FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 10, 2004
MACOMB COUNTY CLERK FIRST IN MICHIGAN TO OFFER EVENING HOURS
The Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds will become the first county clerk in Michigan to offer evening hours starting this March. The office will be open Wednesday evenings until 7:00 p.m.
“No one should have to miss work because they need a copy of their birth certificate,” said the Macomb County Clerk. “Evening hours in the clerk’s office will improve services for working people because someone with a full time job can still get personal service. I thank the Board of Commissioners for considering this proposal.”
“People have to rush to get to the clerk’s office before closing,” said Giovanni P. LoGrasso who was in the clerk’s office Wednesday picking up a birth certificate. “Having evening hours would mean you don’t have to rush.”
“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Al Prezioso who was picking up death certificates in the clerk’s office on Wednesday.
Regular office hours at the clerk’s office are from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Court records are open until 4:30 p.m. weekdays.) Under the Macomb County Clerk’s plan, starting in March the Macomb County clerk’s office would stay open on Wednesdays until 7 pm. The services offered would include: birth certificates, death certificates, business registrations, concealed weapons applications, marriage licenses, notary public applications and commission pick ups, military discharges and civil service applications.
No court or register of deeds business will be conducted during evening hours, nor will clerks accept any new court cases. However, thanks to the Macomb County Clerk, the entire circuit court case index and Macomb County real estate documents may be accessed 24 hours a day on the Internet at http://www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice. According to the 2003 – 2004 Directory of Michigan County Clerks compiled by Marquette County Clerk David J. Roberts, no other county clerk is open during evening hours.
“It makes sense to stay open late on Wednesdays because the Secretary of State’s office and the Sheriff’s Department are both open on Wednesday evenings,” said the Macomb County Clerk. “A person who needs a birth certificate to get a drivers license could get it all done on Wednesday evening if this proposal is approved.”
The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved the Macomb County Clerk’s plan on Thursday, February 12.
This is not the only time the Macomb County Clerk was the first to implement new ideas. In addition to evening hours, the Macomb County Clerk was the first Michigan clerk / register of deeds to:
- Implement computerized scanning and indexing for a register of deeds office.
- Launch a toll-free 24-hour fax-on-demand system for forms and information. It even works on nights and weekends when the office is closed!
- Provide overnight delivery service for birth certificate requests and other vital records. You can now get your records in a hurry.
- Provide assumed name business registrations on the Internet.
- Make researching your family history by putting death records on the Internet.
- Enable the public to initiate an automatic phone call from the clerk’s web site.
- Enlist local amateur radio operators as emergency backup to relay election results on election night.
- Make paying for records easier by accepting credit cards.
In addition to her list of “firsts”, the Macomb County Clerk also:
- Allows instant access to copies of real estate deeds and mortgages by putting all county public real estate records on the Internet. This reduces trips to the office.
- Put Macomb County Circuit Court case names, numbers and judges on the Internet making it easy to look up whether or not cases were filed against someone and to find a case number.
- Ended potential favoritism by making sure all titles companies pay the same fees as the public for real estate records.
- Ended potential “judge shopping” by computerizing random judge selection when lawsuits are filed.
- Stopped cash payments from being made in courtrooms by requiring all payments to be made and logged through the clerk’s cashier window.
- Protected Macomb County residents’ privacy by defending against a lawsuit that would have forced disclosure of citizens’ complete birth dates.
- Started a Personal Protection Order Assistance Center to help victims of abuse.