Clerk Gipson's Impacts in Office

Leadership

Clerk Gipson takes pride in being a native and prominent leader of Shelby County. She received the honor of being inducted into
the Shelby County Archive as the first elected African American and female Circuit Court Clerk. Clerk Gipson also received a
proclamation from the Shelby County Commissioners for her historic accomplishment. She was also featured in Women for
Tennessee’s Future for Black History Month for making history. During her first few months in office, Clerk Gipson was appointed
by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris as Chairwoman for the United Way Campaign and successfully surpassed the goal in pledges
of $175,422.98 for Shelby County employees. Clerk Gipson actively serves on the Shelby County IT Steering Committee and the
Unified Personnel Policy Committee, aiming to implement new resources and policies to help Shelby County run more efficiently.
She was also supportive of the Paid Parental Leave proposal for Shelby County employees.


Clerk Temiika D. Gipson participates in the MLK Days of Service, which empowered individuals, strengthened communities,
bridged barriers, created solutions to social problems, and moved Shelby County citizens closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved
community. Clerk Gipson was honored to speak at Shelby County’s Memorial Service for George Floyd, where she voiced her
stance on the elimination of police brutality around the world and gave "A Plea for My Sisters," expressing demands for human
rights and charged women to combat social injustice and systematic racism by becoming world changers as well as law, policy
and history makers. She is a member of the John Maxwell Team, Tennessee Women's Political Caucus, and International
Association of Government Officials. Occasionally she offers life coaching and serves in ministry. Clerk Gipson completed Naifeh
Center for Effective Leadership Insitute for Public Service's Local Government Leadership Program.

Community

Clerk Gipson serves Circuit Court and makes it a way of life to help communities and citizens of Shelby County. She actively serves
on the Shelby County IT Steering Committee and the Unified Personnel Policies Committee, aiming to implement new resources
and policies to help Shelby County run more efficiently. She was supportive of the paid parental leave for Shelby County
employees. She was honored to partner with Stevie Moore and participated in the 16th Annual “Stop the Killing” Back 2 School
Family and Community Rally.


Clerk Gipson also gives back to the community by financially sponsoring organizations and citizens in Shelby County. She is
passionate about youths and their financial education. Clerk Gipson is one of four elected officials representing Shelby County

Government as a sponsoring organization for The Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center, which provides free one-on-
one financial counseling for all Shelby County residents. She met with a representative from 901 Connect, which helps the public

with legal matters, and has been gracious enough to display their brochures on our different filing counters. She is heavily
involved in giving back to her community. Last Thanksgiving, she adopted five (5) families by providing food baskets for the less
fortunate. She also sponsored Easter baskets for the Memphis and Shelby County Police Activities League. Clerk Gipson and staff
provided 100 backpacks and a variety of school supplies to the Gardenview Elementary Bluejays.

Interns

Since the first year in Office, Clerk Gipson has kept her campaign promise to employ inner-city and at-risk teens by partnering
with Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and the Shelby County Board of Commissioners for the Summer Youth Work Experience
Program each summer. Clerk Gipson personally mentored the group and took them on court tours to understand the daily
operations of the Chancery, Circuit, Probate, General Sessions - Criminal and Civil Divisions, and Municipal Courts of Shelby
County. The interns also attended meetings with former MPD Director Michael Rallings and Sheriff Floyd Bonner. Students left the
summer intern program with great knowledge of how policing in Shelby County and the justice system operates. Last year due to
Covid-19, we were only able to host one college intern from the University of Tennessee Knoxville to learn the operations of the
Circuit Court Clerk’s Office for the summer. In her third year in office, Clerk Gipson accommodated four (4) teen interns for the
summer. She enjoyed mentoring all interns, taking the interns on courtroom tours, and sitting in on several trials and hearings. As
always, these individuals have left the summer intern program with great knowledge for their future endeavors.

