in that respect, he/she is only an agent or trustee for the County Treasury. To assist the Clerk in the performance of his/her duties, the Circuit Clerk may appoint such number of deputies as the Quorum Court may approve. The Clerk generally supervises the deputies and may discharge them and regulate their employment, within the guidelines established by the Quorum Court.
The office of the Circuit Clerk is to be operated according to the office budget which is established annually by the Quorum Court of the County. In general, the Circuit Clerk maintains records of, and is the focal point for the orderly flow of paperwork through the various divisions of circuit court in the county. There are two exceptions to this rule. The first exception is in those few counties where the office of circuit clerk and county clerk is combined. The second exception is found in the probate division of circuit court. Typically, the county clerk is tasked with performing the duties of court clerk for the probate division of circuit court. (With the exception of a limited number of counties where the offices have been either separated or combined with other county offices) In addition, the Circuit Clerk also acts as ex-officio Recorder for the County unless that function is otherwise provided by law.(ACA 14-14-1301)
The primary duties of the office revolve around filing, docketing, attending court, issuing of notices, records management, and reporting to the Administrative Office of the Courts. It is the responsibility of the Circuit Clerk to prepare a list of prospective jurors, docket cases of the respective courts, issue summonses, subpoenas, writs and warrants related to each case, attend court and swear witnesses. The Clerk maintains the records of the civil, criminal and juvenile divisions of the Courts and prepares transcripts of proceedings under appeal. In addition, duties of the office in the capacity of Recorder include recording all deeds, mortgages, and conveyances of lands and buildings lying within the County, as well as maps and plats of newly laid out subdivisions and all records from other counties concerning land sales or conveyance which affect title in the County. Other duties assigned the Recorder include the recording of powers of attorney, liens on real property, soldiers' discharges, leases, financing statements, performance bonds and public official bonds. The records of the Circuit Courts are the evidence of their official acts and, therefore, it is necessary that they be accurately recorded and well maintained.