PALESTINE — Janice Staples first took office as Anderson County District Clerk in 2003. Now, nearly 12 years later, she has announced plans to seek reelection and “keep doing my best” in the position.
Staples filed to run on the March 4 Republican Primary election ticket on Nov. 11.
Over the course of three terms, Staples has been voted Legal Professional of the Year twice by the Anderson County Legal Professionals Association, for which she has served both as president and treasurer.
She also served on a handful of committees for the District Clerk's Association of Texas. In 2011, she was nominated for “District Clerk of the Year” by Region VI of the association, for which she served as director from June 2012-2013, and is serving as director in charge this year, from June 2013-2014.
Staples said her main job as district clerk is to serve as “custodian of the records,” which includes preserving, indexing and securing the files of civil, family and felony criminal cases.
She said the office also manages and safeguards a collection of court fees and financials, working closely with the Attorney General's Office in Austin, their regional offices in Nacogdoches and the State Disbursement Unit in San Antonio regarding child support.
During her terms, Staples has seen the office go through many a time of transition.
“I've worked in the office for 17 years, five years under the previous district clerk Maxine Barnette,” she said. “We have come from writing things in big books and in-file folders to everything is on a computer now.”
Staples said “upgrading the technology” was the biggest transition she'd had to take on, noting the Supreme Court's recent mandate that lawyers file documents electronically.
“We have begun the process to begin e-filing,” Staples said. “Our county, based on its population, is mandated to begin July 1, 2015.”