The caseload handled by the Barry County Circuit Clerk's Office in 2008 appears to be holding steady, according to an end-of-year report released by Circuit Clerk Craig Williams. Last year, there were a total of 4,708 cases filed in the circuit clerk's office as compared to 4,678 in 2007.
In 2008, there were 1,374 criminal cases filed in circuit court, which is down 50 cases from 2007 figures. The criminal filings consisted of 567 felonies, 761 misdemeanors, 14 municipal cases and 32 conservation violations.
The circuit court also processed 996 traffic violations, which is almost identical to the 1,023 traffic cases filed in 2007.
The circuit court issued 1,728 arrests warrants, which is 49 more than last year. Of the warrants issued, 1,062 were for failure to appear in court and 164 were for probation violations. There were 498 warrants issued for initial arrests.
Of the criminal cases disposed of in 2007, 167 of the defendants were placed on probation for a felony offense and 26 were placed on probation for a misdemeanor. Felony cases are supervised by the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole, and misdemeanor cases are supervised by Court Supervision Services.
Another 552 defendants were placed on unsupervised probation and 47 defendants were ordered to pay a fine rather than face probation or jail time.
A total of 90 defendants were sentenced to the Missouri Department of Corrections as a result of a parole violation or following a guilty plea or finding, which is 15 more than in 2007. An additional 46 defendants were sentenced to serve time in the Barry County Jail.
There were 38 defendants sentenced to prison for 120 days of shock incarceration subject to being recalled or placed on probation.
The court saw a big jump in the number of community service hours assigned to defendants charged with misdemeanors and a big drop in community service hours for felony offenders.
In 2008, over 3,400 hours of community service were ordered for misdemeanor offenses as compared to over 2,500 in 2007. Approximately 5,600 hours of community service were ordered for felony offenses, which is considerably less than the 10,000 hours assigned in 2007.
At the end of 2008, there were 856 cases pending in the Associate Level Criminal Division and 210 cases pending in the Circuit Level Criminal Division. The past year also saw the circuit clerk's office conducting three jury trials. Two of those were civil cases and one was a criminal case.
Civil case breakdown
The civil side of the Barry County Circuit Clerk's Office also experienced a busy, but steady, 2008.
Last year, the circuit clerk's office handled 181 circuit level civil cases, which involve administrative reviews, contracts, injunctions, restraining orders, replevins, real estate actions, tort and cases seeking judgments over $25,000.
Some of the other cases handled by the circuit court civil division in 2008 included: 213 probate cases; 404, domestic relations; 361 protection orders; 17 juvenile cases; 960 associate level civil cases; 123 small claims; and 11 mechanic liens.
Court fees collected by the circuit clerk's office were down in 2008. The office collected $1,037,261 in court costs, fines, garnishments, restitution and bonds. This amount was $395,906 less than the fees collected in 2007, which equates to a 27 percent decrease.
The circuit clerk's office is staffed by: Williams, circuit clerk and ex officio recorder of deeds; Pam Modlin, chief deputy clerk; Crystal Lowe and Tina Scott, divisional clerks; Patricia Henderson, Rita Voelker, Sherry Allee, Katie Meek, Marty Stearns, Denise Worm, Shannon Allison, deputy clerks; and Cindy Puryear, drug court coordinator and deputy clerk.
The majority of the cases were heard by Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Wiley and Associate Circuit Judges Carr Woods and Victor Head.
According to Williams, the 2008 statistics were compiled by using records maintained by the Justice Information System (JIS) provided by the State of Missouri and implemented in Barry County in July of 2005.
All cases maintained by JIS can be tracked on Case.net, which can be accessed on the Missouri Courts website at www.courts.mo.gov.