2022 Strategic Update
Dear Polk Residents:
Clerk & Comptroller Strategic Goals
Increase access and continue development of a paperless courthouse through technological advancement
Since 2012, the Clerk’s office has consistently made efforts to be a thought leader among clerks state-wide in implementing technology to allow convenient, efficient access to services. Ultimately our goal is to become a fully paperless courthouse, and we're passionate about collaborating with Clerks throughout Florida to harness the latest cutting-edge technology to provide services in the most convenient method possible.
Find My Courtroom
It can be an intimidating experience navigating the 10-story courthouse. Our new Find My Courtroom app helps customers quickly find their courtroom location and hearing time with ease.
Historic Deed Modernization & Preservation of First Deed Book
The office launched the final phase of its efforts to digitize all county deeds. This phase includes the digitization of deeds from 1861 to 1956. With the completion of this project, all deeds ever recorded in Polk County will be viewable online. The Historical Deed Index was also digitized and posted online for public use. Along with this, the first deed book in Polk County was fully preserved to ensure the significant historical artifact is available in perpetuity.
Criminal Justice Data Transparency
Statewide, agencies have been working together to make it easier to access criminal justice data. The initiative involved a tremendous undertaking to devise a way to merge data from hundreds of agencies into a single, user-friendly portal. Through the commitment of all involved, the initiative is now live at www.fdle.state.fl.us/CJAB/CJDT.
Provide public education and awareness through community outreach and engagement
The Clerk’s office continues to increase public knowledge of the Clerk’s role in the community through educational engagement efforts and community outreach.
Polk Clerks Care
Polk County Clerk team members have a long history of caring for the community and giving back to their neighbors. In 2022, Polk Clerk’s donated nearly $8,000 to the United Way of Central Florida. They also supported numerous awareness campaigns including human trafficking, teen dating violence, and domestic violence awareness. Clerks also donated hundreds of items to Toys for Tots, the county’s local Thanksgiving canned food drive, and elderly neighbors in need at The Rohr Home. Beyond our role as Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, the office takes an active role in serving our community and supporting charitable causes.
Operation Green Light
Operation Green Light is a once-a-year opportunity that waives collection fees applied to delinquent court fines providing customers the opportunity to save up to 40 percent on their fines. Once paid, customers can proceed with the reinstatement of their driver's license. During the 2022 event, 484 customers paid their cases in full (+33%*); 894 customers established payment plans (+103%*); and 926 cases were pulled from collection agencies (+20.7%*). The one-day event collected nearly $219,000 (+55%*) and initiated payment plans for nearly $400,200 (+148%*).* Percent change from the 2021 event.
Valentine's Day Group Wedding
Seal & Expungement Event
The Clerk’s office joined with the State Attorney’s office and other members of the community to host an evening event to assist customers with the seal and expungement of court records.
Continue to deliver exceptional customer service through increased convenience by implementing the latest cutting-edge technology in our services
In an increasingly online world, the Clerk’s office is more dedicated than ever to performing our constitutional and legislative duties required in the most efficient way possible while providing unparalleled customer service online, over the phone, and in person.
Many years in the making, we now offer a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tool and in-person DIY Center to simplify injunctions for protection as well as some divorces, evictions, and small claims cases. The DIY service is an interactive tool that guides customers through each step of preparing the paperwork needed for their case, like TurboTax and other similar software. It is available on our website and our new DIY Center at the Bartow Courthouse.
Self Help Workgroup
Clerk Butterfield was recently appointed to the Florida Supreme Court’s Workgroup on Access to Justice. In this capacity, she works with the other members to improve the court system throughout the entire state to better assist self-represented litigants.
I actively involve myself at all levels of government to help create cohesive and streamlined service for customers,” Clerk Butterfield said. “Not only are we focusing on improving DIY services in Polk County, but there is also a push to improve services throughout the state. It’s important to me to utilize technology to enhance access for all customers. I look forward to the future expansion of these services.
We are proud to share that we have earned five more Excellence in Best Practices awards from the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers. This year we were recognized for our excellence in managing Evidence, Evidence Storage & Destruction, Public Records Requests, Requests to Redact Exempt Personal Information, and Exploitation of Vulnerable Adult Injunctions. This adds to the six awards we earned last year. We continuously strive to provide the best service possible. Our community can rest assured that our office goes above and beyond to ensure we excel in all areas of our work.
Maintain transparency and accountability in County Government through accurate reporting and safeguarding of public funds
As Polk County Comptroller, the Clerk is responsible for maintaining transparency and accountability in county government through accurate reporting and safeguarding of public funds.
The strength of Polk County relies on a healthy government and trust in our elected officials and county operations. The Inspector General's audits and investigations are designed to add value and improve Polk government operations, which means the Polk County community can have trust and confidence in its government. The office has passed the rigorous reaccreditation process two times, with each accreditation extending for a period of three years. In 2022, it also passed its second peer review, which is required every two years to maintain accreditation.
- 5 Audits Issued
- 12 Guardianship Investigations for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs
- 147 Guardianship Audits