Circuit clerk will re-open Wednesdays

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, June 17, 2014

By Stephanie Nelson

For The Advance

Circuit clerks’ offices — including the one located in the Escambia County Courthouse — are going to reopen on Wednesdays.

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Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has issued an order saying the offices will be open to the public each day effective July 1.

Moore ordered the offices closed to the public on Wednesday beginning in March 2013 because he said understaffing had put the offices behind on recording and filing cases. The employees used Wednesdays to catch up. Now Moore says the backlog in paperwork has been reduced and judges have told them the offices are ready to resume a normal schedule.

Presiding judge in each county can request permission to address specific needs; however, locally, Circuit Clerk John Robert Fountain said Tuesday his office will reopen on Wednesdays beginning in July.

“We run 10 courts through this office,” Fountain said. “Here in our county, we’re not a state office by employee standards. We have five county employees that are funded by the judges and the other five are state employees.

“As far as operations go, we’re not backlogged, but we can get behind,” he said. “The Wednesday closings helped with that, but we will be opening back up.

“I have heard that some clerks will probably remain closed, but that comes from their presiding judge,” he said. “But they don’t have the help that we have.”