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Clerk and Court Administrator
Clerks of Superior Court have been elected county constitutional officers since 1798 when framers of the Georgia Constitution created the office and provided for election of a clerk in each of Georgia’s 159 counties. The Clerk provides some of the most important checks-and-balances within county government and the judicial system as an impartial, independent county officer answerable only to the people who elect him. He is not an employee or appointee of any county or state commission or any agent or agency of the judiciary.
Ultimately, the Clerk is elected to protect and forever maintain the integrity of citizens' court, land and other cadastral records and to safeguard funds paid into the office for the benefit of individuals and the public. The Clerk runs the business arm of the local court system and answers first and foremost to the public, ensuring the public’s interests and convenience come first. The Clerk also processes and manages court documents; collects and disburses all court fees, fines, and costs; and provides citizens access to records. The Clerk is specifically responsible for permanent recordation and preservation of deeds, liens, plats, charters, court, military discharge and notary public records.
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There is no filing fee for this service, nor is there a fee for obtaining copies, certified or otherwise. However, to protect military discharge records from fraudulent misuse, strict enforcement of Georgia laws are followed concerning who may view and receive copies of discharge records. The following is a synopsis of the law governing the confidentialityof records.
Official Code of Georgia Section 15-6-72
(c) (1) Any DD 214 record filed pursuant to this Code section shall for a period of 50 years following its filing be exempt from Chapter 18 of Title 50, relating to open records. During that 50-year period, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of any such record, to disclose information contained in any such record, or to issue a copy of all or any part of such record except as authorized by this subsection or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) Upon presentation of proper identification, any of the following persons may examine a record filed pursuant to this Code section or obtain free of charge a copy or certified copy of all or part of such record:
(A) The person who is the subject of the record;
(B) The spouse or next of kin of the person who is the subject of the record;
(C) A person named in an appropriate power of attorney executed by the person who is the subject of the record;
(D) The administrator, executor, guardian, or legal representative of the person who is the subject of the record; or
(E) An attorney for any person specified in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of this paragraph.
(3) Records kept pursuant to this Code section shall not be reproduced or used in whole or in part for any commercial or speculative purposes.
(4) Any individual, agency, or court which obtains information pursuant to this subsection shall not disseminate or disclose such information or any part thereof except as authorized in this subsection or otherwise by law.
(5) Violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00; provided, however, that the clerk of the superior court shall not be liable and shall be held harmless for any act of any person who copies, reproduces, or uses records in violation of this subsection.
Newton County was first established in 1821 and was formed from the Land Lotteries of 1805, 1807, 1820, and 1821. The Clerk of Superior Court's office houses all the real estate recods dating back to 1821. These records are available to the public with some books remaining in storage and not easily accessible. The indexes to the records are hand written from 1821-1982. In 1983 the Real Estate Indexes were made digital and are available for view on computer printouts as well as on computer search terminals within the Clerk's office.
In 1993 the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) was established with the legislated mandate of implementing and administering a statewide central index for UCC filings. The Clerks' Authority website now has a statewide search for UCCs, Deeds, Liens, Plats, and Notaries.
Please visit www.gsccca.org for details on the Clerks' Authority as well as for subscription information and search capabilities.
PT61 (Real Estate Transfer Tax Form) is required for all land conveyances including, but not limited to, warranty deeds, deeds of gift, QCDs conveying title, estate deeds, and divorce based transfers. Before submitting your PT61 form you must have the map and parcel number for the land being conveyed. Please visit the tax assessors office website to obtain this information: www.qpublic.net/ga/newton.
Click here to file your PT61 Form:
Application to Register a Business to be Conducted under Trade Name
The processing fee for each application is $162.00. We accept cash or money order made payable to Linda D. Hays, Clerk of Superior Court.
The notice will run in the Covington News once a week for two weeks. Include a money order payable to the Covington News in the amount of $40.00.
The Covington News
1166 Usher Street
Covington, GA 30014
If you are processing your application by mail, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your copy to be returned to you.