Nevada Revised Statutes 3.250 provides that the County Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Court of the county, and Article 4, Section 32 of the Nevada Constitution provides that the County Clerk shall be ex-officio Clerk of the Court of Record of the county. By being independent of the judicial branch, the County Clerk protects the judiciary from the appearance of impropriety or unfairness in the setting of cases, implementation of orders, or investment of funds. The County Clerk is located in the Executive Branch of government and provides the avenue for external oversight of the judiciary without legislative or executive branch interference with its actions, integrity or independence. As an independent elected official, the County Clerk preserves for the public unfettered access to a fair, accurate, and independently established record of the opinions, decisions, and judgments of the court.
Specific functions of the Clerk of the Court include:
Administrator of court records and exhibits: All documents presented in a District Court cause of action must be received and processed by the Clerk. The processing of court documents involves record classification, assignment of case number, computerized docketing and manual filing of hard copy records. Records must be maintained, retained and purged in accordance with statutory time constraints, and required archival standards. The District Court Clerk maintains the official court record and receives for filing all documents in the felony or gross misdemeanor criminal, divorce, juvenile, probate, adoption, paternity, child support, and civil court cases in excess of $7,500.
The District Court Clerk is responsible for managing the records so they are easily retrieved for court use and public information. Records in the Carson City District Court Clerk's office date back to the mid-1860's. As custodian of these permanent records, the Clerk must assure that they are preserved and archived.
After a court case is filed, the District Court Clerk may be requested by an attorney or directed by court order to issue certain documents. Some of the documents issued may include a summons or citation to notify a party that a case was filed, a warrant to have someone arrested, a protective order to keep someone from harm, letters testamentary; a writ to garnish wages or a bank account, an order to sell property or an execution to have someone put to death.
The District Court Clerk performs duties from the time a case is filed through disposition, appeal and ancillary proceedings that may occur for many, many years after judgment.
Financial Officer for the Courts: As the court's agent, the Clerk collects statutory fees, fines, trust funds and support funds; maintains a trust account for monies received; and has established an accounting system for receipting and disbursing monies ordered by the court; and the Clerk-Treasurer further provides an investment plan for monies held. The collection and accounting of court monies are done to ensure that the interests of the public and the county are secured.
Ex Officio Clerk of the Court: Under the Constitution of the State of Nevada, the Clerk has the title of Ex Officio Clerk of the Court. This requires the Clerk's presence at all court sessions for the purpose of receiving and recording court documents and exhibits; and to establish an independent record of court proceedings for the public.
Justice System Administrator: In this role, the Clerk identifies and articulates the changing needs of the court record processing; of the storage, retrieval and disposal of documents, records and exhibits; and of the collection and accounting of court monies to ensure that the interests of the public and the county are secured.
Accuracy and efficiency regarding indexing, posting, filing, preparation of writs or disbursements of funds are critical actions taken within the Clerk's office as they affect the life or property of members of the public and of the County.
According to statutory requirements, the District Court Clerk gathers data and reports to many State and local agencies. This extensive reporting assists the County, the State and the Nevada Legislature to determine the proper operation of the courts, the effectiveness of the statutes and the need for changes.
Jury Commissioner: The District Court Clerk is the officer of the Court in charge of the jury selection process for Carson City. Jurors are randomly selected by a computer system from a source consisting of the current voter registration lists, DMV lists, and utility lists from all the precincts in the city.