• 75°

Clerk’s office to reopen on Wednesdays

Local circuit court clerk offices that have been closed on Wednesdays for more than a year will be reopening next month.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order June 9 instructing all circuit clerks’ offices to re-open on Wednesdays, effective July 1.

The order reverses a previous order by Moore issued in March of 2013 that directed circuit clerks to close their offices on Wednesdays in order to catch up backlogged work that was the result of layoffs in clerks’ offices.

“In the last year we have been able to address efforts to reduce the backlog of cases and I am confident we can resume normal operations,” Moore said in a statement. “Our circuit clerks’ offices remain under-staffed and are in desperate need of additional employees to replace the over 200 court specialists who were laid off in 2011. We appreciate the efforts of the circuit clerks and their employees as they continue to do the work, despite being under-staffed. I will continue to ask the legislature for additional funding to provide for the needed Court Specialists, as well as Juvenile Probation Officers, statewide.”

Butler County Circuit Clerk Mattie Gomillion said that being closed on Wednesdays has been beneficial to her office.

“While the order of the Chief Justice closing clerks’ offices to the public within the state has been beneficial in allowing employees dedicate time to work on a backlog, the shortage of manpower still exists,” Gomillion said. “Staffing still remains at inadequate levels statewide, most below 50 percent. The order of the Chief Justice states that the presiding judges throughout the state have reported a decrease in a backlog of cases, but the workload within clerks’ offices remain the same.  In compliance with the order, the Butler County Circuit Clerk’s Office will be open on Wednesdays to the public.

“We will continue to work as efficiently and diligently as possible with same staffing levels as when the order to close to the public went into effect. I appreciate the support and understanding of the public over the past year and particularly the hard working employees within my office who have remained steadfast.”

The Butler County Circuit Clerk’s Office will be open on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.