Close to 200 municipal court clerks and other city employees from across the state recently attended the Municipal Court Clerks Conference hosted by the UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service in Franklin. The attendees heard presentations that addresses a variety of everyday issues that affect the operations of Tennessee’s courts and cities.
The program kicked off with a presentation by guest speakers Doug and Pat Ralls, who shared the story of their son being killed by a districted driver one morning on his way to work. Their message of “hang up and drive” was powerful and well received by the court clerks in attendance. During the remainder of the first day, the attendees heard deliveries by MTAS Finance Consultant Brad Harris, who spoke on best practices for dealing with a variety of payments that clerks receive; MTAS Legal Consultant Melissa Ashburn, who explained the best practices for courts handling appeals; and former Clarksville City Attorney David Haines, who discussed issues surrounding the American with Disabilities Act.
Day two of the conference featured MTAS Police Consultant Rex Barton and a panel of experts discussing the advantages of e-citations. Among the panelists were employees from the city of Alcoa and Knoxville Chief of Police David B. Rausch. Panelists stressed the increase in productivity and revenue along with reduced costs and increased officer safety in the usage of e-citations. This informative session was followed by the Chair of the Judicial Ethics Committee, Judge Alan Glenn, who delivered a strong message on the need to develop ethical and professional guidelines for municipal court clerks.
Members of the MTAS training department concluded the conference by introducing and officially launching a certificate program endorsed by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Municipal court clerks from across the state are enrolling in the three-year program for professional development. More than 115 court clerks registered within the first week of the program’s debut.