Duties of the Clerk

A Public Trustee

Article V, Section 16, Florida Constitution, contains the following provisions:

“There shall be in each county a clerk of the circuit court who shall be selected pursuant to the provisions of Article VIII section 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of the constitution, the duties of the clerk of the circuit court may be divided by special or general law between two offices, one serving as clerk of court and one serving as ex officio clerk of the board of county commissioners, auditor, recorder and custodian of all county funds.”

The Clerk of Circuit Court, an elected official answering directly to the public, acts as a watchdog for the public in the use of county resources. This results in the greatest accounting integrity and safeguarding of assets. The role of the Clerk of Circuit Court as a public trustee is evidenced in the following responsibilities and duties:

County Government

  • Accountant and Auditor for the Board of County Commissioners
  • Chief financial officer for the county
  • Collector, maintainer and distributor of all county funds
  • Collector and distributor of statutory assessments
  • Guardian of public records and public funds

Courts

  • Ensures that the court’s orders, judgments or directives are carried out within the parameters allowed by law
  • Maintains the court’s records
  • Collects and disburses court fines, fees and assessments
  • Collects and disburses court-ordered child support and alimony payments

State Government

  • Collects and disburses documentary stamps and intangible taxes for the Department of Revenue
  • Collects and disburses numerous fees and assessments for the benefit of State Trust Funds
  • Provides informational, financial and statistical data to the State Legislature, the Supreme Court, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Auditor General, Department of Revenue and other agencies

Citizen’s Protection

  • As custodian of county funds, the clerk ensures that the taxpayers’ money is managed according to law
  • Provides access to public records
  • Audits reports of guardians in guardianship cases
  • Provides assistance to citizens in accessing the courts
  • Processes and maintains court documents to ensure that litigants’ court cases are handled in a timely manner

The Clerk’s duties have an important impact upon the people’s rights and property. The Constitution and statutes therefore decree that:

  • The Clerk be governed by statutory authority in carrying out the duties and functions of the office
  • As auditor and custodian of all county funds, the Clerk be subject to State Auditor General rules and regulations
  • The Clerk be subject to annual audits by an independent audit firm