Employees for Clayton

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

Speaking with 28 years of collective experience, we the employees of the Surry Circuit Court wish to endorse our boss and the current clerk of Circuit Court, Gail P. Clayton. She has consistently and passionately fulfilled her 1999 pledge to “preserve the past, record the present and prepare for the future.”

Since 2005, this office has utilized over $20,000 in grant funds to digitize older records to include deeds and deeds of trusts dating back to 1741. We have partnered with the Library of Virginia and the Utah Genealogical Society to preserve loose papers and chancery records.

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Currently, land records are available to subscribers through secure remote access at a yearly cost and those records are updated bi-monthly. Some of our daily tasks include recording deeds, judgments, financing statements and fictitious names, in addition to opening and maintaining civil and criminal files, accessing fines and costs along with issuing concealed weapons permits and marriage licenses. We strive to be courteous, knowledgeable and helpful to all visitors. However, we are prohibited from giving legal advice and undertaking title examinations.

Under Ms. Clayton’s leadership, we are exploring the future: a paperless court where land instruments and cases filed are available electronically. Ms. Clayton has mentored high school and college students by implementing several paid internships. All are now college gradates excelling in their chosen fields.

Family relationships have never seemed to matter in Surry County, as long as the person is qualified to do his or her job, as evidenced by Mrs. Emerson, who was her husband’s chief deputy clerk for many years. All employees are hired on the basis of qualification, which entails his or her knowledge, skills and abilities.

We think that Gail P. Clayton’s experience (two terms in office) and Marshall Wythe Law degree count for something. We hope you believe the same.

Natasha K. Byrd-Berkley
Karen R. Holloway
Juanita Parker