New Year, New Faces: Scoggins carries clerk’s office into new era
by Jessica Loeding
Feb 17, 2013 | 1811 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Melba Scoggins is Bartow County’s Clerk of Superior Court. Elected to the position in November, 2012, she has worked in the Bartow County Clerk of Superior Court’s office for almost 30 years.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News Melba Scoggins is Bartow County’s Clerk of Superior Court. Elected to the position in November, 2012, she has worked in the Bartow County Clerk of Superior Court’s office for almost 30 years.
slideshow
For almost 30 years, Melba Scoggins has made the Bartow County Clerk of Superior Court’s office her second home. Elected in July as clerk of Superior Court, she will now look to guide the department into a more user-friendly era.

“I have plans to provide as much information as possible and as many services online as possible, thus facilitating the most expedient and inexpensive delivery of services to taxpayers and other customers,” Scoggins said.

Listing one of her top goals as being a “leader to the staff and administrator to the judicial system,” Scoggins set about in January installing an archive system.

“This system processes and stores copies of the clerk’s electionic data files both on site and in a remote location. This action insures the irreplaceable public data is protected and recoverable in the event of a disaster,” she said. “We have deed records back to the 1800s. I was very happy to have already completed this task in January before the destruction we had in our community.”

Scoggins, who lives in Rydal with her husband of 30 years, Myron, a Cartersville firefighter, began working in the courthouse when she was 18, moving from the District Attorney’s office to the clerk’s office in 1984.

“The courthouse is like a second home to me. The judges, attorneys and staff are like a family,” said the mother of two — she will become a grandmother later this year.

And, for Scoggins, the employees in her office — 16 full-time and three part-time — are strong resources.

“I am blessed to be working with such a great bunch of women,” she said.

In 2013, Scoggins’ budget — the biggest challenge she faces — is $1.4 million, almost unchanged from 2012. “I am trying to see what cutbacks can be made in the budget; county employees have furloughed for four years,” she said.

With those funds, the clerk of Superior Court’s office handles the clerical aspects of court business and processes all criminal cases.

“We are responsible for the preserving and safekeeping of all county records for the general public. We record property like deeds, plats, liens, as well a civil documents like divorces, lawsuits adoptions, child support and notaries [and] military discharge papers,” Scoggins said.

Recently, the state began providing jury lists, just one of the changes for Scoggins’ department coming down from the state and federal level.

“There are 90,000 people in the jury box that are eligible to serve as grand or traverse jury,” she said of the change.

“The legislative meeting always affects our fine and fees,” she added. “We are governed by these laws. There is a House Bill 295 that deals with the Board of Equalization that is being amended.”

HB 295 relates to “revenue and taxation, so as to provide for the comprehensive revision of provisions regarding ad valorem taxation, assessment, and appeal; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes,” according to the Georgia General Assembly website.

With changes in the works, Scoggins said she hopes her first term brings satisfaction those who utilize her office.

“I always want to give the best customer service,” she said of the next four years. “I hope to provide an even greater online acess to court, real estate and records.”