About the Clerk & Comptroller
Your Clerk of Court - a Public Trustee
I, Pam Childers, am your elected Clerk and Comptroller of Escambia County, first elected by the public on August 14, 2012 for a 4 year term. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Government Finance Officer (CGFO) and have 20 years of governmental finance and management experience. I am married to Bruce Childers, a local attorney, and we have 4 children.
Nowhere in Florida history has any one elected officer been charged with more responsibility for protecting the public trust at the local level than the Clerk of the Court. The constitution and the statutes provide a myriad of mandates to the Clerk to provide services to the citizens, the state and the local government. The legislature and the courts enact laws and rules that mandate the Clerk to provide the checks and balances that protect the public trust at the local level.
I am here to serve you, the public, and give my promise to act with integrity and professionalism as your duly elected Clerk.
The Florida Constitution Article V, Section 16 established the Clerks of the Circuit Court in the State of Florida:
There shall be in each county a clerk of the circuit court who shall be selected pursuant to the provisions of Article VIII section 1. The Clerk of Court is a vital part of the local court system, responsible for the coordination of jurors, swearing in court witnesses and recording evidence presented at trial. Any fines, fees or assessments collected by the Clerk are distributed to state and local governments according to law.
The Clerk's Office has the duty of maintaining and preserving the official documents and records of this county's rich history. In recent years, your Clerk has embraced technology to provide residents with greater and more efficient access to these documents. Electronic imaging and retrieval processes now allow for convenient online access to many real estate documents, criminal and civil court listings and volumes of other public documents under the Clerk's custody and control. Innovative security measures are used to keep your personal information safe.
One of the most important functions of the Clerk of Court is maintaining the financial integrity of the county. Your Clerk recognizes that local citizens have entrusted public funds to local government leaders. As the chief financial officer, or comptroller, for the county, the Clerk serves as accountant, auditor and custodian of your tax dollars and provides services to each of the county's departments. Your Clerk's Office strives to efficiently and effectively manage local government finances so that local residents and communities are better served.
Duties & Responsibilities
Florida Statutes Chapter 28 defines many of the duties for the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The following are just a few of the many duties that the Clerk performs.
- As Clerk of the Circuit & County Court
- As County Auditor
- As Accountant & Custodian of County Funds
- As Recorder of Deeds
- As Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners
- Other Duties
- Assist in completing paperwork necessary to file for a Simplified Divorce
- Assist in completing paperwork required to file a Disposition of Personal Property
- Assist in completing paperwork required to file a Small Claims action
- Assist victims of abuse in completing paperwork necessary to file Domestic and Repeat Violence actions
- Audit each initial and annual guardianship report, advising the court of the audit results
- Conduct mortgage foreclosure sales and estate partition sales
- File indictments, information and verdicts
- File, secure, and dispose of all evidence entered by the court
- Jury Manager for Escambia County
- Official representation at all sessions of court
- Prepare appellate records
- Process all civil and criminal cases
- Receive and disburse moneys for fines, court costs, forfeitures, fees, service charges, alimony and child support, victim restitution and certain moneys to be held in trusts
- Take Last Will and Testaments for deposit
- Conduct internal post audits to determine the sufficiency of financial controls
- Pre-audit all County expenditures before payment
- Prepare reports suggesting improvements to management
- Review proposed contracts before adoption
- Establish and review internal control procedures for all cash collection sites
- Handle investments of available county funds
- Process accounts payable
- Process the County payroll
- Provide accounting services to all departments under the Board of County Commissioners
- Provide an accounting system for all fiscal changes implemented by the Board
- Provide financial reporting to the Board and all federal and state agencies
- Maintain a public microfilm library
- Process tax deed applications and conduct sales
- Record and index deeds, mortgages, and descriptions of all county property
- Record public defender liens and judgments entered by the court, record tax liens and claims against an estate, instruments of conveyance, agreements, contracts, maps and plats of subdivisions and surveys
- Attend meetings of the Board of County Commissioners and committees of the board
- Maintain custody of all County resolutions, ordinances, and contracts
- Maintain legal custody of the Official County Seal
- Process appeals for Value Adjustment Board
- Produce, record, index and distribute the official minutes of these meetings
- Compile and provide statistical data for State of Florida agencies
- Maintain records storage facilities
- Process marriage license applications and solemnize marriages upon request
- Serve as central depository for court ordered child support and alimony payments