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INSIDER: Effingham Clerk of Court Candidate Barbara Cauley

Barbara Cauley is one of 5 candidates vying to be Effingham County’s next Clerk of Court.
Learn more about her here –>

Due to the social distancing guidelines, we have converted our traditional AllOnGeorgia candidate video interviews into short questionnaires. Each candidate in the race was provided an identical questionnaire with the same deadline. Answers were not edited in any way.

The Primary Election was moved to June 9th.
The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 11th.
Early voting begins May 18th.
To sign up to volunteer as a poll worker, click here.

Please provide a brief bio on yourself.

I moved to Effingham County 24 years ago.  I am married to Keith Cauley for 35 years.  Raised two children, Lee and Kayla.  Have two grandsons, Kristofer and Zachary. 
I am a US Army Veteran. 
I have a A.S. Degree from Lakeland College.

What experience do you have that properly equips you for the position of Clerk of Court?

I have worked for Effingham County Superior Court Clerk’s office continually for 23 years.  I have been the Chief Deputy Clerk for approximately 11 years under the current clerk, Elizabeth Hursey.  I have worked every area of the Effingham County Superior Court Clerk’s office during my 23 years to including real estate, civil, criminal, jury, monthly reports, transmitting of documents/files, daily deposits, personnel, court sessions, appeals, scheduling, training, purchasing etc.  As Chief Deputy Clerk, I am the assistant to Mrs. Hursey.  The clerk’s office is a public servant office.  We are here at the pleasure of the people and it is our responsibility to assist the public with their needs if at all possible.  

Maintaining the court and real estate records are extremely important to make sure the accuracy and filing are correct.  Mistakes can cause someone to be arrested, lose their job or possibly lose their property.  It is a privilege to work for the clerk’s office.  The clerk’s office also issues notary public applications, oaths, Military DD-214s etc.  Due to my years of experience and dedication to Effingham County and the Clerk’s office, I believe I am the most qualified person to be the next Clerk of Superior Court for Effingham County.

How do you view the day-to-day role of the Clerk of Court? (The balance between managing the office, working with other elected officials, and general public servant work; daily duties and responsibilities; etc.)

We are here to assist the public and maintain the records for Effingham County.  Hiring people who are qualified and capable of handling the workload, as well as, assisting the public is extremely important.  Everyone has a role to play in getting the job done and the staff of the clerk’s office is a clerk’s number one asset.  If you have competent and reliable staff, a clerk can focus on the other aspects and allow the staff to handle the work and be there to answer any questions that may arise.  Managing the office, working with other elected officials, the public and daily duties are responsibilities that all are connected and must follow the law.  Working together for the good of the citizens.

What practices are in place in the Clerk’s Office that you think are important to carry over into a new administration?

Maintaining the integrity and accountability of the office.  Customer service to the public.  Respect and assistance to everyone.  Everyone is trained in all departments to assist anyone who comes to the clerk’s office. 

How can the Effingham County Clerk’s Office be more efficient? 

Communication between the clerk and staff is key to the office running smoothly and efficiently.  Continue to provide the best customer service and assistance to the public.  E-filing and having the records available online for the public has been a huge step to making the office more efficient.

How can the Clerk’s Office be more transparent about activities and finances?

The clerk’s office is required by law to disburse all monies received each month by the 10th of each month.  Disbursements are set by statute and disbursed in accordance to that statute.  Everyone gets their piece of the pie.  Each year an audit is conducted of the clerk’s financial records.  The only records in the clerk’s office that are sealed records are adoptions, juvenile, Military DD214s and any filed sealed by court order.   

What types of practices do you plan to implement to advance the office technologically?

We are continually advancing and implementing the office technology with our County IT Department and our software vendor.  We are E-filing, real estate, civil and criminal cases.  You are able to do a real estate search online, as well as, look up our criminal and civil files online.  Technology is constantly changing and updating.  We have to change and update with it, while maintaining the one on one personal contact with the public and assisting everyone who calls or comes into our office.   Treat people as you want to be treated and respect everyone.  The citizens are the employer for elected officials.  That is why every vote counts and everyone needs to vote.   

Will any other employment or business venture in which you are vested present a conflict of interest for you as Clerk of Court? Please explain your answer.

No!  Please explain your answer.  I have been employed with Effingham County Superior Court for the last 23 years and do not have any other employment or business ventures.

Why do you want to be the next Clerk of Court of Effingham County?

I have worked at the clerk’s office for the last 23 years and have been trained by Elizbeth Hursey and she has shown me what is required and expected as a clerk.  Working with the public, judges, attorneys and their staff.  I believe in the law and keeping people informed.  I believe my qualifications, dedication and passion for my career and the law has led me to leading the Effingham County Superior Court Clerk’s office.

Is there anything else you would like the public to know about you?

I am proud to work for Effingham County.  You can learn more about me and my interests on my Facebook Campaign page Barbara Cauley for Superior Court Clerk.  I appreciate everyone’s time and look forward to being the next Clerk of Superior Court of Effingham County.  I would appreciate everyone’s vote.  Thank you. 

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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