Clerk in the Community

By Cindy Morley

The Fayette County Clerk’s office is making history. Five years after Fayette Count y Clerk of Courts Sheila Studdard began the eFiling/eRecording initiative for Georgia, the first e-filed document in the state took place in the Fayette County Clerk’s office in March 10, 2011. The eRecording was done in partnership with the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority and the COTT Systems Resolution3 land records system.

“The journey has been long but very rewarding,” said Studdard, who began the initiative for the state in 2006. “When I decided to lead the crusade for e-filing in Georgia, COTT was right by my side, guiding me through every obstacle. The staff at COTT helped me understand the dynamics of e-filing and e-recording.”

According to Studdard, COTT was the first vendor in the state to demonstrate the interest and the ability to quickly integrate with the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA) efiling portal.

Studdard also credits the success of efiling to the solid relationship between the GSCCCA and Fayette County.

“This journey would not have been successful without the tireless man hours that have been dedicated to designing and building the engine that drives the efiling train,” said Studdard.

“The staff at GSCCCA had been ready and willing to meet every need,” she added. “And I truly appreciate all who have given to this project, including the Board members, director and staff.”

Studdard, who was elected as Fayette County's 16th ever Clerk in 2000, has been recognized by her peers across the state with the ECLAT Award, for her work with efiling.

Since taking over as the county’s Clerk of Courts, Sheila has worked to bring new, innovative ideas to the Clerk’s office, not only in Fayette County, but across the state’s 159 counties. She worked with Georgia State Legislators to bring the concept of efiling to the state of Georgia. In 2006, she began working with state leaders to initiate enabling legislation for efiling for the courts and real estate transactions. Through the leadership of State Rep. Ed Lindsey and State Rep. Wendell Willard, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, legislation was passed in 2009.