33 Years of Service: Neal retiring as district court clerk
By Haley Schichtl
Betty Neal, Carroll County district court clerk for almost 33 years, will retire Friday, March 27.
Neal said she started working in the position part time in May 1987 and switched to full time the next month.
“I enter tickets, I enter dockets, I issue warrants for people,” Neal said. “I make sure the attorneys know when their court days are coming up, I make sure the officers know when they have court, public defenders; we notify everybody that’s involved with that case.”
She said things have changed over the course of her time as clerk.
“When I started here in ’87, we didn’t have computers and everything was hand-written,” Neal said. “I finally got up to having an old computer back then, and we ended up getting more programs. That makes it much easier than doing everything by hand.”
Neal said she has worked with six judges.
“My first judge was Paul Jackson. He was also an attorney, and also the first judge here,” Neal said. “I worked for him in his office doing abstract work back in ’79. When the job became available, I went and talked to him about it, and he said ‘oh, you can do it.’ ”
Neal said she lived in Green Forest until she got married 36 years ago, and has lived in Berryville ever since then.
She said she has enjoyed working with the other people in her office.
“Everybody sticks together. They help each other when someone is in trouble or need help. Everybody is right there to help,” Neal said.
She said after she retires, her main plan is to go fishing and spend time with her husband, who retired last year.
Deputy court clerk Rexanna Lilly said she has worked with Neal for almost three years, and will step up into Neal’s position once she retires.
“She’s got a lot of knowledge, and it goes way back,” Lilly said. “I’ve learned a lot from Betty. What you can do, what you can’t do. You can’t give people legal advice.”
Administrative assistant Pat Webb said she has worked with Neal for more than seven years, and that she has been great at what she does.
“She has a good sense of humor, and she’s very good at remembering things. She remembers when people started to work, she remembers birthdays,” Webb said. “She’s a very thoughtful person.”
District Judge Dale Ramsey said Neal has been a wonderful clerk.
“When I became judge three years ago, Betty helped me understand how the Berryville court works, and held my hand,” Ramsey said. “I’m the sixth judge. It’s really Betty’s court, and she needs to be recognized for the length of time she’s been there and her services to the court.”
Applications are being accepted for the deputy court clerk position until Monday, Feb. 10.
Neal will have a retirement party from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, in the district court office.