POMEROY — Before becoming Meigs County Clerk of Courts, Diane Lynch worked as deputy clerk in the office for 27 years.
Now in her second term, she said her hands-on experience was — and still is — the best teacher for the job.
The clerk of courts office is responsible for two departments: Legal and Title, both housed in the Meigs County Courthouse. The office is responsible for filing, docketing, indexing and preserving all court pleadings for civil, felony, criminal and domestic relations cases. Appeals from all lower courts within the county are processed in this office.
The clerk of courts must follow procedures required by law and issue writs to carry out court orders. Some of these writs include summons, subpoenas, warrants to arrest and transport to penal institutions.
Additional responsibilities of the clerk include preserving records associated with the office, recording notary commissions, administering oaths, storing naturalization records, accepting passport applications and issuing automobile and watercraft titles.
“The job of clerk of courts is diverse and complicated, and I believe working as deputy clerk empowered me with knowledge and understanding I would not have been able to bring to the office otherwise,” Lynch said. “If I had not been exposed to the workings of the office before I was elected as clerk of courts, it would have made the transition more difficult for everyone. This is an office that can’t afford a long transition period when changes occur.”
She said she was pleased to put court records online through Courtview with the support of the Meigs County Bar Association, and to upgrade their computer equipment with minimal tax payer expense.
“I saw what other counties were doing with online records and wanted to do the same for Meigs County. I was happy to see it come to fruition,” Lynch said.
Through Courtview, residents are also able to download applications and power of attorney documents before going to the title office. The website also includes information about costs of filing certain legal documents in the clerk of courts office.
The job of Meigs clerk of courts is complicated by the fact the title office is not on the same floor as the clerk’s office, and Lynch said she has been exploring possibilities where the two offices could be side by side.
“Not only would it increase efficiency for our offices to be beside each other, our customers would benefit, especially those who find it difficult to maneuver steps and elevators,” she said. “And it would ease frustration on the part of customers who have to go back and forth between the two offices to accomplish their task, as routinely happens.”
The title office has seen an increase in requests for watercraft and automobile titles as Meigs County’s economy has increased in 2014 and 2015, and Lynch said the office has responded in a positive manner with emphasis on customer service.
Lynch said she has always lived in Middleport, except for a brief period when family obligations required her to move from the area, but she came back as soon as she could do so. Her father worked in the Middleport Post Office for 45 years and her mother was a homemaker who was active in the community. Her two children and six grandchildren live in Middleport, and she said this is the only place she wants to be.
“I have been a part of this community all of my life and I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” Lynch said. “I enjoy serving the people of this county.”
Lynch is running on the Republican ticket against Republican challenger Sammi Sisson Mugrage for the office of clerk of courts in the March 15 primary election.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.