With more than 130 employees, serving a population of 1.2 million residents, the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office is one of the largest and busiest offices in the state of Michigan.
Lisa Brown, Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds, is the official "keeper of the record," responsible for overseeing the receipt, storage, retrieval and safeguarding of public records -- including Circuit Court legal documents; registration for small businesses; military discharge forms; license applications to carry concealed pistols; and all records relating to birth, death and marriage occurring in Oakland County.
The Clerk also acts as Clerk to all official Oakland County boards, including the Board of Commissioners and Election Commission. The Election Division is responsible for printing ballots and maintaining the permanent records of all countywide elections, regular elections and special elections.
In addition, the Clerk/Register of Deeds office is responsible for the recording and management of more than 800,000 real estate documents per year.
Today, the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office is a leader in the use of technology, scanning, storing and viewing millions of documents electronically. A cutting-edge eFiling program that allows attorneys to electronically file Oakland Circuit Court pleadings with the Legal Division was launched and is the first step toward a "paperless" court system.
The duties of the County Clerk/Register of Deeds can be traced to the Magna Carta (1215) in England, a constitutional document considered a forerunner to America's Declaration of Independence. Today, some of the millions of documents safeguarded by the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds date back to the County's founding in 1820, when less than 60 families lived within its borders and 17 years before Michigan became a state. Oakland County's first clerk, Sidney Dole, was appointed by territorial governor, Lewis Cass.
In 1958, the Clerk and Register of Deeds offices were combined by action of the Oakland County Board of Supervisors. Oakland County is one of a few Michigan's counties to operate a combined office.