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Your Clerk



  Picture of the Clerk of the Circuit Court

 

Clerk's Organizational Chart Clerk's Organizational Chart
History of the Clerk's Office
Speaker's Bureau


Clerk's Office Phone Number: (727) 464-7000

Email Ken Burke at: kburke@pinellascounty.org
To contact Ken Burke, please call (727) 464-3341.


Ken Burke serves as the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller for Pinellas County, Florida. Growing up in Pinellas, attending high school and college locally, plus experience as a CPA, a law firm administrator and college board chairman, Ken’s credentials are well matched to the duties of the Clerk’s office. Recognizing his qualifications, Pinellas County voters elected Ken to this position in November 2004. He was sworn in on January 4, 2005. He was reelected without opposition in 2008 and in 2012.

Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush in 1999 and reappointed by Governor Charlie Crist, Ken Burke has also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Petersburg College. Ken was also elected to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Board of Directors in 2001. In 2005-07 he served as Chair of the Association.

Ken Burke served as president of Catholic Charities Housing Corporation for the diocese of St. Petersburg and on the Board of Governors of Catholic Charities. His community named Ken “Mr. Seminole” in 1999 in recognition of his civic contribution.

In June 2011, Ken was elected to serve as President of the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers, a non-profit, statewide organization. The Association is comprised of the Florida Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers, and provides education and accreditation for Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers, information and technical assistance to local governments.

His long record of civic involvement includes serving as:

  • President of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club
  • Government chairman for the All Children’s Hospital Development Council
  • President of the Kiwanis Club of Seminole
  • President of the St. Petersburg Jr. College Alumni Association.
  • President of the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers

He and his wife, Cecilia (Reese), have three children – Catherine, Patrick and Brendan.

Since assuming office, Ken has been elected by his fellow clerks to the statewide Clerks of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC), which is the board created by the Legislature to approve the Clerks’ court related budget. Chief Justice Pariente invited Ken to participate in the Florida Supreme Court’s ‘Access to Justice’ to improve access to the courts by pro se litigants; and to serve on a committee to review the Supreme Court’s judicial plan. Ken was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity. Furthermore, Ken serves as the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Florida Government Finance Officers Association (FGFOA) and as a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Court Clerks, County Records & Election Officials (NACRC). Most recently, he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Higher Education Coordinating Council.

The Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts is a Constitutional Officer who derives authority and responsibility from constitutional and statutory provisions. The Clerk is elected to serve a four-year term by the voters of Pinellas County. The Clerk of the Circuit Court manages all courthouse records, a local budget of approximately $43 million and about 550 employees.


Duties & Responsibilities of the Clerk of the Circuit Court

As Clerk of the Circuit and County Court

  • maintains custody of court records
  • maintains custody of all related pleadings filed
  • secures evidence entered in court
  • ensures integrity of court files is protected
  • collects and disburses court fines and assessments and court ordered child support
  • summons prospective jurors

As Recorder of Deeds

  • maintains Official Records of Pinellas County and ensures their integrity is protected

As Clerk and Accountant of the Board of County Commissioners

  • maintains Official Records of the Board
  • maintains county financial records and prepares financial reports

As Custodian of all County funds

  • receives and records county revenue
  • invests county funds
  • pre-audits and processes county payments

As County Auditor

As an Elected Official

  • delivers quality service in most cost effective manner
  • serves as a trustee in handling collection and disbursements of funding for numerous agencies
  • serves as "watchdog" for citizens of Pinellas County to ensure funds expended are only for a public purpose and for the benefit of the public as a whole

The History of the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court

Many citizens have used or will use the offices of The Clerk of the Circuit Court at some point in their life to:
  • Pay a traffic ticket or File a pleading;
  • Record a property deed or Settle an estate;
  • Look up public information or Serve on a jury;
  • Pick up a child support check or Obtain a marriage license.
The Florida Constitution established a Clerk of the Circuit Court as an elected public trustee in 1838 and established at the county level a system of checks and balances that has served the public well. The Clerk’s Office has always been the “hub” around which each County’s government operates.

On November 14, 1911, Pinellas County, Florida’s 48th county, was born as a result of legislation giving residents of "West Hillsborough” independence. On December 15, as provided for by the legislature, Governor Albert Gilchrist appointed C.W. Weicking as Pinellas County’s 1st Clerk of The Clerk of the Circuit Court. Sixteen people have served as Clerk since that time.

Duties assigned to the Office are: Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts; Clerk and Accountant of the Board for County Commissioners; Recorder of Deeds; Custodian of County Funds/County Treasurer; and County Auditor/ Comptroller.

Over the years the Clerk has assumed more than 1,000 individual statutory duties as delegated by the Florida Legislature. These duties affect the rights and property of all Pinellas County citizens. The Florida constitution and statutes require that the Clerk:
  • Be an elected official subject to public scrutiny.
  • Be governed by statutory authority in carrying out the duties and functions of the office.
  • Act as auditor and custodian of county funds, is subject to state Auditor General rules and regulations.
  • Be subject to annual audits by independent audit firms.
The current Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Ken Burke, was sworn in January 4, 2005.

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Speaker's Bureau

The Clerk's Office has a variety of useful topics, which the Clerk, Ken Burke, or a representative of his office, would enjoy presenting to your organization.

The Clerk's Office's Speakers Bureau was developed to arrange presentations that will further extend our community outreach efforts.

These presentations can be of interest to civic groups, private clubs, community organizations and schools. Allow us to help you plan an interesting, educational and informative program by including a Pinellas County Clerk of the Court speaker.

To request a speaker, contact Karen Lamb, Office Administrator, at (727) 464-4825, FAX: (727) 453-3589 or klamb@pinellascounty.org.

The Clerk's Office looks forward to assisting you with your presentation. We will make every attempt to schedule your requested speaker on the date of your choice. However, it may sometimes be necessary to change dates or topics during times of heavy bookings to meet all requests.

The Role of the Clerk - Learn about the present-day role of the Clerk and the departments within the Clerk’s Office. This presentation will offer an explanation of services provided by the Clerk’s various departments, as well as, identify customer service improvements incorporated to ensure the Clerk’s Office provides excellent customer service with commitment to work and compassion for others.

The Guardianship Process: What is the Clerk’s Function? - What is the statutory auditing role performed by the Clerk in protecting the ward’s assets? How does the Clerk’s Office function in the guardianship process? Find out in this informative look at the responsibilities of both the guardian and the Clerk.

Protecting Confidential Information in Public Records - Are your bank, credit card and social security numbers available for public viewing online in your recorded deeds and other records? Learn how to use the Clerk’s website to locate your records online and how to request your protected information be redacted, or blacked-out of these documents. Learn more about the role of the Clerk in this redaction process and the steps being taken to simplify the process for you.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T: How to Effectively Manage Your Staff” - This presentation on the leadership philosophy of the Clerk’s office, takes a look at the changes in the management style and philosophy made during the past year and a half and the employees’ reaction to the changes. Find out specific skills or methods used for successfully leading and managing staff.

The “People’s Court”: Small Claims Cases, Self-representation and more - This presentation will cover the basics of filing a small claims case, the tools and information available from the Clerk’s office and on the Clerk’s website, as well as, provide information on the various legal assistance programs available in Pinellas County.

Overview of the Clerk’s Online Services - You can accomplish a lot online at the Clerk’s website. Hear how to access to public records, court dockets, BCC meeting minutes, a small claims video, useful forms and information from every department in the Clerk’s office online!

Contact: Clerk's Administration (727) 464-3341, FAX: (727) 453-3589

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Ken Burke, Clerk of the Circuit Court
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