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See page 10
Vol. 13, No, 3
A Shoreline Community, Pine Knoll Shores, N.C.
PART OF A SERIES
Get to Know Your Clerk’s Office
By Pamela Hanson .
Carteret County Clerk of Superior Court
In Carteret County there are different types of clerk positions. There is a clerk
to the County Board of Commissioners, there are clerks to the town or municipal
councils and there are town clerks (which are sometimes the same). There is one
clerk, however, who is elected by voters—the Carteret County Clerk of Superior
The Clerk of Superior Court is elected every four years by citizens in Carteret
County and across the State of North Carolina. There are 100 clerks, as there
are 100 sheriffs, one per county. The Clerk of Superior Court is a quasi-judicial
position that is tasked with holding hearings and having original or exclusive
jurisdiction over procedures such as foreclosures, incompetency hearings and all
things estate related. If you do not agree with your clerks decision, there is the right
of appeal to Superior Court from most decisions. Good legal council is advisable
due to the time frames and fees associated with an appeal.
In Carteret County, there are five individual offices under the office of the Clerk
of Superior Court: Cashiers/Bookkeeping, Special Proceedings, Criminal, Civil,
and Estates. Carteret County has a staff of 22 assistant and deputy clerks to manage
the day-to-day paperwork—and there is a massive effort involved in taming that
* In 2017, 399 new files were opened in Special Proceedings, to include Juvenile
and Department of Social Services (DSS) files. Estates had 842 new filings, not
including guardianship tracking. The Civil Division tallied 1,246 new filings. These
do not include District Court, traffic violations and misdemeanors. And just for
clarification, not all of these files are closed out the same year they are opened.
Depending on what type of case and the litigation involved, files remain open
until litigation or actions are complete or administratively dismissed due to lack of
In other counties, the configuration of offices may be slightly different, but no
matter how they are arranged, the tasks are all the same. The County Clerk is the
record keeper for the court. It takes a long time for a County Clerk to become
trained and seasoned. Much like a judge, doctor or any other professional, a good
clerk learns what he or she must do to process many types of actions and then
builds on that knowledge base, as our state government creates new laws during
Some responsibilities of the offices are as follows:
The Cashiers/Bookkeeping Division is where money transactions occur and fees
are paid. While we now can do many transactions by credit card, that was not the
(Continued on page 4)
PKS Continues as Tree City USA
By Sarah Williams
What is Tree City USA? According to the website for the NC Arbor Day
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns
across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides
the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their
public trees. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to
becoming a Tree City USA.
Thanks to Bob Curry and other hardworking Community Appearance
Commission (CAC) members, we have been a Tree City community for the last 18
years. All of us recognize the importance of trees and the importance of effective
urban forest practices. There are more than 3,400 communities that are part of the
Tree City USA program—and 87 communities in North Carolina. The number of
years that N.C. towns have participated ranges from 1 year to 38 years.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in
partnership with the US. Forest Service and the National Association of State
Foresters. Pine Knoll Shores achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the
programs four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance,
an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day
observance and proclamation.
On March 17, the Community Appearance Commission will be recognized
once again as a Tree City USA partner. We will have a brief ceremony at town hall,
starting at noon, and we hope you can join us. Mayor Ken Jones will welcome
everyone and CAC Chairman Lois Jean O’Keefe will give the opening remarks. An
NC Forest Ranger will be on hand to present the award to the CAC.
The CAC members put in countless volunteer hours throughout the year.
Without them, we would not be celebrating our 18th year as a Tree City.
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