Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Clerk of Court: Moving Forward on Multiple Fronts

By Pat Frank

        This is an exciting time at the clerk’s office. We are moving forward on multiple fronts to provide better service thanks to recent technological enhancements.

        One recent enhancement is the ability to provide attorneys of record the capability of viewing court records remotely. I am proud to say that the Hillsborough Online Viewing of Electronic Records (H.O.V.E.R) System was actually developed in-house by the clerk office IT staff. And we already have well over 600 registered users of the system who have viewed more than 9,000 images. It is our hope that this new system will be useful for attorneys who want to access court records remotely. You can register for the H.O.V.E.R. System by visiting our website at www.hillsclerk.com.

        Customer service will also be enhanced significantly through the establishment of our new Court Customer Service Center. Our office recently held the grand opening for this Customer Service Center, as well as the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Probation Services Division. Both operations are on the first floor of the George Edgecomb Courthouse. The Customer Service Center represents the consolidation of all of our court-related services in a one-stop location ― no easy task for us to implement, I can assure you. It took several months of hard work to put in place. The new Customer Service Center has more than 30 service windows, as well as a queuing system in place, to make sure that customers get the right clerk representative to assist them. This is a new concept for us, so please be patient as we go through a few growing pains.

        On still another front, the clerk’s office now offers a Property Fraud Alert, a free service to help people protect their property from fraud by monitoring documents, such as deeds and mortgages, recorded in Hillsborough County. According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud are the fastest-growing white-collar crimes in the country. The Property Fraud Alert is designed to prevent scammers from renting or selling property illegally to an unsuspecting customer, sometimes collecting thousands of dollars in the process. You can register for this service at www.hillsclerk.com.

        Speaking of our website, and last but certainly not least, the clerk’s office is in the process of redesigning our website ― a massive but necessary task because we have implemented so many online services since our last redesign several years ago.

        These are some of our new initiatives as we continue to modernize the clerk’s office to meet your needs as effectively as possible. There are more coming ― so please stay tuned!