What do courtroom clerks do?

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Courtroom clerks are court officials who work for particular judges. Courtroom clerks have many duties. Typically, they:

  • Verify that the parties are present in court. If a defendant fails to come to court when required, the courtroom clerk may assist the judge in preparing a bench warrant for that defendant’s arrest.
  • Maintain the court calendar (sometimes called the “docket”), which lists the dates and times for trials and other matters.
  • Prepare court orders for the judge to sign, such as an order granting a motion to exclude evidence.
  • Keep custody of exhibits entered as evidence in a case and administer oaths to witnesses, jurors, and interpreters.
  • Obtain for the judge’s reference and keep custody of case files maintained and stored in the courthouse clerk’s office.
  • Assist the judge during a hearing or trial by marking and handling documents and other exhibits.

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