The News Courier
Name: Brad Curnutt
Personal: I am married to Paula Bates Curnutt and we have one daughter, Madison Curnutt, 14. Paula is employed as a Registered Nurse Supervisor at Limestone County Home Health and Madison attends Clements High School.
Civic or volunteer affiliations: Board member of the Athens-Limestone Child Advocacy Center, member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team (Child Protection Team) and deacon serving in men’s ministry.
Educational background: 1987 graduate of Athens High School; 1992 graduate of Calhoun Community College; associate of science degree, police science
• Circuit Court Clerks have quite a few responsibilities, the most important of which is keeping track of a multitude of ongoing and upcoming trials. Briefly describe your multitasking abilities and how it will relate to the position.
The judges set their own calendars at the beginning of each year. The clerk’s responsibility is to ensure that the court dates are entered into the computer and that the files are in appropriate order.
Limestone County has two district judges and two circuit judges. Almost each court division has cases that involve at least two judges. Each judge handles things differently, therefore, multitasking is a must. To be able to switch from the requirements of one judge to the requirements of another judge and to do it accurately with speed and consistency takes on a new meaning to multitasking.
However, I have been multitasking for 18 years. I didn’t work on one case a day; I worked numerous cases a day from the simplest to the most complex.
• Cutbacks in the Alabama court system has caused problems for court systems, including shorter hours and, in some cases, less staff to work with. What steps will you take to ensure the circuit court clerk’s office runs smoothly?
I plan on learning each division and working in each division. I plan on working with and alongside the staff.
I hope to implement more electronic filing, which will considerably cut down the time of handling paper files. I’m hopeful to implement a more useful website for the public to access forms and information.
With such a short staff, I feel that I need to implement as much public access and information as possible. This is the electronic age, but I am well aware that I, too, need to be accessible to the public and being a servant of the public. I still plan to have an open door policy.
• The Limestone County Commission has approved renovations to the County Courthouse. The renovations, commissioners say, will greatly improve the legal process by providing additional courtroom space. Are there any other improvements that would enhance or improve the county’s judicial system?
The court system has improved greatly over the years. The conversion from handwriting tickets to the e-citation system has cut down on the clerk’s office entering each traffic ticket into the computer individually.
Electronic filing as also been effective for the clerk as well as attorneys and judges. I hope to look at more options for those type changes that would hopefully make the work load faster.
It’s obvious that the workload is there because of the growing population and the number of cases filed each year. We just have to find a way to make it less time consuming.
• Briefly explain what steps you will take to ensure taxpayer dollars used by the circuit clerk’s office are spent wisely?
The Administrative Office of Courts sets the budget and they are pretty good at not allowing any overspending. Any equipment or supplies that are ordered has to be approved by them. If they feel a request is too extreme or not needed they can and will deny the request.
I will be devoted to making sure that we only ask for what we need and not what we would like to have.
• As circuit court clerk, what could you personally do to ensure efficiency in the way trials are scheduled and conducted in Limestone County?
As I said before, judges set their own calendars for all the cases, whether they be hearings, trials, arraignments or whatever the case may be.
The district attorney sets the schedule for grand jury. I feel the most important thing that I can do as clerk, is to do the best job I can to work with the judges and attorneys and to ensure that the files are kept up to date and are accurate.