The clerk of the court is an officer of the district court. The clerk issues court processes which establish the power of the court to act in a case and keeps a record of the date and time subpoenas, summons, and warrants are returned to court endorsed with evidence of service on potential litigants and witnesses.
The clerk also issues post-judgment processes which enforce court mandates such as orders of garnishment, income withholding, attachments, execution by sale of personal or real property and the like. The clerk is charged with the critical function of keeping accurate records of the date, time, and manner in which petitions, answers, and motions of parties to a suit are served, received, and filed in the court.
By statute, the clerk of the court is the official custodian of all court records. Because the district court is a court of record, papers received must be carefully preserved for future reference (in case of an appeal) or as a historical record of events as well as the basis for changes in property or liberty rights. The clerk also ensures access to court records that are open to the public. The clerk is in charge of collecting, accounting for, and forwarding to the state treasurer's office money due to the state by operation of law. Besides managing finances, the clerk also supervises personnel matters and coordinates case management activities of the district court.
The clerk's jury management duties include ensuring that summoning procedures are cost-effective yet meet the needs of the court with minimum disruption to the lives of the jurors summoned. Other managerial functions of the clerk include preparing payrolls, ensuring the latest version of forms are used and, in courts which have law libraries, acting as treasurer for the law library board.