Next time you’re in court, look for the person near the judge keeping track of the proceedings and take note, that is the Clerk of the Court. They are responsible for keeping track of everything that happens in court. The Clerk’s job is complicated and requires a multitasking extraordinaire. They have to know everything about the court process, and be accurate enough to do all the follow up.
The Clerks and the Justices of the Peace also administer the internal workings of the court. The Court Complex Building at 408 York has large administrative areas. A lot goes on behind the scenes to keep the whole thing running.
If you’re attending court for the first time, an obvious general rule is to follow the Judge’s directions. Remember to also keep your eye out for the Clerk to make sure you are also following their directions. When a Clerk of the Court is telling you something, it’s my experience that they are trying to help you.
An average day for a Clerk starts with being assigned to different courtrooms throughout the building. Sometimes they will be assigned to bail court, and other times trials or administrative courts.
The Clerks work as a team. Sometimes you’ll notice that one will take over for another while court is running. That’s to try to make sure they don’t end up working too many hours straight. However, they sometimes work many hours in a court without a break in an effort to get everyone’s matter heard.
Judges really value the work of the Clerk of the Courts. The Judges have a difficult job and really appreciate having such a strong and reliable team of people working along side them:
Former Chief Judge, The Honourable Raymond E. Wyant, spoke of the important role of court staff in a past annual report, in particular, the work of court clerks, trial coordinators, justices of the peace and sheriff officers. I once again wish to provide comment on the incredible work of various personnel within the Provincial Court system. As a judge of the court, I certainly value and appreciate the various roles and responsibilities of those of us working in the court system of Manitoba and that so much of the work we do, in order to be truly successful requires a team effort.
The next time you’re in court, remember to be friendly and pay attention to whatever the Clerk is telling you.