County Administrator HR Civil Service Board Clerk of the Circuit Court

Paralegal Specialist (Tax Deeds Administration)

Recruitment #1807-PLGLSPCLKN-001

Introduction

The Clerk of the Circuit Court is looking for new members to join our team as part of one of the finest organizations in Hillsborough County. Employees of the Clerk of the Circuit Court provide quality service to our public.

As a member of our working team, you will occupy a position offering a unique challenge. You are, in effect, working both for your neighbors and yourself while constantly improving your community. You are a public employee performing essential services for the people of Hillsborough County. Our county’s citizens are affected by your on-the-job performance and their opinions of our organization are directly influenced by your conduct. Wherever you work in the Clerk’s organization, please keep in mind the trust that the people of Hillsborough County have placed in your hands. By meeting all of your responsibilities in the most efficient and courteous manner possible, you will find your efforts rewarding.
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Job opportunities are offered first to current Clerk of the Circuit Court Employees. If a Clerk employee is not selected, consideration will be then given to applicants outside of the office.

This office reserves the right to consider how your application is prepared. It will be considered only if it is written with clarity and contains the required transcripts, certificates and licenses or other specified documents.

IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Ideal Candidate should have:

  • Prior knowledge of and a clear understanding of the ability to apply Florida real property and probate law, including homestead rights.
  • Vast knowledge and familiarity with comfortably using and navigating a variety of computer programs and applications.

JOB OVERVIEW

Performs para-professional duties assisting in legal issues including legal research, preparation of legal documents and reports, primarily in the area of real estate and probate law.  An incumbent in this position routinely exercises independent judgment in all aspects of the position, including but not limited to review and approval of title searches, attorney title opinions, commitments, probate proceedings, law suits and government and private databases that affect entitlement to excess proceeds from tax deed sales under Chapter 197, Florida Statutes.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

An Associates degree in Paralegal or Legal Assistance; and

Two years of Attorney-supervised experience analyzing legal issues and conducting legal research of statutes, case law, and other sources, and drafting legal documents regarding the ownership and encumbrance of Florida real property.

Note: Degree is preferred but will consider candidates with an equivalent combination of education, training and experience that would reasonably be expected to provide the job-specific competencies noted below.

JOB SPECIFIC COMPETENCIES

• Ability to have a clear understanding of and the ability to apply Florida real property and probate law, including homestead rights; succession of interests under probate and intestacy laws; the creation and transfer of ownership rights in real property; the creation, transfer, release, satisfaction and termination of different types of liens on real property, both government and private.
• Considerable knowledge of the laws of Florida and other legislation pertaining to Hillsborough County.            

• Considerable knowledge of the laws of Florida and the case law that interprets the laws.
• Ability to prepare an accurate title abstract after searching databases, such as the county Official Records, which contain information concerning the ownership interests in and lien rights on real property located in the county.
• Considerable knowledge of the principals, practices and methods of legal research. Ability to research and retrieve information from multiple sources, such as from: Official Records (local and statewide), Fund Title Notes, Westlaw, Property Appraiser’s Office, Tax Collector’s Office, Hillsborough County Clerk of Circuit Court, Vital Statistics, Hillsborough County Court Files, Federal Bankruptcy cases on PACER, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Florida Statutes, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Florida Real Property Law, Florida Probate Law, Title Law and Florida Constitutional Law; conducts research online utilizing these sources to interpret and verify data listed in Title abstracts or civil cases.
• Ability to deal tactfully and effectively with county officials, employees, court officials and the general public.
• Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing in order to draft legal documents and interact with the public and governmental agencies and employees.
• Ability and willingness to provide assistance in legal office administrative practices and procedures.

REPRESENTATIVE DUTIES

Note: The following duties are illustrative and not exhaustive. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position. Depending on assigned area of responsibility, incumbents in the position may perform one or more of the activities described below.

 

• Performs legal research to aid attorneys in the preparation of tax deed litigation under Chapter 197, Florida Statutes, by investigating facts of the case and by identifying appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles and other materials to determine the merits of a proposed case.
• Reviews tax deed files to determine if cases are appropriate for referral to interpleader.
• Manages a large volume of electronic tax deed files by preparing legal memoranda for distribution of excess proceeds, general correspondence, reports and legal arguments; obtains affidavits, assists in drafting pleadings, trial and appellate briefs under the supervision of an attorney.
• Establishes and maintains a fully indexed and cross-referenced database of briefs, memoranda and other legal materials to be provided to the attorney upon request.
• Refers attorneys and the general public to locate tax deeds material located online at the Clerk’s website.
• Provides guidance to department personnel concerning the conduct of legal research; coordinates the work of non-attorney legal resource personnel; coordinates the preparation of documentary material for civil litigation cases.
• Serves as a liaison between attorneys, mediators/arbitrators, outside counsel and the public in responding to questions and providing information on civil or tax deed cases, as needed.
• May assist attorneys during trials.
• Performs business related activities and functions regarding legal office administrative practices and procedures.
• Reviews instruments of conveyance, instruments creating lien rights and related documents for proper form, accuracy, appropriateness, and completeness.
• Use advanced technical and analytical skills to retrieve information to locate owners of property or lien holders who are not of record or who do not know that they may have any entitlement to excess proceeds distribution.
• Ability to draft correspondence to attorneys, general public and claimants in response to received inquiries and claims on tax deed files.
• Experience with creating and maintaining word processing and spreadsheet documents.
• Assists other staff in providing proper notice to property owners, lien holders and others having an interest in real property that may be eligible to receive excess proceeds.
• Performs other related duties as required.

This classification description is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as an all inclusive list of the duties associated with a particular position. Management may require incumbents to perform job duties other than those contained in this document at any time.

Conclusion

VETERANS' PREFERENCE: Preference will ONLY be entitled upon initial appointment for eligible veterans and eligible spouses of veterans. Documentation to support entitlement to preference MUST be provided at the time of application.

RESPONSE/RECOVERY ACTIVITIES: Employees may be required to participate in response/recovery activities in response to a major emergency or natural disasters affecting County operations. In such situations, every effort will be made to maintain operations, but employees may be assigned to carry out response activities suited to their skills and capabilities.

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

The Clerk of the Circuit Court provides equal employment opportunity to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism or other non-merit factors.

Clerk of the Circuit Court welcomes and encourages applications from minorities, veterans, and persons with physical and mental disabilities, and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons in the application and testing process. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation requests will be on a case-by-case basis.