Judge appoints Hyder clerk of court

Published 7:26 am Thursday, December 8, 2011

Polk County Chief Superior Court Judge Mark Powell officially appointed Pam Hyder as Polk County Clerk of Superior Court.

Hyder will officially take over the position on Jan. 1, 2012 after current clerk of court Charlene Owens retires effective Dec. 31.

The Polk County Democratic Executive Committee made the recommendation for Hyder to take over the clerk of court position in November. Judge Powell considered the nomination and agreed, making it official last Friday, Dec. 2.

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Hyder will serve as clerk of court until next year’s election, when she will have to be re-elected to retain the title. Owens’ term is not up until 2014, so whoever is elected in November 2012 will have to run again in 2014 to retain a four-year seat.

Owens worked in the clerk’s office for almost 35 years, beginning in 1977 as a deputy clerk under then clerk of court Judy Arledge. Owens was elected to clerk of court after Arledge retired in 1998. Owens has since been elected to three four-year terms.

The following is a list of clerk of court duties according to the N.C. Court System:

The voters of each county elect the clerk of superior court for four-year terms. Clerks are paid by the state with their salaries scaled depending on the population of their counties.

The clerk is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions of the superior and district court. The clerk also has numerous judicial functions, including serving as probate judge for wills and the administration of estates and decedents, minors and incompetents. The clerk also hears a variety of special proceedings such as adoptions, incompetency determinations and partitions of land and is empowered to issue arrest and search warrants and to exercise the same powers as a magistrate with respect to taking pleas of guilty to minor littering, traffic, wildlife, boating, marine fisheries, alcoholic beverage, state park recreation and worthless check offenses.

Each clerk has a number of assistants and deputies. The number of assistants and deputies that each clerk may employ varies from county to county depending on the volume of business. Assistant and deputy clerks are paid on a salary schedule fixed by the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts that is based on education and years of service in the clerk’s office; the maximum and minimum salaries within that scale are fixed by the General Assembly.

Filing for the clerk of court and other county elected positions, including three open commissioner seats begins on Feb. 13, 2012.