SB 0697 Changes process for separating recorders and circuit clerks and process to make circuit clerk appointed
LR Number:3010S.04C Fiscal Note:3010-04
Last Action:05/12/00 - S Inf Calendar S Bills for Perfection Journal page:
Title:SCS SB 697
Effective Date:Varies
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Available Summaries | Senate Home Page | List of 2000 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 697 - This act changes the procedures for separating the offices of recorder of deeds and circuit court clerk by combining them with procedures to make the circuit clerk appointed. All counties will have the option to have a recorder. Current law limits recorders to just first, second and certain third classification counties. The option can be exercised by voting to have an appointed circuit clerk. An affirmative vote accomplishes both appointment procedures and separation of the recorder's and clerk's offices. The county election to make clerks appointed may be set by the county commission, or by petition of 5% of the voters.

A charge of $10 on recorded instruments relating to property is imposed after January 1, 2001. Every county collects the $10 and pools it through the Office of the State Courts Administrator. Only counties with an appointed clerk receive the money back - 20% directly to the recorder to pay for certain office costs, and 80% to the county treasury to be used only for the recorder's office. Money from counties that have an elective circuit clerk are passed on to the state's general revenue.

Geographic limitations (state residency, jurisdictional residency) are removed from both elected and appointed clerks. Section 483.010, RSMo, further states that clerks are judicial employees of the circuit court under which they serve.

Current law remains that circuit clerks in St. Louis City, and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles and Jackson will take office pursuant to the charter of these respective entities. If the clerk's office is made appointive, then the state will pay the portion of the clerk's salary that would be paid for a county of such size.

Vacancies of all clerks are filled by the circuit court. Currently, they would be filled by the Governor. In elected counties, the appointment would last until the next election. Circuit clerk staff may still by appointed by the circuit clerk, except in St. Louis City courts, where control over deputy circuit clerks, docket clerks, data processing personnel and personnel officers shall be by local court rule. Removal and conditions of employment remain subject to Supreme Court rule 7, but shall be subject to appropriations and the administrative rules of the Supreme Court. Beginning January 1, 2003, circuit clerk salaries will be fixed by the Supreme Court.