What We Do
Duties and Responsibilities of County Clerk of Courts
History of the Office
The office of the Clerk of Courts traces its origin from the medieval cleric who maintained the records, was responsible for correspondence, and had powers to issue writs and other processes ordered by the court.
In creating a state judicial system, the 1802 Ohio State Constitution provided for the appointment of a Clerk of Courts for each county. Originally, the judges of the court of common pleas appointed the Clerk of Courts for a seven year term. Under the 1851 Constitution, the office became elective for a three year term that was extended to four years in 1936. William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the United States, was appointed Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in May, 1836 and held the office when he was elected President in 1840.
The Courts of Common Pleas and the Court of Appeals
The Knox County Clerk of Courts is the official record keeper for the Knox County Common Pleas Court and the Fifth District Court of Appeals.
The General Division of the Common Pleas Court hears civil cases in which the damages claimed or the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000, as well as serious criminal offenses categorized under state law as felonies. The General Division also decided qualifying appeals from administrative decisions and orders rendered by state and local government agencies. The Domestic Relations Division exercise jurisdiction over family law issues, including: divorce, dissolution, legal separation, child custody and support offenses.
The Fifth District Court of Appeals hears appeals from final judgments rendered by the judges of either Division of the Knox County Common Pleas Court, the Mount Vernon Municipal Court and the Probate and Juvenile Courts. The Court of appeals also has original jurisdiction to hear certain equitable actions such as petitions for mandamus or prohibition, in which a citizen seeks to require a public official or body to act in accordance with its statutory duty or to refrain from acting contrary to that duty.
What We Do
The primary responsibilities of the Clerk of Courts include receiving, docketing, indexing, certifying and preserving the pleadings, court orders and other legal documents that are filed with the courts served by the Clerk.
The Clerk of Courts also serves court papers, as required by law and as directed by the parties, furnishes preliminary case schedules and notices of hearings, and issues such writs as summonses, subpoenas, warrants and executions. Deposits of money to cover court costs, fines, fees and restitution are received, accounted for and disbursed by the Clerk of Courts according to statute and court order.
The Clerk of Courts other primary responsibility is the issuance of Certificates of Title for automobiles, boats and trailers. Certificates of Title are the State’s official proof of ownership. The Title Department serves as a “One Stop Shop” along with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, located at 671 North Sandusky Street, Mount Vernon, Oh
See the Title Manual for more information about Title requirements and fees.
The Clerk of Courts office is staffed by trained deputy clerks and is responsible for over $10 million dollars in titling and legal fees each year.
The Title office processes over 30,000 titles annually.
The public records maintained by the Clerk of Courts are available for public inspection during normal business hours.