Q: What events are happening now at the Clerk’s office?
A: The St. Johns County Property Appraiser mailed out TRIM notices in August. For any disagreements with valuation or exemptions, homeowners should first schedule an informal conference with the Property Appraiser’s Office. If a disagreement persists, visit our website to file a petition, which is found under the “VAB” tab. The deadline to file is Sept. 8. People can call our office at (904) 819-3644 with any questions.
Q: Can you give us an update on the operations at your office?
A: We have changed how we are handling marriage services. We are no longer requiring appointments for marriage licenses or ceremonies. Due to concerns about COVID-19, ceremonies are limited to just the couple getting married.
Q: Are appointments still required to get a passport?
A: Yes. We still require an appointment to get a passport. In mid-August, we hosted Congressman John Rutherford at our office. His office is very involved with constituents who have passport issues or questions as they relate to the Department of State. He told us that the Department of State is just now processing passport applications received in February and March, before the COVID shutdown of the offices. As more locations and staff return to work, the timeline for getting a passport should speed up. It should be noted that there are presently no expedited passports by the Department of State, except in true instances of life or death.
Q: Can you comment on the virtual jury trials taking place in other counties?
A: These virtual trials are just for civil trials and they are on a trial basis for some counties around the state; St. Johns County is not included.
As for criminal and civil jury trials, they have been suspended through the end of August. At this time, our office is monitoring the situation to see when the suspension will be lifted by the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Our office has been very strict in following CDC guidelines as they pertain to COVID and we have not had to shut down due to outbreaks.
Q: Do you have anything else to share?
A: As you may know, there has been a moratorium on evictions since early April. At the end of July, Gov. DeSantis extended the suspension of evictions further, but only for those tenants who have directly been affected financially by COVID. This restores a level of accountability.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you or your office?
A: A lot of questions can be answered by visiting our website, www.stjohnsclerk.com, which is most commonly used to pay traffic citations or search court records. People can also call our main office at (904) 819-3600.