Section 12-17-161

Separate office of clerk of district court may be established; appointment and removal of clerk; abolition of separate office; participation in supernumerary fund.

(a) Authority and responsibility for the operation of a separate clerk's office for the district court of a county may be authorized by the Supreme Court upon the written request of the clerk of the circuit court or the judges of the district court. When the Supreme Court authorizes a separate clerk's office for the district court of a county, the clerk of the circuit court shall not be the ex officio clerk of the district court and shall have no administrative responsibilities for and supervision over the operation of the office. Whenever a separate district clerk's office is authorized, the administrative responsibility for and supervision of the records and clerical services of the respective district court is vested in an official who shall be known as the clerk of the district court, who shall perform all duties and responsibilities which, if no clerk for the district court was authorized, would have been performed by the circuit clerk.

(b) The clerk of a district court shall be appointed by the Administrative Director of Courts, with the advice and consent of the presiding judge of the circuit court and a majority of the district court judges of the district concerned. The clerk of a district court may be removed for cause by the Administrative Director of Courts and shall not be subject to the state merit system except for pay purposes.

(c) The separate office of clerk of district court may be abolished by the Supreme Court, and if abolished, the authority and responsibilities shall be assumed by the clerk of the circuit court.

(d) Any district court clerk who desires to be included under the supernumerary provisions for circuit clerks and registers in lieu of participation in the Employees' Retirement System shall file a declaration to that effect with the Administrative Director of Courts during the month of August in the years 1993 to 1995, inclusive. Upon receipt of an election by any district court clerk to participate in the supernumerary fund for clerks and registers, the Administrative Director of Courts shall immediately notify the Secretary-Treasurer of the Retirement Systems of Alabama of the election. Upon receipt of the election, the retirement systems shall transfer, on or before the September 30 after the election, all of the employee contributions plus any other amounts, including, but not limited to, any interest on the account that the employee would be entitled to receive upon withdrawal from the retirement system, to the Clerks' and Registers' Supernumerary Fund provided in Section 12-17-143, so that the employee may begin participating in the fund on the ensuing first of October.

Upon the transfer of the funds, any district court clerk electing to participate in the supernumerary fund shall receive credit in the fund for all prior service that he or she had been given credit for under the Employees' Retirement System.

Thereafter, any district court clerk who elects to come under the supernumerary fund for clerks and registers shall make contributions to the Clerks' and Registers' Supernumerary Fund as provided in Section 12-17-143.

Any person who has served as clerk of the district court prior to October 1, 1993, and has elected to participate in the Clerks' and Registers' Supernumerary Fund as provided in this section, may elect to become a supernumerary clerk of the district court of the county in which the clerk served, in the same manner provided in Section 12-17-140, if the clerk meets the requisite qualifications. It is the intent of this subsection that the provisions in the Clerks' and Registers' Supernumerary Fund laws that refer to circuit clerks shall be construed to also refer to district court clerks for purposes of the supernumerary fund; however, a supernumerary district court clerk's salary shall be set at 75 percent of his or her salary as a district court clerk at the time such eligibility is achieved.

(Acts 1975, No. 1205, p. 2384, §7-105; Acts 1993, No. 93-485, p. 778, §1.)