The office of the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas traces its origin to the medieval cleric. A cleric maintained records, was responsible for correspondence and had various powers to issue writs or other processes ordered by the Court. The cleric was generally one of the few educated persons in the community. Many prominent Ohioans have served as Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, including William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States.
There are two distinctly different divisions within the Clerk of Courts office - the Legal Division and the Motor Vehicle Title Division.
Ross County Clerk of Courts Legal Division
The Clerk of Courts Office,located in the Ross County Court House -plays a vital role in serving the interests of justice. This includes filing, docketing, indexing and preserving all court pleadings for civil, felony criminal and domestic relations cases. The Clerk of Courts must also follow procedure required by law and issue writs to carry out Court orders. Some of these writs include summons, subpoenas, warrants to arrest and to convey to penal institutions and the signing of the death warrant in capital cases.
In addition to processing all Court paperwork, the Clerk of Courts must preserve the records for use by future generations. A computer system has been in use since 1989 to record the index and docket of court cases allowing faster access to the information.
Older court casefiles are kept on microfilm. By reducing the files to microfilm, the amount of space needed to permanently retain casefiles is manageable and the files are safer. The master microfilm is kept offsite and the Clerk's office makes available a copy for use in the office.
Ross County Clerk of Courts Title Division
The Title Bureau, now located at 475 Western Ave. Suite M- issues a certificate of title to document the ownership of motor vehicles including automobiles, watercraft and all terrain vehicles. An Automated Title Processing System links all 88 counties Title Bureaus into a common database. The computer system, provided by the State of Ohio, was completely upgraded in January 2016. New hardware and software have been installed, and all Title Division staff members were trained on the new procedures.