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Title: Assistant Clerk Magistrate - Fitchburg District Court
Pay Grade: Statutory
Starting Pay: 134,390.00
Departmental Mission Statement: As a gateway to justice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District Court is dedicated to the administration of justice in a fair, impartial, and timely manner in accordance with the rule of law. In fulfilling this role, the District Court shall provide the communities it serves with an environment that is safe, accessible, and respectful to all. The District Court shall conduct its business with integrity, competence, and a commitment to excellence in order to promote public trust and confidence in the judicial system.
District Court Organization Profile
Notes: This position is designated as a management position and is covered by the Trial Court Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.
The successful applicants will be required to be available on certain nights and weekends to travel to police departments in the jurisdiction of the Fitchburg District Court for purposes of reviewing/issuing search warrants and arrest warrants and making after-hours bail determinations.
The employees in this position assist the Clerk-Magistrate in performing magisterial and administrative duties as set forth in state statutes and court rules.
• Magisterial responsibilities include determining probable cause for the issuance of criminal complaints and search warrants, in court and out of court bail determinations, determinations of preliminary probation violation hearings, adjudicating small claims motions and trials and presiding over both civil and criminal motor vehicle hearings.
• Assistant clerk-magistrates also may decide certain non-dispositive motions in civil and criminal cases, enter defaults and default judgments, and other civil processes.
• Administrative responsibilities include the preparation and maintenance of all court papers and records and performance of administrative tasks to ensure that cases move rapidly and smoothly to a determination by the court.
• Work is performed under the direction of the Clerk-Magistrate or First Assistant Clerk-Magistrate.
• Supervision is exercised over support personnel within the Clerk-Magistrate's Office.
Duties: Any one position may not include all of the duties and responsibilities listed below nor do the listed examples include all tasks which may be found in these positions.)
• Receives applications for criminal complaints and reviews them for probable cause.
• Reviews applications for search warrants filed by police and others and determines whether such warrants may issue.
• Conducts hearings and determines whether criminal complaints and/or arrest warrants may issue, determines appeals from civil motor vehicle citations, municipal by-law violations and environmental citations.
• Conducts trials of small claims and makes judgments of the same. In the absence of a justice, arraigns defendants, determines questions of bail, and conducts preliminary probation violation hearings.
• Calls the list of cases scheduled before a justice and makes the official record of the proceedings.
• Reviews filings from attorneys and Pro Se litigants and informs them on court procedure.
• Arranges for hearings and notifies counsel.
• Certifies and transmits official copies of court records as required Issues process as required by the court or prescribed by statutes and rules of court.
• Receives, examines and reviews all filings and has responsibility to ensure they comply with rules of court, and to establish their suitability for filing.
• Maintains electronic and written indexes of cases entered.
• Supervises the receipt, recording and disbursements of fees and money by the court.
• Distributes and implements changes in court rules and office procedure.
• Administers hearings inside and outside of court where no judge is present.
• Performs related work as required.
Thorough knowledge of state statutes, case law and court rules which prescribe the powers and duties of the Clerk-Magistrate and ability to interpret and apply them to the administrative procedures of the office.
• Thorough knowledge of court procedure, legal documents, laws and legal factors pertaining to the court.
• Thorough knowledge of the organization, functions, jurisdiction and authority of the court.
• Knowledge of and ability to use computer software such as MS Office, including word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, and PowerPoint.
• Ability to maintain complex and accurate court records.
• Ability to plan and supervise the work of others.
• Good communication skills and the ability to maintain effective working relationships with court officials, attorneys, subordinate employees, government agencies and the general public.
Minimum Requirements: These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for the position of Assistant Clerk.
For Internal Trial Court Employee Applicants:
A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university; and knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through 6 or more years of relevant work experience, including supervisory and/or courtroom experience, within a Trial Court Division (Clerk’s Office, Probation Office, Judge’s Lobby) or an equivalent office;
A law degree and admission to the practice of law in Massachusetts or a graduate degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field (such as criminal justice, public administration or business administration); and knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through 2 or more years of relevant work experience, including supervisory and/or courtroom experience, within a Trial Court Division (Clerk’s Office, Probation Office, Judge’s Lobby) or an equivalent office;
Internal candidates who are employed by the Trial Court as of July 1, 2012 may substitute knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through 10 or more years of relevant work experience, including supervisory and/or courtroom experience, within a Trial Court Division (Clerk’s Office, Probation Office, Judge’s Lobby) or an equivalent office for the education requirement as described above.
For External Applicants:
A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field (such as criminal justice, public administration or business administration); and knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through 6 or more years of relevant work experience;
A law degree and admission to the practice of law in Massachusetts or a graduate degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field (such as criminal justice, public administration or business administration); and knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through 2 or more years of relevant work experience.
Preferred Qualifications: Minimum of 25 years experience in the practice of law or as a staff member of a District Court Clerk's Office.
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Employment with the Trial Court is contingent upon passage of a criminal record check.