Courtroom Department

The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is responsible for submitting various reports to different entities statewide and countywide.
The courtroom department discovered that the Pending Case Report had never been submitted to Tennessee
Administrative Office of The Courts (AOC) before Clerk Gipson taking office. This report is critical and voluminous and is now
completed every quarter by the courtroom department, reflecting all cases we have pending in our office ranging from 0 to 20
years. Clerk Gipson immediately implemented a plan to promptly ensure the completion of this report, which entailed
everyone coming together and working as a team in the courtroom department to get this report submitted to the AOC by the
deadline. Since this discovery and implementation, the courtroom department has continuously submitted case reports to the
AOC in the timeframe given.


During the first year in office Clerk, Gipson recognized after conversing with courtroom clerks that their job functions were
much more than their current pay grade. Clerk Gipson immediately started working diligently to get all courtroom clerks
reclassified to Principal Court Clerk II, and along with this, reclassification would also include a pay increase.
Clerk Gipson is elated to report that the Mayor’s Administration finally approved the reclassification in her third year in office.
This accomplishment is highly commendable.

Clerk's Lounge

During her first 90 days of assessing our office, Clerk Gipson saw the need for an area in which courtroom clerks could report to management and work outside the confines of the courtroom before court opened and after their assigned Judge had adjourned or completed their workday. She renovated an office space equipped with technical support for our courtroom clerks. Due to Covid-19, the clerk’s lounge was closed temporarily to follow social distancing guidelines and reopened on July 1st for the clerks to enjoy.

Appeals

One of the most important responsibilities of the courtroom department is to maintain court records accurately. Shortly after
Clerk Gipson assumed office, it was discovered that the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office was not in compliance with accurately
maintaining and storing exhibits, according to the Court of Appeals. Upon this discovery, Clerk Gipson immediately
implemented an exhibit process to ensure that the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office complied. Clerk Gipson also worked with all of
the Circuit Court Judges to make them aware of this situation. In turn, the Circuit Court local rules were amended to reflect the
newly implemented exhibit process by the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

Accounting / Cost Departments

One of Clerk Gipson’s concerns is with the interest rates of Circuit Court Clerk’s 1,000 minor settlement accounts totaling over
$9,000,000. In her 1st year in office, Clerk Gipson negotiated higher interest rates for minor settlements, which increased from
0.75% to 3.5%. Due to Covid-19, the interest rates dropped; however, most of the accounts maintained the high negotiated
interest rates. The Circuit Court Clerk’s office has started to receive quarterly statements from all banks, with minor settlements,
to have the balances at the end of each quarter. Clerk Temiika D. Gipson arranged for financial literacy counseling for minors
through the partnership with Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center and the Shelby County Trustee’s Office. Clerk
Gipson also provides personal encouraging words to minors that picks up checks and brochures with information on how the
financial empowerment center helps create budgets, savings accounts, improve credit scores, and control debt.


Clerk Temiika D. Gipson has made several changes to the accounting department this year, which will help employees do a more
efficient job. Within this last year, Clerk Gipson has continued to be instrumental in upgrading the accounting department by
changing many manual practices to electronic procedures. Clerk Gipson approved a remote deposit scanner and Smartsafe, which
deposits checks and cash in the bank instantly. Clerk Gipson implemented the Smartsafe to ensure safety for employees and
provide convenience for Loomis in their retrieval of cash deposits. Monies are receipted and deposited into this system to
provide safety and convenience as well as accuracy. The approval of implementing a check scanning system provides the office
with a faster and easier way to deposit checks/money orders directly into the bank. This process affords limited interaction with
Loomis, making it convenient for both the clerk’s office and Loomis. This has been beneficial in saving time for the accounting
clerks closing out at the end of the day. Also, customers no longer have to wait for checks to clear their accounts.


