Old Business

Who Are We and Where Did We Come From?

If I were a betting person, I would bet no one in this Association will ever again ask me to research a project.  I tend to get lost in the interesting tidbits, returning time and time again to the subject, forgetting why I was there in the first place.  Thus it took me almost two years to research any corrections or additions needed for our Constitution and By-Laws.  I obtained copies of all the previous Minutes of Association meetings since the beginning and sat down to read. I read, and read and read. Sure there were minutes back to 1972 but the volume of paper was not the problem.  I continually put faces to the names I was reading.  I remembered funny incidents, little tidbits of gossip, the highs and lows of certain meetings.  More than that, I pounced on interesting bits of information found in the Minutes.  I happened to mention some of them to Kay Palmer.  She told me I should put pen to paper and record my findings.  These are my observations and comments direct from my copious notes.  It details the founding and growth of our Association.   So blame this on Kay!

Judy West


11/12/72 The Clerk’s Association began at a general meeting in Hot Springs at the Arlington.
11/12/72 Association of Arkansas Municipal Court Clerks originated.
11/11/73 Changed name to ARKANSAS MUNICIPAL COURT CLERKS ASSOCIATION.  First workshop had 23 chief clerks present and officers were elected.
11/11/73   First President was Marie Spilker of Stuttgart.
11/16/75 First Treasurers report had a balance of $169.60.
11/14/76 Constitution amended to include Deputy Clerks as active members.
11/9/77  Decided an Annual Meeting to be held in conjunction with the Arkansas Municipal League Convention.
11/19/78  Judge Milas Hale (Municipal Court of Sherwood) addressed the Clerks, suggesting they meet in conjunction with the Arkansas Judge’s Council instead of Arkansas Municipal League.
11/19/78 Judge Hale’s suggestion became a fact at the afternoon Business Meeting.
11/19/78 Resolution for certification program to be formed with the assistance of Arkansas Department of Local Services Training & Management.
5/6/83   City Clerks were added as members of Association.
5/6/83  First discussion establishing a statewide certification program.
5/6/83  Clerks may choose ‘Local Retirement” plan or APERS plan.
9/20/84 Introduced plan for SAU at Camden to establish certification program.  (Executive Committee)
10/19/84 I attended my first meeting at Ramada Inn in Hot Springs.
10/20/84 Vicki Cash read her poem….
“If St. Peter calls me——-And charges contempt…….
  May the good Father answer…. All Court Clerks exempt”
5/10/85  Accepted certification program from Southern Arkansas University at Camden as our educational program.
5/10/85  Keith Caviness, Arkansas Judicial Department, introduced HR-6 which increased Civil from $300 to $3,000.
9/20/85 Gary Odom from SAU introduced a 30 hour certification with an 18 hour update after certification.
5/29/86  Shirley Herald, Interpreter/Translator from Arkansas Judicial Department, presented her first program on Sign Language.
5/30/86  Corin Blackwood elected as President. She later became the first clerk chosen as Court Clerk of the Year.   Helped choose SAU for certification program.
5/8/87  Kay (Palmer) Boothman, Arkansas Judicial Department explained the expense sheets to be filed out and turned before end of meeting.
11/19/88  Requirements for Certification Program introduced.
11/19/88  Continuing education program with SAU  in jeopardy, no funds to maintain program.  J. D. Gingerich submitted 3 options:
1. Continue SAU, paying own fees.
2. Adopt a certification program through Ar. Mun. Judges and the Mun. & City Court Clerks Association.
3. Discontinue certification program.
11/19/88  Secret ballot vote for certification program.
20 votes (SAU)           39 votes (MJC & MCCCA)
6/1/89  J. D. Gingerich introduced Allen Waters who was preparing a  handbook for Municipal Clerks.  It has become our current Clerk’s Manual – I prefer Court Clerks Bible.
6/1/89  First session conducted for “New Clerks”.  I had to attend this. It was mandatory every clerk attend this session.
6/3/89   Linda Burroughs suggested an association newsletter or bulletin, hence what you are now reading.
11/17/89  Finally got around to changing name of Association in Constitution.
5/3/90  J. D. Gingerich discussed the future of current court system.  “ The system as is today might be abolished and replaced by a state funded district court” system.
5/17/91  Dr. Mike Hemphill came to liven up our meetings.
4/24/92 I am NOT making fun of anyone.  On this date 21 clerks earned their certifications.  The list was led by Lotus Knickerbocker.  I love it!
5/21/93  Twenty years later – Treasury balance $18,909.62.
5/21/93 First mention of Irene (Cross) Piper as an AOC employee.
5/22/93 Membership dues raised to $25.
6/11/93  Certification Committee met and made changes:
1. Involve Clerks in presentation of topics.
2. Certification Committee retreat to plan programs.
3. Give credit to those who attend business meeting.
4. Hold meetings at different sites around State.
4/8/94   Kay (Palmer) Boothman suggested all  the past presidents should not be on the certification committee as it was hard to get any decisions with that many women in one room!!  SO TRUE.
5/16/96 Kay Palmer appeared!
5/18/00 Clerk of the Year Selection Committee formed.
2001  As per the provisions of Amendment 80 we see Municipal Courts become District Courts. (Refer to 5/3/90)
5/16/02 Proposal passed that revised Certification meetings to be held in February and November.
1/1/03   APERS retirement effective for all chief clerks.
5/15/03  Proposal passed establishing a Legislative Committee.
5/13/04   An educational seminar for Chief Clerks will be held the 3rd Friday of August each year.
4/23/07 Position of ‘Secretariat’ for the Association was created.  Kay Palmer will fill this position.
4/24/08   Constitutional change adopted that the Officers of the Association serve two year terms in their respective offices.
4/23/09 Membership dues increased from $25 to $50.  The increased amount also includes a registration fee for the annual conference.
4/23/09 Membership voted to change elections to a vote by voice and raise of hands rather than by ballot. 
4/20/12 The Association’s name changed from Arkansas District and City Court Clerks Association to Arkansas District Court Clerks Association due to consolidation of city and district courts as part of the implementation of Amendment 80.


04/20/17 Membership dues increased from $50.00 to $75.00 beginning in 2018. Expenditures were consistently exceeding revenues and depleting the Association’s reserved funds, causing a need to increase revenues.