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Circuit Clerk’s Office to begin closing on Wednesdays

Following an order from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, the Crenshaw County Circuit Clerk’s Office will be closed on Wednesdays starting March 20.

Moore issued the order last week, citing budget shortfalls and that “a great deal of essential work in the Circuit Clerks’ offices must be done when employees are not serving the general public…”

The administrative order states that since 2001, 498 jobs have been lost statewide in the judicial branch, which has contributed to an increased workload for remaining employees.

“People have asked me, ‘What are you going to do on your day off?’ ” said Circuit Clerk Jeannie Gibson. “The answer is ‘Be at work.’  We’ll be at work but not available to the public.”

Gibson said that her office will use the time to catch up on necessary judicial paperwork.

Besides handling traffic tickets, the Circuit Clerk’s duties also include the management of all court monies, personnel management, court planning and docketing, purchasing, inventory control, jury management, attending sessions of court, the issuance of all writs, summonses and subpoenas, absentee elections and passports in addition to being the custodian of all court records.

“Hopefully this will give those Circuit Clerk’s offices that are behind a chance to catch up,” she said.

Under former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Circuit Clerk Offices were allowed to close for up to 10 hours per week to handle administrative duties.

Gibson said that funding became available to hire a part-time worker, which allowed the local office to stay open longer.

“We apologize for the inconvenience, but we have to do it until the order is rescinded,” Gibson said.

Signs will be posted around the courthouse, and attorneys and other officials have already been notified.

A drop slot will be available for filings, and in the event of an emergency, the Sheriff’s Department or local police department should be contacted.