The Brief - July 2016

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The Brief

Vol. 12, No. 7                                                                              July 2016

Paper Notices Going Electronic This Month

Effective July 5, 2016, and as allowed after a recent change to Maricopa County Superior Court Local Rule 2.8 (d), the Clerk’s Office will email attorneys when hearing and trial exhibits are eligible for release or disposal. Email notifications apply to attorneys who have agreed to electronic distribution of minute entries and other notices from the Clerk’s Office. Others will continue receiving notice by U.S. mail. The process for notification and release of exhibits has not changed, only the method of notification from paper to electronic. See the local rule’s amended language online at

Clerk’s Office Earns Two National Achievement Awards

The National Association of Counties awarded the Clerk’s Office achievement awards for two programs that improve customer service in Maricopa County: The Clerk’s employee cross-training program and the Interactive Voice Response Call Management System (IVR).


Compared to years ago, more job seekers are attracted to personally meaningful work, schedule flexibility, and new challenges. The Clerk’s Office remains an attractive employer because of its flexible work schedules, teleworking options, and its mission of helping our community access and receive justice. The Clerk’s Office recently implemented a cross-training program for courtroom clerks and customer service staff that adds variety and challenges to this important work.

On average, it takes four months for a courtroom clerk to work on their own in a judicial officer’s division. Historically, clerks were trained for only one case type and once assigned to a division, approximately 80 percent of their time was dedicated to the courtroom. This approach resulted in a slim margin of experienced clerks available to cover court while new clerks were trained. For greater flexibility and a more versatile, engaged pool of clerks, more training was imperative. Grants funded Saturday trainings that increased the number of courtroom clerks available to cover multiple case types. The courtroom clerk position improved through new information, challenges, and variety that cross-training provided.

The file counters, marriage licenses, and passport services were also targeted for cross-training at multiple locations and the results were impressive. Once implemented, the average wait time for marriage license or passport customers at the Clerk’s Southeast Adult facility improved by approximately 50 percent during a time when customer demand increased by 10 percent.

Interactive Voice Response Phone System

The Clerk’s Office implemented the IVR system in May of 2014 to better handle an average of 30,000 telephone calls each month. Before the IVR, callers could directly dial more than 70 published desk phones and might then be transferred to one or more of more than 100 other telephone numbers before getting the assistance they needed.

Partnering with the County and its vendor, programming was the only cost of development for the Clerk’s Office. The telephone-button operated menu system that resulted allows callers to select options for routing directly to the area of the office they need. The new system eliminated over 200 individual telephone numbers and gave the public one main telephone number to contact the office: (602) 37-CLERK (372-5375). Callers can also get information without speaking to staff, as the menus are available 24-hours per day, 7 days a week.

Whether at a service counter, in a courtroom, or on the phone, the Clerk’s award-winning initiatives strive to make the customer service experience better for Maricopa County’s four million residents and beyond. Clerk’s Office staff take pride in feedback from customers who are pleasantly surprised at getting fast, accurate, respectful results from a government agency.