District Clerk has big plans for final year in office

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from the Office of County Judge Mark Riley


With one year remaining in her term, Parker County District Clerk Elvera Johnson says she has been truly blessed to serve Parker County for the past 11 years and while she will not seek reelection, she has one final endeavor planned for her final year in office.

Since taking office in 1999, Johnson became the first Parker County District Clerk to fully automate the office, placing much needed computers on every desk. At the time, Parker County was just beginning to experience the phenomenal growth that has continued to this day and Johnson was instrumental in the county acquiring an electronic case management system and automating the jury process.

“My office can now handle the increased case load, docket settings and jury trials, while maintaining the same number of employees as I had in 2004, thereby keeping the costs to taxpayers down,” she said.

Johnson said her next endeavor is to further automate the jury process using the Internet. By statute, Johnson is Jury Officer and is responsible for pulling all juries for all courts.

“Hopefully by spring those summoned for jury service will log into a secure site on the Internet and be able to check in, request a postponement, take a lawful exemption and fill out their jury questionnaire,” she said. “This will save countless hours that jurors will not have to spend looking for parking or sitting in a courthouse. It will also mean that the voir dire process and trials can begin sooner.”

The county and the taxpayer will save money with this system as the county will not have to pay more jurors than the number necessary for voir dire, which is something Johnson, said she is extremely enthusiastic about.

While talking about her plans for her next and final year as District Clerk, Johnson took time to reflect on the past.

“Being the District Clerk of Parker County for the past 11 years has been very challenging and rewarding,” she said. “I took office as the county population was greatly expanding which, in turn increased my caseload. In 1999 we filed approximately 600 civil cases and 350 criminal cases. Currently we file approximately 2,500 civil cases and 860 criminal cases on a yearly basis.”

Johnson now collects and distributes approximately $900,000 in court costs, fees and fines each year and is also responsible for approximately $550,000 in registry funds.

She said her first major challenge was relocating her office from the Parker County Courthouse to the District Courts Building which she accomplished without closing her office.

“I am content with my decision to retire at the end of my 3rd four-year term on Dec. 31, 2010 but I will miss the job and my great staff,” she said. “I have such a great staff and have had very little turnover. I am truly blessed because ten of my fourteen deputies have been with me five years or longer and it requires a full year to train a new deputy. I fully enjoy coming into the office each day and challenging my brain. In looking back, I have met and worked with the best government officials.

“The Parker County Commissioners Court is doing an exceptional job in challenging times. I have great respect for our court system and those who serve within it. As long as each official respects that other officials have lawful duties individual to their office, we succeed. As long as all who serve keep the needs of those who pay for and use our systems in a prominent place, we succeed.”

An office created by the Texas Constitution, the District Clerk ranks at the same level as Judges, County Clerks, District and County Attorneys, County Judges, Treasurers, Tax-assessor Collectors, Commissioners, Justices of the Peace and Constables.

The duties of the District Clerk are many, varied and complex. All staff members are Deputy District Clerks, and are appointed by the District Clerk. Each one swears an oath of office and is bonded.

“My philosophy is that everything we do touches someone’s life,” she said. “We do not exist except for the people who need judicial services.”

By statute, the District Clerk is mandated to acquire twenty hours of continuing education each year to remain in office. The liabilities are great. For example, Judges and Prosecutors are not held liable for their decision or judgments made as a result of their duties. However, a District Clerk is personally liable in many instances and accountable for all decisions under the laws of Texas.

While she looks forward to her retirement, she plans to treat her upcoming final year in office just like the past 11 and continue to enjoy serving the people of Parker County to the best of her abilities.

For additional information, contact Joel Kertok @ 817.598.6166.

2 responses

  1. Hello we would like to tell you about this law suite we found and it’s got your sheirff Larry Fowler in it.Can you tell us whats he doing in it and he sould step down if this is the truth about him and it say that a texas ranger that work’s for the county da . plesae like in to this we are send you the info on this law suite . we are send it to the new papper’s and fox new 4 . happy hoildays and god bless, Case 3:09-cv-02323-N Document 1 Filed 12/06/2009 Page 1 of 17 this case is file IN THE U.S DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRCT OF DALLAS DIVISION ..please look in to it we in this county need no bad news or forks looking at parker co .bad rapps are hard to over come . we wish your offices the best new year 2010

  2. It remains a mystery to me how someone who’s parents Victor and Gilda demarco who entered and lived in this country illegally was able to rise above it all and get elected to a public office .
    how is it that someone who has illegal aliens for parents ,someone who is not a native Texan was able to pull the wool over so many peoples eyes and get elected to an office that handles so much of our tax payer money and moneys gathered as fines without a single audit being performed by an independant agency escapes me .

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