Poppen retires after 30 years as clerk of courts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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After 30 years as Kingsbury County clerk of courts, Linda Poppen has announced her retirement. Twenty-nine year veteran deputy clerk Wendy Sands will take over as clerk in June.


“I was surprised to get the job. The courtroom was full of people who wanted it. I told my husband I’ll give it 30 years and now here I am.” Poppen said. “Everything has changed since I started. We made copies on carbon paper and made paper receipts. There were no computers, everything was on paper.”


And that was the biggest change Poppen saw in her 30 years as clerk. The state Unified Judicial System recently took the plunge and switched all of its record keeping to a digital system called “Odyssey.”


Both Poppen and Sands said it has been quite an adventure learning a new way of doing things. They said it is more than a little frightening not to see any actual paper anymore.


Other than the demise of paperwork, Poppen said the core duties of the clerk of courts are much the same. She did say she used to do more marriages and is disappointed that part of the job seems to have fallen off since she’s been here.


She mainly makes default judgments on small claims, picks and sends out summons to potential jurors for jury trials, assists the judge in court and enters and maintains records in the new Odyssey system.


Now she will pass the mantle on to Sands. Poppen will join outgoing Third Circuit Judge Tim Tucker whose place here in Kingsbury County court will be filled by Judge Greg Stoltenburg of Brookings.


David Tritle


The De Smet News

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