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Long clerk of court workload increases with growth
MR Clerkweb
Long County Superior Court Clerk Frank Middleton discusses a case file with deputy clerk Sandra Hodges. - photo by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI -- Most of the growth in Long County has been positive and welcomed by the majority of people. But one side of the growth, which isn't so good, is the number of court cases.
According to Superior Court Clerk Frank Middleton, the workload in his office has grown tremendously.
"When you figure in the criminal, civil and juvenile cases, and then add in the real estate documents that we now do, we have had more work over the last two years, than we did in the previous five," he said.
Middleton, who has been in the position since 2001, said most people don't know what all goes on in his office, but that the office affects everyone in the court system and anyone who conducts any transactions dealing with real estate.
"My folks work with several agencies in creating and maintaining case files in all areas of the court system," the clerk said.
According to Middleton, the files are updated throughout a case and sometimes information is requested from the files decades later. It is important that the files be maintained so information can be provided when it is needed.
"We have to keep these files up to date and accurate or it can slow down the whole court system," Middleton said.
The Clerk's Office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., but Middleton said on many days the work goes on much later than office hours.
Another area where the workload has increased is in the real estate transactions.
"In the last two years, our real estate work has tripled," he said.
"Our office helps people with plats, deeds, plat liens and more than I can sum up in a sentence," the clerk said.
Middleton said he is particular proud of how deed and index books are created.
"Since 2001 we have made up our own deed and index books. By doing this we provide quicker and more efficient service to our customers, and it also saves the county the cost of having to pay someone else to print and bind them," he said.
Middleton is also quick to praise his employees; a chief deputy and four deputy clerks.
"I have good people in my office, and I give them credit for the good service they help me provide to our customers."
For more information on the office, call 545-2123.
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