02/09/10 — Minshew seeks re-election to clerk of court

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Minshew seeks re-election to clerk of court

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on February 9, 2010 1:46 PM

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Pam Minshew

Wayne County Clerk of Superior Court Pam Minshew filed for re-election on Monday, seeking a second four-year term in the job.

Mrs. Minshew started as an assistant clerk in the office in 1975, leaving for a five-year period before returning in 1985, a total of about 28 years of service in the office.

She said the transition to a leadership role about three years ago presented some difficulties, but other aspects of the job had become quite familiar.

"I was doing a lot of it before, so some of it was fairly easy to get used to. Of course, there's a lot of personnel work that I've had to handle, which is something I didn't have to do before," Mrs. Minshew said.

The clerk of court said she enjoys the position, both the new duties and the familiar ones.

"I love my job. I love working with the people, and helping all of them that I can," Mrs. Minshew said. "I have seven different departments, and it keeps me busy ... going from each department, trying to make sure everything is OK."

The state Administrative Office of the Courts also has thrown a few curve balls to the state's individual clerks of court, she said.

One is a program that allows officers in participating counties to hand out unserved warrants when people are pulled over.

"The N.C. Aware program, which is a warrant depository (database), we've all had to go to training on that," Mrs. Minshew said. "Last time I've heard, there were about 36 counties on it."

The court clerk gave a hypothetical example in which the system would be used.

"Say you're in the western part of the state, they (police) can look on the screen and see that we have an unserved warrant," Mrs. Minshew said. "They can call and confirm ... and they can serve them right there."

Another change is the Criminal Court Information System, a new computer program intended to update the capabilities of deputy clerks of court, the court official said.

"They're going to completely do away (with the old system)," Mrs. Minshew said, adding that the new capabilities for clerks to enter include continuances, subpoenas, notices to defendants, amended waivers and money owed by defendants.

The court has also gotten a new jury system since the court clerk started her tenure.

A programmer who worked for the county had previously worked on the system, developing a proprietary in-house system.

However, other duties assigned to the programmer within the county prevented him from developing a scanner system that court officials wanted, Mrs. Minshew said.

"He was doing a great job, but he just didn't have the time to work on it anymore," the clerk of courts said.

The new scanner automates the process of checking in jurors, the court official said.

"We can just scan it (a juror card) and it lets us know that they are here," she said. "If they didn't show up, we can just scan it (the card), and it prints a letter to them."

Mrs. Minshew said she hopes to continue improvements within the court system with another term.

"I have enjoyed working here, and I've loved serving the people of Wayne County, and helping them in any way that I could," she said. "And I still intend on doing that if elected."