The County Clerk - Your Best Freind or Worst Enemy

When you need to do the real digging in public records, sometimes it requires a visit to the local courthouse or county office. The County Clerk and his or her staff can be your best friend or worst enemy.

Who is the county clerk anyways? The County clerk is the elected official responsible for maintaining most of the public records for the county. This includes marriage and divorce records, property ownership, assumed names (usually for businesses), voter registration rolls, and often court documents. Some courts have their own clerks for the court documents, so this may or may not apply. Any records the county clerk has are public records and their job is to assist you in accessing those records.

It is up to you. When you go in and request records form the county clerk, remember that whether or not they become your enemy or friend can be up to you. 99% of the time, if you are polite and reasonable with your requests, and thank them later on you can become their friend. If you act harried, or in a hurry, and you demand things, you can make an enemy. Records can become “unavailable” at the moment because of archiving or whatever. Technically speaking public records are paid for by the taxpayer, so they are available, but on a temporary basis they possible could be delayed.


What goes around comes around.Treat people with respect, and they will treat you the same. County Clerks are no different. Of course, many counties now have their records online and it makes a lot of sense just to go to a site that has a lot of public records links. So most of the time your demeanor will not matter. There are times that you need certified copies or something similar, you can often pay for these online, but on occasion you need to visit the office or at least make a request in writing.

When you are digging for public records, remember that all of it is not always available on the internet. Sometimes a face-to-face appearance is needed to accomplish your goals. When you do need to have that meeting you need to make sure you do it right.

Keep the County Clerk as a friend, because sometimes they can even tell you a place to look that you may have missed.

Whatever you do, be safe!

2 comments:

  1. Great article. Lots of good statistical information found right there. Interesting to see how much
    all those big blogs are making.

    public records

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Rosie stop by any time :)

    ReplyDelete

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