CLERK OF COURT & COMPTROLLER
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA
Hillsborough County has had an elected Clerk of Court since before Florida was a state. The duties and demands have grown tremendously since those days, when records were written with pen and ink and kept in paper ledgers.
The duties are so broad and varied that I always tell people that we serve them from cradle to grave.
If you adopt a baby, we preserve the records. If you are called for jury duty we handle all the arrangements. Getting married? We give you the license and even perform the ceremony if you wish. Honeymooning overseas? We'll process your passport application. Buying a house? We record the deed. If you think the Property Appraiser set your value too high we will handle an appeal through the Value Adjustment Board. Get a traffic ticket? We take your payment or arrange a court hearing. If you pay child support we arrange the payments. Getting divorced? Need a restraining order? Suing your landlord or evicting a tenant? Challenging someone's mental competence? That's all us too. And when you die, we handle the probate paperwork.
Oh, and did you know we also deliver the mail to every Hillsborough County government office, pay all the county’s bills and watch over their investments? As comptroller as well as clerk, I serve as the public’s independent watchdog on county spending.
We perform so many duties–more than 1,000 prescribed by law or court rules. And all of them require attention to detail. One mistake can put an innocent person behind bars or cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. So we must be very careful in every task we perform. And we must perform our jobs so we are above reproach.
You could sum it all up in three words: Integrity, transparency and accountability. Or put it this way: We protect and preserve the public trust.
We are not content with doing things the way they’ve always been done. We cannot afford to sit still. A digital revolution has transformed our office as we move toward a paperless environment. All court cases are filed electronically and millions of documents have been digitized. We will continue to use technology to increase efficiency and find better ways to serve our customers.
We are committed to customer service, so we have offices located throughout the county, from downtown Tampa to Plant City, Brandon and Ruskin. We also have a Records Center near Brandon with 2.5 million paper court files.
We are here to serve our customers wherever they are—in person, on line or over the phone. Please let us know how we are doing by emailing me.