Linda Williams, longtime Jasper County circuit clerk, has stepped down.
Williams announced the decision in an email to court officials late Wednesday, saying that she was retiring “with much regret” because of health issues.
The action is effective immediately.
David Dally, presiding judge of Jasper County Circuit Court, said plans are under way to name an interim clerk to oversee operations of the office.
He said the court en banc — all the judges in the circuit — will name an interim clerk.
“It’s my understanding that the court en banc will name an interim, then a replacement will be appointed by the governor,” Dally said Thursday.
Dally said he plans to meet with the other judges on Monday afternoon to discuss the appointment. In the interim, he said, he expects the court system to operate as usual.
“Everyone is at work,” he said.
The circuit court has three circuit divisions, three associate circuit divisions, family court and probate court, with court offices and courthouses in Carthage and Joplin.
Williams, of Carl Junction, was elected in 2010 to her fourth, four-year term as circuit clerk. She was 69 at the time of the election. She had worked in the courts system for 25 years before her election.
There is no time requirement for the post to be filled by the governor, according to Scott Holste, spokesman for Gov. Jay Nixon. He cited a statute calling for the governor to fill the vacancy by appointing “some eligible person” to serve until the next general election.
UNDER MISSOURI LAW, a person appointed or elected to the circuit clerk’s post must be a U.S. citizen and be at least 21 years old. The person also must have lived in Missouri for a year and in the court jurisdiction for at least three months.