The Circuit Court Clerk’s office has started automatic payables to help reduce the number of unclaimed funds reported to the
Tennessee Department of Treasury. The extra added step to creating bills for customers who won their cases and were awarded a
refund of their filing fees is beneficial for both the Clerk’s office and the customer. When the opposing party pays the cost, this
step is most helpful by creating a payable instantaneously for the party awarded the refund of their filing fees hence cutting back
on unclaimed funds. This allows the accounting clerks to notify customers and attorneys by email; they are refunded before
sending it to the Tennessee Department of Treasury. This will reduce the number of unclaimed funds reported to the state
tremendously. Over the last two years, we were able to return $58,646.74 to the citizens of Shelby County. The Circuit Court
Clerk’s office has transferred monthly clerk fees check payments for the Shelby County Trustee’s office to ACH transfer payments.


The monthly State of Tennessee check for state taxes was also transferred to a monthly ACH payment. The changeover from
mailing checks to ACH payments has made the payment process quicker and more organized. To better serve the citizens of
Shelby County, the credit card system also received upgrades to increase privacy protection for customers. A daily cash
replenishment system was put in place to ensure safety for employees and provide adequate funds to service cash-paying
customers. In the coming year, Clerk Gipson plans to incorporate encryption emails to get important documents signed to
guarantee they are secure and work towards moving minor settlement payouts to ACH payments.

Filing Counter / File Room

Clerk Gipson implemented several safety measures in response to Covid-19 to ensure the office still functioned efficiently while
minimizing risk to staff and customers. During the pandemic, Circuit Court E-filing was a great asset to allow the legal community
and litigants to continue to file and access documents while working remotely. The dropbox that is checked twice daily was also a
great added tool to assist during this time. We received many compliments for being so accessible to the public by phone and in
person.


Since Clerk Gipson took office, there have been several upgrades made in our records area. The file room was remodeled and is
now more accessible for employees to provide better customer service. Public access computers were added to assist customers
and the legal community further. Before Clerk Gipson's election, the Circuit Court Clerk's office was not in compliance with
obtaining exhibits after trials for appeals purposes. A designated area and storage space was created for trial exhibits and
transcript storage, and our office is now in compliance. The file room department implemented a new procedure concerning
storage and preservation of trial exhibits per a Local Rule of the Circuit Court. A continued effort of the Clerk’s office is to ensure
aged files are being collected and then stored at Shelby County Archives for proper conservation.

Technology

Last year the Circuit Court Clerk’s office purchased and installed multiple cameras to increase security for both County
Employees and funds entrusted to the Circuit Court Clerk by the Citizens of Shelby County. Clerk Gipson upgraded scanners on
the filing counter to handle more documents in a shorter time so that the filers will have a quicker response. The Technology
Department’s greatest success was implementing widespread changes to the business operations due to Covid-19. These
implementations included video-conference and remote connections for everyone from clerks to Judges. The Circuit Court Clerk’s
office has enhanced several areas within the courtroom department by adding upgraded Audio (sound) and Visual (sight)
equipment in all nine divisions of the Circuit Court. This equipment has helped improve court presentations during trials and
hearings and gives attorneys and pro-se litigants accessible Wi-Fi access points tailored by division. Every courtroom also
received dual monitors to increase work productivity and soundproof headphones to utilize during virtual settings.


The Context case management system provided functionality to create payables automatically. The new records created with this
process also aid the conversion of data from the current system to any new system the office may acquire. Previously, refund
payments were processed using custom software code which required additional maintenance. The old process did not allow
emails to be directed to the appropriate owner of the funds and, therefore, slowed the return process. New reports have been
added to Reportal to show the new payables after the payments have been created. This upgraded procedure aligns the Clerk’s
office with what Chancery and General Sessions have done for years.


Our E-File system Tybera has the most updated version and has been moved to a new server to back up all data with more and
more users using the system. The Circuit Court Clerk’s office complies with the new state statute regarding Notice of Electronic
Filings (NEFs) storage. Clerk Gipson is currently working with Civil officials towards upgrading a new case management software
for the Civil courts. Moving forward, the technology department will continue to have remote presentations for court software
and prepare our systems to transition to the new court software. With the upcoming software replacement, the software system
will have a full accounting suite for better visibility of funds management. The Circuit Court Clerk’s office has completed an IT and
accounting procedures audit to improve functionality and accountability.