Surry Clerk of Court candidate profile: Earl Newby

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Editor’s note: Earl Newby is one of four candidates running for Surry County Clerk of Circuit Court. The Smithfield Times sent the following questionnaire to each candidate. The others are Thomas L.S. Mayes, Shelia Hunt and Janeen Jackson.

Age: 52

Occupation: Accounts Payable for Surry County Public Schools/Deputy Clerk for Surry County School Board

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1. What inspired you to run for clerk court?

I was inspired to run for Clerk of Circuit Court from working alongside my mentors in the legal field, Gerald Poindexter, Gammiel Poindexter and Gail P. Clayton. After graduating from Surry County High School and attending E.C.P.I. Computer Institute, I was offered a job at the Law Offices of Poindexter and Poindexter where I worked for over 25 years. The lawyers took me under their wing and inspired me to give back to my community. Working at the firm, I drafted many different types of documents: civil and criminal pleadings, motions, orders, assisted families resolve real estate matters and other legal matters.  Some of which are among the 800 responsibilities assigned to the Clerk of Circuit Court per the Code of Virginia.

I work for Surry County Public Schools in the Finance Department and serve as Deputy Clerk of the School Board. I ask for your vote.

2. What if any changes would you make if elected?

Having volunteered in the Surry County Circuit Court this summer, I would fully staff the office.  Currently, the Clerk’s Office has two full-time and one part-time employee.  It is my understanding that the Virginia Compensation Board funds three full-time employees as well as the Clerk for a total of four positions.  By adding additional staff, it allows the office to be more responsive to the needs of the citizens plus gives the Clerk the opportunity to assess the current operations and make any necessary changes.  Regardless of staffing issues it is my desire to implement more technology.

3. How can technology be used to make the office more efficient and accessible to citizens?

A lot of technology has already been implanted, which makes it easier for citizens to find documents.  However, e-filing and OCRA (Office of the Court Remote Access) which are more for attorneys would be made available since the template is in place.  Also, I would begin to take credit cards and debit cards for court payments including fines and costs.  As the Virginia Supreme Court updates it technological offerings, I would seek to implement any new offerings.  Again, I ask for your vote on or before November 7, 2023.  I believe I have the skill set necessary for this job.  I am very familiar with technology, legal documents including real estate transactions and estate matters and I promise to serve you well.