UNION COUNTY — More space and quicker access to the courtroom and the judges who preside there are among the advantages of Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault’s new office.
For many years, the private office of the Clerk of Court was located in the back of Clerk of Court’s Office on the main floor of the Union County Courthouse.
This changed recently when Gault determined that the location of his private office presented certain challenges to him and his staff performing their duties.
“My private office was downstairs on the main floor in the Clerk of Court’s Office in the back,” Gault said. “My private office was used for my office, for filing, and for the copy machine which was also located there.
“With it being so small there was only room for only one other chair,” he said. “Many times there would be more than one person so someone would have to stand or I would have to borrow a chair from the outer office.”
In addition to the lack of space, Gault said there was the conflict between privacy and access.
“Most of the time when people meet with me it is Clerk of Court related but they still like a private meeting,” Gault said. “By doing that the ladies could not get files or make copies because it would interrupt the meeting I was in or it might slow down the people they were trying to assist.”
Gault said new security measures were also an issue.
“Then there’s the new security that was put in place this year by the federal government,” Gault said. “No unauthorized people were allowed behind the counter. If they were they had to be signed in and escorted back to my office. This included anyone from attorneys to county employees not part of the Clerk of Court’s Office.”
Gault said that all this got him looking for a way to address the issues of lack of space, filing, privacy, access, and security and that’s what lead him to move his private office to the second floor of the courthouse.
“I looked at a better way to help the public meet with me,” Gault said. “After looking at the different options I moved my private office up to an office on the second floor next to the courtroom that we’d been using for the filing of documents in the Clerk of Court’s Office.
“I moved eight filing cabinets down and placed them in my office on the main floor,” he said. “So now that entire room is a filing office and I moved in to where the filing cabinets were.”
Gault said in moving his private office up to the second floor, he also rearranged the offices used by the visiting judges who preside over General Sessions Court and the office used by the county’s Family Court judge. He said the Family Court judge’s office is now in what he calls the “front” judge’s chambers. He said this puts the Family Court judge’s chambers next to his secretary’s office.
The visiting judges presiding over General Sessions Court will now use what Gault called the “back” chambers which is next to his new office.
Gault said relocating his private office to the second floor gives him several advantages that can assist him in helping the members of the public who need his services.
“My new office helps me in several ways,” Gault said. “It gives me more space for meeting with people who need to meet with me. It places me right outside the courtroom and beside the judges chambers to assist them.”
In addition, Gault said the mortgages and deeds that were previously stored in the second floor room his office now occupies, are now downstairs in the Clerk of Court’s Office. He said this makes it easier for the staff to access them.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.