The Lincoln County Courthouse welcomed Bethany Gagnon as its new clerk of courts Jan. 5. Gagnon, of West Bath, moves into the role after 10 years with the Sagadahoc County clerk of courts office.
Gagnon will work to ensure the administration of the superior and district court, and their transition to a unified court system in April, flows smoothly.
Gagnon’s new role as clerk of courts is a jump in the ranks from her former position as an administrative clerk in Sagadahoc County. Gagnon began her career in the court system as a secretary and climbed the ladder quickly, she said.
“I don’t like to sit still,” Gagnon said. “I like to learn new things.”
Gagnon was promoted to administrative clerk in Sagadahoc County in 2010. The Lincoln County clerk of courts position has been vacant since July 2014.
Gagnon performed some of the responsibilities of the Lincoln County clerk of courts while working as an administrative clerk in Sagadahoc County.
She was in the Lincoln County clerk of courts office approximately two days a week, working with staff to ensure the appropriate administration of the courts.
In November, Gagnon took the plunge and applied for the position. “It was nice to be able to put my toe in the water first,” Gagnon said about filling in part time as Lincoln County clerk of courts.
Gagnon described the transition to her new role as seamless due to her familiarity with the staff and personalities at the Lincoln County Courthouse.
“I’ve known Bethany for several years,” Lorie Merry, assistant clerk of courts, said. “She’s going to be a great asset to this office. She works really well with the staff.”
Gagnon’s responsibilities as clerk of courts include handling files for a wide range of cases that include criminal cases, family cases, such as divorce and parental rights; and financial cases, such as credit cards, mortgages, and small claims.
She will also work closely with district and superior court judges and communicate with other clerks of courts to arrange their schedules. “It’s a puzzle putting the schedules together,” Gagnon said.
Lincoln County’s looming transition to a unified criminal docket, which will combine the district and superior court to help streamline cases, will be a hurdle, Gagnon said, but one that she feels prepared for.
“We’re going to have to get our heads wrapped around it,” Gagnon said. “It’s really just a change of wording, but getting it implemented and running smoothly will be a challenge.”
For Gagnon, after one week on the job, things have been going smoothly. Knocking on wood, she said, she hopes that continues.