Judy Kent

Judy Kent has been named first recipient of the St. Clair County Deputy Circuit Clerk of the Year award.

Kent, who has worked 13 years in an office that handles massive volumes of court filings, will be honored at a ceremony May 1 -- Law Day -- at the St. Clair County Courthouse.

Circuit Clerk Brendan Kelly said the newly created award was established to recognize individual clerks who have made exceptional contributions toward outstanding service.

"I know many members of the bar, including myself, have had a clerk rescue us at the last minute, correct our handwriting, put our filings in the right order, or otherwise go beyond the call of duty in court, over the phone, or at the counter," Kelly said in a statement.

"But beyond that, our clerks have tremendous responsibilities that often go unnoticed. This is a nice way to recognize the important role they have in making this complex, democratic legal system work every day for the people of St. Clair County. I think Judy is particularly deserving of this award."

Kelly said he solicited nominations from members of the St. Clair County Bar Association for the award.

Nominations were based on excellent long term service to the bar and the public, some unique "above and beyond" effort, or both, he said.

Kelly said several clerks were nominated, but Kent received overwhelming endorsements from across the bar association.

Belleville attorney Russell Scott said Kent's selection as Clerk of the Year was an "inspired one."

"Judy is extremely helpful to people involved in litigation," Scott said. "She is very cooperative, friendly and very talented."

Scott went on to say that Kent is very knowledgable in handling court files.

"There are always occasions when we need help with the clerk's office," he said. "Judy is always willing to help. I think the world of Judy Kent."

Kent, who also is supervisor of the Civil and Small Claims divisions, said she enjoys helping people who are sometimes "not happy." She also said she was grateful for the honor.

"It's very nice to be recognized," she said. "You don't hear those things every day."

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