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Volume 467, Page 42   View pdf image (33K)
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to the incoming trial magistrate. In the future, such dockets and papers
will be retained by the clerk of the court over which he presided.

The same legislation also authorized the destruction of motor
vehicle dockets after five years, whether in the custody of the Circuit
Court Clerks or the clerks of the lower courts. Authority to destroy
civil and criminal dockets after a period of twenty-four years, however,
was deleted from the bill. Unfortunately, permission to destroy the
papers, granted by previous legislation, was also eliminated during
the amending process. Since the law was enacted the day before ad-
journment, it was decided to accept the amendment and to seek remedial
legislation at the next session of the General Assembly.

While the legislation of 1965 will provide some relief from the
crowded conditions in the offices of many Clerks, space for both staff
and records is still at a premium in most courthouses. Because of the
rapid growth in population and the increasing demand of the public
for improved service, space is a problem even in those counties where
substantial additions to the courthouses were built only five or six
years ago. Since the county must provide room in the courthouse for
the offices of the Clerk of Court and the Register of Wills, while the
State must authorize the use of fees collected by these officials for the
purchase of record equipment and furniture, cooperation between the
county and the State is essential. As advisers to the State Comptroller,
our primary responsibility is to assist the Clerk or Register in the layout
of record areas and in the purchase of appropriate equipment. Occa-
sionally, however, the county also seeks our advice on air-conditioning
and vault construction. During the year we assisted the Clerks in
Caroline, Charles and Cecil Counties, and the Registers of Wills in
Caroline and St. Mary's in planning for new office and record space.

The ever-increasing need for space and the rising costs of con-
struction have caused many county and State officials to realize that
the space problem cannot be solved by brick and mortar alone, but
that its solution lies in the re-design of current records systems. We
have long urged the Clerks to adopt a microfilm system of recording
and were instrumental in getting legislation in 1962 permitting them
to employ such systems. Although the Clerk of the Superior Court
of Baltimore City and the Clerk in Prince George's County are recording
the Financing Statements on microfilm only, most Clerks are reluctant
to adopt such a system for other record series. However, plans for a
microfilm recording program for the land records in Prince George's


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