About the Clerk’s Office
The Clerk of the Circuit Court is 1 of 5 Citrus County constitutional officers directly elected by county citizens and responsible for safeguarding all public records and public funds. The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court was established in the Florida Constitution as a public trustee, managing 4 primary functions and more than 1,000 individual responsibilities.
Duties & Functions of the Clerk and Comptroller
The Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller is characterized as one whose duties are not purely ministerial, but rather an integral part of the entire county governmental process. As an officer of the court, the Clerk is endowed with certain authority to aid and promote the judicial process. Additionally, the Clerk's authority as an Elected County Officer, with responsibilities as auditor and custodian of all county funds, allows the Clerk to provide a check and balance function on behalf of local government and the citizens of Citrus County, Florida.
The origins of the Clerk of Court's office extend into early English history. In times past, the custody of court records was entrusted to one of the judges. However, it soon became apparent that the judge alone was unable to preside over the argument, record the proceedings and issue writs. Consequently, the Office of the Clerk of Courts was created. Subordinate judicial officials were chosen from among the clergy, the only literate group at the time. Thus , the name clerk is derived from the Latin "clericus," meaning clergyman. In the English colonies, officers of the common day pleas courts were known as county clerks, a title that continues to be used in most states today.
The functions and duties of Clerks vary from state to state. In most jurisdictions, the Clerk is generally vested with a large number of administrative duties. In Florida, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is a constitutional officer created by Article V, Section 16, of the Constitution of the State of Florida. In Citrus County, Florida, the Clerk is not only Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Court, but also the County Treasurer, Recorder, Auditor, Finance Officer and Ex-Officio Clerk of the County Commission.
In a study done by the Joint Select Committee on Judicial Personnel of the Florida Legislature, it was calculated that the Clerk's office performs 926 different tasks. Since then, these tasks have continued to grow with changes in legislation, regulations, and reporting requirements.
Clerk of the Circuit Court
As a member of the 5th Judicial Circuit, the Clerk is responsible for processing, recording, filing, and guaranteeing the integrity of all court-related documents in Citrus County. Such documents consist of traffic tickets, divorces, foreclosures, lawsuits, case evidence, wills, domestic violence petitions, and tenant evictions. The Clerk is also responsible for managing the county's jury system. Citizens can represent themselves in court and purchase court packets with instructions through the Clerk's online Self Service Center.
The Clerk preserves and ensures the integrity of the Official Record Books of Citrus County dating back to 1887. Documents such as mortgages, deeds, liens, judgments and marriage licenses are recorded and entered into a computer system. Documents dating back to 1980 are available online through the Official Records Search. Official Records prior to 1980 are available on microfilm and are viewable at our Customer Service counter. The Official Records Department also issues marriage licenses and processes passport applications.
County Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer & Auditor
In the public's interest, the Clerk provides a necessary check and balance on the county's budget, revenue and spending. The Clerk processes payments on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners and ensures that all taxpayer funds are being used lawfully. Any funds not designated for spending are invested by the Clerk. The interest earned on those investments helps ease the tax burden on citizens in future years. The Clerk's responsible management of public funds has also helped reduce operating costs and generate new forms of revenue through cash back programs.
Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners
The Clerk prepares and maintains the records of Board of County Commissioners' meetings and other government meetings. All the meeting minutes are made available to the public. The Clerk also administers the Value Adjustment Board process.