Clerk’s Cape Coral office now open 5 days a week
The Lee County Clerk of the Court’s Cape Coral office began opening its doors five days a week again this week, providing convenience to residents.
Lee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Linda Doggett said they have had a branch office in Cape Coral for many years, dating back to the 1980s.
“We opened it originally because we have court there a couple times a month, small claims and traffic. We used to do official records back in those days. When we had the economic downturn we reduced our services and pulled recording out of that office to save money,” she said.
In 2016 when the state budget took some major reductions, more than a million dollars, for court related items, the downtown Fort Myers office was hit really hard.
To help the long wait times, both in person and on the phone, clerks from the Cape Coral office were pulled in two days a week to provide assistance during the busiest days downtown.
At that time, the Cape Coral branch office remained open Tuesday through Thursday.
Doggett said this past legislative session they received budget authority because revenues statewide have increased.
“On Oct.1, it is effective. We are going to get an increase in our budget for the court stuff. We always told Cape Coral when we get a relief in the budget we will open to five days a week,” she said. “We are opening a little early before the (new) budget is here. We are able to add the staff we need to staff the Cape Coral office for those two days.”
It was important to Doggett to resume the opening of the branch office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday because Cape Coral is the largest city in Lee County and it is growing every day. The office is located on the second floor of the Lee County Government Center, 1039 SE 9th Place.
“We have a lot of people that come to our customer service counter on Monday and Friday because Cape Coral is closed,” she said of the downtown Fort Myers office. “We know we have a need there. Cape Coral needs are growing.”
With the county budget 3 percent increase, Doggett said they were able to add recording into the Cape Coral office.
“We are excited about providing the extra service. I think that is going to be a big help for Cape Coral citizens. We want to help them as much as possible. It helps the person, law enforcement and the judicial system. Any time we can help people on the front end to do the things they need to do to comply they won’t keep coming back through the system over and over. That is a good thing for everyone involved,” she said. “We have added felony case payments, probation payments. We think it will be a better service helping the judicial system overall.”
Another improvement is through their phone system.
Doggett said they have partnered with a third- party, private-sector provider to take payments over the phone, which includes a fee.
Customers can pay traffic fines, court case fees, probation, as well as other municipal and county infractions at the Cape Coral office. Such official records as mortgages, deeds, liens, and notices of commencement can also be recorded at the office.
Individuals can also apply for a marriage license, as well as get married, at the Cape Coral office.
Small claims, evictions, probate and simplified dissolution of marriage matters can also be handled.
For a $10 fee individuals can use notary services, and a free computer station is provided to search and view court and official records.
For more information, call (239) 533-5000, or visit www.leeclerk.org.