Rose Susan Dorsey has announced her candidacy for St. Mary Parish Clerk of Court.
Dorsey said she has spent most of her professional life serving people with limited access to the judicial system, first with Acadiana Legal Services, providing representation in civil matters and then as a St. Mary public defender providing criminal representation.
Dorsey said she also has maintained a small private practice and currently serves as a member of the Teche Action Clinic Board. She also serves as an adopter of Franklin Junior High School and funds the Izola Kearney Cooper Literacy Award. She attends St. Joseph Baptist Church in Franklin.
Dorsey said St. Mary Parish has not had a choice for clerk for 28 years, and although seeking elective office was not in her plans “providence has brought me to such a time as this.”
Although most people think of the clerk’s office as the place to apply for a marriage license or a passport, Dorsey said, the clerk is the parish record keeper and most residents have a relationship with the office.
She added that the clerk’s office indexes and maintains the originals of all transactions involving land, including sales and mortgages; indexes and maintains any document that a person records; maintains minutes of all court proceedings; receives and files all pleadings in judicial matters; collects and distributes all costs in judicial matters; issues subpoenas for witnesses, summons grand and petit jurors for civil and criminal cases, and is the custodian of all evidence introduced at trials. The office is the site of candidate qualifying and is the custodian of voting machines.
The clerk’s office counts the votes and transmits the election results to the Secretary of State.
Dorsey said areas for improvement in efficiency and customer service include the implementation of electronic access to application forms for passports and marriage licenses, the implementation of electronic filing, the occasional extension of office hours until 6 p.m., the extension of office services to the east end of the parish a few days each month, the implementation of the Access to Justice program advocated by the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana State Bar Association to assist self represented litigants, the employment of a Spanish speaking deputy clerk and the possible assistance of an ASL interpreter.
“I will work alongside the deputy clerks to enhance customer service,” Dorsey said. “I pledge to be engaged and available as the St. Mary Parish Clerk of Court. I humbly ask for your vote on Oct. 12, 2019.”