Surry Clerk of Court candidate profile: Janeen Jackson

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Editor’s note: Janeen Jackson 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, Earl Newby and Shelia Hunt.

Age: 54

Occupation: Surry General and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Clerk

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1. What inspired you to run for clerk court?

Friends and citizens in the community inspired me to run for Clerk of Court. Additionally, my harmonious relationship with the legal community, colleagues along with joy working in what I do inspired me to run for Clerk of Court. I also believe I have the experience needed to best serve as the next Clerk of Court. I am an expert in case management and court process and procedures. I worked in Maryland courts and Newport News courts. I possess an AA degree in Paralegal Studies and a BA degree in Criminal Justice. I have successfully served as the Surry Clerk of both General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts for 11 years. I am well versed in court administrative duties that are solely handled by the Clerk. I believe I am a good investment for citizens to elect to become the next Circuit Court Clerk. 

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

My first goal is to implement “User Friendly Courts” providing excellent customer service to all. The Clerk’s Office is not permitted to give legal advice and cannot assist citizens in the handling of many court filings which can lead to many needs becoming unfulfilled. I have worked the courts almost all my career and understand that there are skillful ways of assisting citizens in getting their needs met. I recognize that through good customer service, the courtesy and commitment in assisting patrons is winning half of the battle. I plan to seek out good customer service development for myself and staff to better serve the community.

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

Technology can make the clerk’s office more efficient and accessible to citizens. Covid proved this to be true. When covid began, courts relied heavily on remote hearings, telephone hearings, video arraignments and video trials for inmates and litigants who could not be present, and it worked! These once shunned advances are now used every day to improve public access to the courtrooms. Likewise, instead of using tax dollars to purchase expensive equipment, I plan to implement these and seven more technologies that Supreme Court has already made available for use by clerk’s offices. These technologies will make transactions easier and faster taking a huge burden off citizens, the legal community, and clerk’s office. I also plan to maintain systems in place for citizens who may not prefer technology.  I pledge to research and implement the best technologies and procedures that yields the most benefit to us all.