BOOKS AVAILABLE TO JURORS
MORE SERVICE, LESS COST
Jury Duty just got better thanks to Macomb County Clerk – Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh and Mount Clemens Public Library Director Donald Worrell, who today announced a joint program to make the entire countywide inventory of library books and other material available to people serving county Jury Duty.
The program lets people summoned for Jury Duty request books from any library in the county through the county clerk’s web site and the books will be waiting in the jury room when the juror comes to the courthouse. The library has already set up a "deposit collection" of approximately 100 books that are permanently housed in the Macomb County Jury Room.
"I can’t control who gets picked for Jury Duty, but I can at least make it a little more pleasant for people who are picked to do their civic duty," said Sabaugh. "Offering library books to jurors is a way we can improve customer service while at the same time cutting costs to the taxpayers."
"All library resources that may currently be checked out will be available to jurors, including our talking book and audio collection," said Worrell. "If we don’t have a particular book in our library, we will do our best to get it from another library for the jurors, as we already do for every patron."
Under the Juror Book Program, jurors will receive a notice with their jury summons describing the program and listing Sabaugh’s web site:
On the web site, a juror could search the library’s entire card catalogue, then request the book or books the juror would like to see while on Jury Duty. When the juror arrives for Jury Duty, the books will be waiting for him or her in the jury room. After Jury Duty is done, the book(s) would be left in the jury room where the library would pick them up.
Books will also be available to those who do not request them ahead of time. A deposit collection of approximately 100 books is now permanently based in the Macomb County jury room. These books include a wide variety of topics and will be regularly rotated with other books from the library’s collection.
There are approximately 150 – 200 jurors arrive for Jury Duty each week. Anyone who already received a pink jury summons may visit http://macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/BookRequest.htm to request a book.
The program is free to jurors and to county taxpayers and does not raise costs for the library. In fact, the program actually lets Sabaugh reduce her office’s budget for magazines and periodicals.
Currently the county pays for magazine subscriptions for the jury room, including one copy of: People, Lady’s Home Journal, Time, Vanity Fair, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart, Good Old Days, National Geographic, and Biography. Under the Juror Book Program, thousands of books will now be available to jurors at no charge to the county.
"Our jury room is budgeted for $800 per year for magazines and periodicals for jurors," said Sabaugh. "The Mount Clemens Public Library is saving taxpayers money because we won’t need to spend this and we’ll be able to offer jurors a much greater selection of reading material."
"The Juror Book Program requires no new acquisition of books, no new staff and no new storage, so there is no increased cost to the library," said Worrell.
"As far as I know there is no book called, ‘How to Get Out of Jury Duty,’" said Sabaugh. "But if there was, it would be available to jurors."
- Editor's Note: A photo of Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh and Mount Clemens Public Library Director Don Worrell standing in front of the bookshelf housing the deposit collection is now on the county clerk’s web site at http://www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/BookRequestPhoto.htm. The photo is copyright free and you may use it.
Sabaugh’s Juror Book Program is believed to be the only program of its kind in Michigan. Sabaugh recently became the first clerk in Michigan to offer free bus tickets to jurors summoned for Jury Duty. This is another in a long line of accomplishments for Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh. She also:
- Was the first county clerk in Michigan to offer evening hours, making it easier for working people to get their vital records and get personal service. The office is open until 7pm every Wednesday.
- Placed Macomb County among the most accountable in Michigan by putting county and local candidates’ campaign finance reports on the Internet free of charge. The system has improved compliance with campaign finance rules because candidates know their reports are easily viewable by the public. It’s amazing how much more legible the reports are and how much more quickly candidates file them when they know people are watching. The system lets people, "Follow the money." See http://www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice.
- Senior citizens wanting to know if the caregiver hired to work in their home has a Macomb County criminal case may now find out. Sabaugh was able to put the Macomb County Circuit Court case index on the Internet. This improves customer service because no one will have to come to the clerk’s office to find out if there are any cases filed against a particular business or person, or to look up a case number. Macomb was only the third county in Michigan to offer this service. See http://www.macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice.
- If you want a copy of a Circuit Court judgment or other item from a court file, you no longer have to drive to the Clerk’s Office. Sabaugh’s office accepts fax requests for court documents and will even fax them back to you or send them via overnight mail. Get the fax form by calling 888-99-CLERK (25375) and requesting document #5000.
- There’s no need to go the Clerk’s Office to get a form because Sabaugh now has a toll-free fax-on-demand system to provide forms and information. 1-888-99-CLERK (25375). If you’ve never used the system, please call it and request document number one. The system was the first for a Michigan clerk and even works on weekends when the office is closed!
- Military personnel and others needing a copy of a birth certificate or other records can get them in a hurry without a trip to Sabaugh’s office because her office provides overnight delivery service for birth certificate requests and other vital records. She was also the first Michigan County Clerk to do this. You can even request your records on the Internet. See http://macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/birthRecords.htm
- Entrepreneurs starting a business can spend time working in their business rather than driving to the Clerk’s Office to find out if the sole proprietorship or partnership name they want is already in use because Macomb County assumed name business registrations are now on the Internet. Macomb County businesses were the first to benefit from this service. See http://macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/businessRegistration.htm
- If you’re researching your family tree you can find a complete index of Macomb County death records on the county clerk’s web site. Sabaugh’s office was also the first Michigan Clerk’s Office to provide this service. See http://macombcountymi.gov/clerksoffice/deathRecords.htm
- Victims of abuse now have help because Sabaugh started a Personal Protection Order Assistance Center to help people complete court forms and understand the legal process.
- Sabaugh started a "Mobile Branch Office" to bring clerk’s office services to people who are unable to drive to Mount Clemens during working hours. This service brings most county clerk functions to local communities with no additional cost to the county.
- She was the first county clerk in Michigan to offer jurors summoned for Jury Duty free bus rides to and from the courthouse. People who do not have transportation may still perform their civic duty. This service is provided at no additional cost to the county.
- Sabaugh improved the process of recording real estate records by accepting electronic filing of deeds, mortgages and other real estate records.
- Sabaugh was the first county clerk in Michigan to use computerized scanning and indexing for the register of deeds. All deeds are recorded the same day they are filed, posted on the Internet within just a few days, and returned to the filer usually within the week. See, "County keeps up with deeds."
- Sabaugh was the first county clerk in Michigan to accept credit card payments for court filings and vital records, making paying for services easier, especially if you don’t know the cost of the services you need ahead of time.
- Sabaugh enabled the public to initiate an automatic phone call from the clerk’s web site. Although there is plenty of useful information on the county clerk’s web site, she knows it’s no substitute for personal service. That’s why, with a click of a button, your phone will ring and a member of Sabaugh’s staff will be on the phone to assist.
- Sabaugh ended potential "judge shopping" by computerizing judge selection when lawsuits are filed. Judges are randomly selected when a new court case is opened and the identity of the judge is not revealed until after the filing fee has been paid.
- Sabaugh stopped cash payments from being made in courtrooms by requiring all payments to be made and logged through the clerk’s cashier window.
- Sabaugh was also the first Michigan county clerk to purchase elections supplies using a competitive bid process. This has saved Macomb County hundreds of thousands of dollars in ballot printing costs and other costs.
# # #