Duties of The Clerk of Court

Duties of The Clerk of Court

Dear Dare County Residents:

For those of you whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Dean Martin Tolson and I am your Clerk of Superior Court. I am running as the incumbent candidate for the Dare County Clerk of Superior Court on November 4th. I would like to use this opportunity to provide you with information about the role of the Clerk of Superior Court and my candidacy for the position.

I’m a true native of the Outer Banks and have spent my entire life in Manteo with the exception of spending my college years at East Carolina University where I graduated with honors. My wife Heather and I are raising our three children here in Manteo and are deeply rooted in the community.

The role of the Clerk’s office is largely administrative in nature, as we are the official record-keepers of all court files and records. It is our duty to assist members of the public as well as other agencies and professionals who are seeking information about court records or procedural guidelines. My role as the office head requires leadership skills, experience with employment and human resource issues, and ability to manage a staff of about 16 employees.

Unlike Clerk’s offices in other states, the Clerk of Superior Court in North Carolina does have judicial powers in limited areas of the law. The limited judicial powers of the Clerk’s office are predominately in civil law matters and some require informal hearings held in our office. There is no requirement pursuant to state law that requires the Clerk of Court to have a law degree. In fact, the statutes prohibit the Clerk’s office from practicing law and forbid the office from providing any kind of legal advice to the public. My background as a probation officer and as your Clerk of Court has provided me with intimate knowledge of and experience with the court system. I have received over 1300 hours of specialized training during my career with the State of North Carolina and as your Clerk of Court I have been professionally trained in all the judicial powers and responsibilities. Over my 19-year career as a public servant, I have personally headed up tens of thousands of hearings in both criminal and civil matters. I am the candidate with the most relevant training and experience.

The North Carolina Administrative Offices of the Court (also known as “AOC”) governs the resources and equipment of each Clerk’s office throughout the state, including our computer software systems. The Clerk’s office does not have its own budget and we are required to operate in sync with other Clerk’s offices throughout the state. Despite these limitations, we have still managed to forge ahead in many areas during my term; for example, we were the seventh county in the state to start accepting credit cards, developed our own website to get information more readily available to the public and widely disseminated (www.darenc.com/clerk), we are a pilot county for a foreign language interpretation system, I established a satellite office in Buxton for emergency weather conditions, developed new office policy and procedure and have arranged to obtain an onsite ATM, to name a few.

My efforts and accomplishments as your Clerk have been recognized at both the state and local level. The State has invited me to assist in the training of my fellow Clerks, I have been selected to serve on the Legislative Joint Bar Task Force, serve on the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for Clerks of Superior Court and appointed as one of twenty three members of the Community Corrections Advisory Board for a three year term. From a local standpoint, I have received many compliments from the public, law enforcement agencies, attorneys, and other professionals that frequent the office regarding the enhanced quality and effectiveness of the service provided to them during my term. Unfortunately, many of the folks that look to our office for assistance are dealing with difficult circumstances and under a high level of stress. Customer service is the key to our success and I firmly believe in and promote the following principles: team work, open communication, approachability of my staff and myself, and most importantly, treating people as you would want to be treated.

My proactive approach as your Clerk of Superior Court has turned my one year in office into a success. I am experienced, well trained, dedicated to the community, have a proven track record as your Clerk of Superior Court, and most importantly, I strive to be welcoming to every person that crosses my path.

Very truly yours,

Dean Martin Tolson
Dare County Clerk of Superior Court

Clerk of Courts
Dean M. Tolson, Clerk of Superior Court Dare County Justice Center 962 Marshall C Collins Dr PO Box 1849 (Mailing Address) Manteo NC 27954 Judicial Directory on nccourts.org