Since Ohio became a state in 1803, judicial systems required each county to have a clerk of courts who was tasked to preserve records for future generations. In the interest of justice, it is important for clerk offices to remain independent from the judges they serve. This separation prevents even the appearance of judicial bias.
In the Franklin County Clerk of Courts’ Office, approximately 200 full-time Deputy Clerks serve in five divisions: Auto Title, Legal, Fiscal Services, Information Technology, and Administration. Four of those divisions are in seven different offices in the Franklin County Courthouse complex. The fifth, Auto Title, is in four conveniently located branch offices throughout Franklin County. Each division is important to the Franklin County Clerk of Courts’ two major functions: management of court documents and issuance of auto titles.
Our Legal Division Deputy Clerks are responsible for receiving, receipting, managing, and retaining all legal documents filed through the Court of Common Pleas and the 10th District Court of Appeals. Our Deputy Clerks execute their responsibilities in strict accordance with the record retention requirements established by Ohio law.
In 2020, the Legal Division filed 161,693 new cases in the Court of Common Pleas and 10th District Court of Appeals, up from 102,642 in 2019. Since the full implementation of e-Filing in 2012, our processing times have fallen from an average of three days to one day, with most filings processed in less than four business hours.
Our Auto Title Division Deputy Clerks manage titling and proof of vehicle ownership, with strict adherence to Ohio laws and rules. In 2020, our Auto Title Division processed 489,313 auto titles, down from 565,027 in 2019, with an average wait time of only 11 minutes.
Since 2009, our busy Auto Title offices generated more than $10 million in funds that have been given to the County General Fund to help the Franklin County Commissioners continue to provide essential services to our residents.
About Clerk Maryellen O’Shaughnessy
Maryellen O'Shaughnessy began her term as Franklin County Clerk of Courts in January 2009. Prior to serving as Clerk, O'Shaughnessy was elected three times as a Columbus City Council Member, representing the 15th largest city in the nation. She was committed to providing excellent services, listening to neighborhood concerns, and providing the resources necessary to keep her community thriving. She served as chair of the Public Service and Transportation, Utilities, and Development committees, working for sustainable development and growth practices, complete streets policies and balanced transportation systems, and the redevelopment of Downtown Columbus and its core neighborhoods.
Clerk O'Shaughnessy is a fifth-generation Central Ohioan and comes from a family dedicated to public service. She is also a fourth-generation funeral director and owner of O’Shaughnessy Company Funeral Directors, established in 1889. A graduate of Bishop Watterson High School and The Ohio State University, O’Shaughnessy is an active volunteer in her church and parish and is past recipient of the Diocesan Service Award.
Clerk O’Shaughnessy is also involved in the Ohio Clerk of Courts Association and the Ohio Funeral Directors Association, sitting on their legislative committees. She was on the boards of the Columbus Historical Society, the Greenways Working Group of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and serves as Vice President of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits.
To maintain the integrity and accessibility of court documents and motor vehicle titles.
Our vision is to be the premier county clerk’s office in the State of Ohio by providing
TIMELY, ACCURATE and COURTEOUS service. This will be achieved by continuing to enhance customer service, invest in our employees’ growth and well-being, as well as use the latest technological advances.