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Title: Sessions Clerk
Pay Grade: Grade 13
Starting Pay: $53,522.72
Departmental Mission Statement:
The Probate and Family Court Department's mission is to deliver timely justice to the public by providing equal access to a fair, equitable and efficient forum to resolve family and probate legal matters and to assist and protect all individuals, families and children in an impartial and respectful manner.
The Probate and Family Court Department has jurisdiction over family-related and probate matters, such as divorce, paternity, child support, custody, parenting time, adoption, termination of parental rights, and abuse prevention. We also handle wills, estates, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and changes of name. The Court has 14 divisions.
Notes: This position is designated as a union position and is covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement with O.P.E.I.U., Local 6.
Position Summary: This series is responsible for regularly attending sessions of court in place of a Clerk-Magistrate, Assistant Clerk-Magistrate, Register of Probate, or Assistant Register of Probate, unless otherwise prohibited by statute. Performs specific functions in court such as:
• calling the list
• administering oaths
• receiving documents and exhibits
• and recording dispositions.
• Also performs case processing duties when court is not in session.
• Provides service to the public and other individuals who have business with the court consistent with policies on confidentiality.
• The position title above the entry level requires the performance of more responsible duties and more specialized out of court case processing duties.
• Employees are appointed into this series at the entry level position title and are eligible for reclassification to the higher-level position title consistent with the specifications for the higher level position title.
The position title reverts back to the entry level when there is a vacancy.
ORGANIZATIONAL LEVELS: This position is part of a series that includes a number of levels. Employees are appointed to the entry level and are eligible to advance to the higher levels consistent with this job description and Trial Court policies.
Sessions Clerk I - This is the entry level position title within this series. Employees at this level are expected to run sessions of court and to perform case processing duties when court is not in session.
Sessions Clerk II - This is the second level position title within this series. Employees at this level are expected to provide assistance in the area of case management and to perform more advanced case processing duties when court is not in session.
Sessions Clerk I Duties:
• Regularly attends sessions of court for a major portion of the work day. While in court, assists the judge presiding over the session by
• Calling the list
• Presenting matters to the court
• ensuring that the session is stenographically or electronically recorded.
• Administering oaths and giving directions to the parties as necessary
• Recording the judge's decisions
• Drawing orders reflecting those decisions as directed by the judge.
• Performing related duties, as necessary.
• Performs courtroom duties alone or may supervise other employees depending on the needs of the session.
• Receives, marks, and maintains custody of papers and exhibits offered at trial and ensures their security.
• Maintains trial and hearing schedules and notifies interested parties.
• Prepares trial lists and all required files.
• forms, and exhibits in anticipation of court sessions.
• Records and maintains accurate minutes of all orders, judgments, or directions of the court.
• Receives training and assists advanced users on MassCourts, a comprehensive, integrated case management system which features electronic filing of criminal complaints, warrant processing, extensive docketing, scheduling, and management reporting
• Prepares, accepts, notates, and preserves files
• Assists the public, litigants, and attorneys concerning court schedules or court functions, rules, or practices.
• Ensures compliance with court orders regarding submission of documents subsequent to hearing
• Distributes case files to the appropriate personnel for further processing;
• Performs case processing functions within an office when court is not in session;
• Performs the duties of a lower level series as required.
Sessions Clerk II Additional Duties:
• Provides assistance in the area of case management, including coordinating with judges concerning scheduling, size of calendars, creation of special calendars as needed, working out conflicts concerning dates and length of time required, coordinating continuances, and determining case readiness.
• Assists as a supervisor of courtroom personnel, making assignments, reviewing calendars, and maintaining an awareness of session requirements through discussions with Judges and Clerks, monitoring work activities and resolving problems, and coordinating the training of new courtroom personnel.
• Regularly meets with court personnel and other individuals to discuss ways to improve the efficiencies of court sessions and related work within established guidelines and recommends improved methods and procedures to a supervisor.
• Performs advanced case processing functions using MassCourts when court is not in session.
• Performs special projects pertaining to cash flow management as required.
• Performs the duties of the lower level within this series as required.
Minimum Requirements: These are the minimum requirements necessary to apply for the position of Sessions Clerk.
Sessions Clerk I Requirements:
• Graduation from high school or its equivalent and a minimum of five years of experience in an office of a Clerk-Magistrate or a Register of Probate,
• Including experience as a Courtroom Procedures Clerk, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Thorough knowledge of state statutes, court procedures and policies, legal documents and terminology, laws, and functions of the court.
• Demonstrated knowledge of the rules, practices, and procedures pertaining to court sessions.
• Demonstrated ability to navigate and recall court records and data from the MassCourts case management system.
• Ability and experience using personal computers, including word processing software such as MS Word.
• Experience with spreadsheet software such as MS Excel is preferred.
• Excellent organizational skills.
• Excellent communication skills, including the ability to perform work and communicate in a highly visible and public setting.
• Ability to handle multiple issues simultaneously.
• Ability to maintain accurate records of proceedings.
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
• Ability to serve the public and others with business before the court in a courteous and professional manner.
• Ability to perform case processing duties when court is not in session.
Sessions Clerk II Additional Requirements:
• A minimum of three years of experience as a Sessions Clerk I.
• Thorough knowledge of the rules, practices, and procedures pertaining to all types of court sessions.
• Considerable knowledge of all courtroom policies and procedures and demonstrated ability to provide assistance during any court session.
• Excellent organizational skills, including the demonstrated ability to process a high volume of court papers in an organized and efficient manner.
• Demonstrated working knowledge of case processing using MassCourts.
• Ability to perform case processing duties when court is not in session.
• Considerable knowledge of the procedures related to the processing of all types of cases and the ability to process those cases from beginning to end.
• Demonstrated ability to identify problems and to develop creative solutions to those problems.
• Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgments.
• Demonstrated ability to assign, supervise and review the work of subordinate employees.
• Demonstrated ability to perform research and to prepare reports.
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Employment with the Trial Court is contingent upon passage of a criminal record check.