By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Longtime Hill County Clerk of Court Dena Tippets has announced that she plans to run for re-election.
Tippets, a Democrat, has worked in the Hill County Clerk of Court's Office for more than 16 years, including 13 as head clerk.
The clerk of court is responsible for a number of duties, including opening and maintaining court files for the 12th Judicial District. Those files cover civil, criminal, probate, juvenile, incompetence and adoption proceedings within Hill County.
"That's where the paperwork comes into it," Tippets said this morning. "In addition to maintaining those files my office is responsible for providing a court clerk whose main purpose is to take minutes of all court proceedings."
Those entries are kept in binders "so the public can come in and see what happened in court that day," Tippets said.
Her duties include working with the district judge and the judge's administrative assistant to schedule court hearings, Tippets said.
"Then we have what I would call your administrative office duties. That includes collecting fines, fees, child support, bond money, that type of thing," she said.
The Clerk of Court's Office also issues marriage licenses and processes passport applications.
As Hill County clerk of court, Tippets is allowed to appoint two deputy clerks to help staff the office.
Tippets filed this morning to run for another four-year term. Candidates have until mid-March to file for election. They are required to pay a filing fee of one-half of 1 percent of their annual salary, which for Tippets amounted to $167.
The annual salary for the Hill County clerk of court is $33,485.
Tippets was raised in Nashua. Following her high school graduation in 1969, she attended the University of Montana and the University of Saskatchewan. For three years she worked as a paralegal in the law firm of Bosch Kuhr Dugdale Martin & Kaze before being appointed deputy clerk of court in 1987.
She was appointed to the head position following the retirement of her predecessor, Maryhelen Haberger in 1990. Tippets served out the remainder of Haberger's term and successfully ran for election in 1992. She was re-elected in 1996 and 2000, running unopposed each time.
According to the press release, Tippets served as president of the Montana Association of Clerks of District Court in 2001-2002.