Court clerk Ellen Bond keeps the job real, enjoys her work

No two court cases are the same to Ellen Bond. Despite the hundreds of cases Bond has heard in 14 years as a clerk for Kent Municipal Court, the excitement remains. “I like the court environment,” Bond said Tuesday, sitting in an empty jury room at the court on Central Avenue South. “You could do the same type of hearing and it’s never the same. It’s different every day. It’s exciting.”

Ellen Bond

Ellen Bond

No two court cases are the same to Ellen Bond.

Despite the hundreds of cases Bond has heard in 14 years as a clerk for Kent Municipal Court, the excitement remains.

“I like the court environment,” Bond said Tuesday, sitting in an empty jury room at the court on Central Avenue South. “You could do the same type of hearing and it’s never the same. It’s different every day. It’s exciting.”

Bond, the lead court clerk, especially enjoys the cases where residents have met conditions set by the judge, and are getting their lives back on track.

“When they comply with treatment and the judge congratulates them for a good job, you like to see that,” Bond said.

Bond, 34, started work with the city of Kent at age 20 when a friend of a friend told her about a temporary file clerk job for the court. She then moved into a temporary court clerk job before becoming a full-time clerk within a couple of months.

Now after years on the job, few know the court system as well as Bond.

“She is a court lead and that makes her the best of the best,” said Bonnie Gilderoy, court supervisor, who oversees Bond. “She is very knowledgeable and has outstanding customer-service skills.”

Those skills come in handy because so many residents easily get confused trying to distinguish among the three courts in Kent — the city’s Municipal Court, the King County District Court and the King County Superior Court. The Municipal Court and District Court share the same facility, known as Aukeen Court, on Central Avenue and operated by King County. The city leases space in it from the county.

King County Superior Court is located at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center, near Kent Station.

“When you don’t understand the system and a person like Ellen gives you directions, it’s beneficial to all — customers and us,” Gilderoy said.

As a court clerk, Bond enters into a computer and maintains the records of each case. She processes paperwork for court fees, setting bail, commitment orders, no-contact orders or whatever else a case might require.

Judges at Municipal Court handle misdemeanor cases, including assaults, thefts, prostitution, drunk driving and numerous other traffic offenses. The city jail is located next door to the Municipal Court.

Bond makes regular trips to the jail to get inmates to fill out paperwork in connection with their cases.

“They’re usually pretty mellow and usually on their best behavior,” Bond said. “And we have officers always there with us. I’ve been doing it so many years, I’m comfortable there.”

Bond also does accounting for the court and handles bank deposits. She assists with jury coordinating and jury orientation. A recent change allows potential jurors, after showing up at court on a Monday, to check in by phone to see if they are needed for a trial during the week.

Outside of work, Bond, who grew up in Federal Way and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, is married to Bryan Bond, a city of Kent fleet-services employee. They have been married for 12 years and have two children, ages 5 and 3.

The couple lives in Federal Way. They teach Sunday school together for children in the third-to-fifth grades at Grace Church in Federal Way. Bond likes to do digital scrap-booking, where all she has to do is print out pages rather than the cutting and pasting required in the more traditional scrap-booking activity.

Bond also enjoys working four, 10-hour days per week rather than the standard five, eight-hour shifts per week that most people work. She has worked the four days per week schedule for almost 10 years.

That’s one reason Bond stays so positive on her job.

“She enjoys her job and it shows,” Gilderoy said. “I’ve never seen Ellen have a bad day.”

No two court cases are the same to Ellen Bond.

Despite the hundreds of cases Bond has heard in 14 years as a clerk for Kent Municipal Court, the excitement remains.

“I like the court environment,” Bond said Tuesday, sitting in an empty jury room at the court on Central Avenue South. “You could do the same type of hearing and it’s never the same. It’s different every day. It’s exciting.”

Bond, the lead court clerk, especially enjoys the cases where residents have met conditions set by the judge, and are getting their lives back on track.

“When they comply with treatment and the judge congratulates them for a good job, you like to see that,” Bond said.

Bond, 34, started work with the city of Kent at age 20 when a friend of a friend told her about a temporary file clerk job for the court. She then moved into a temporary court clerk job before becoming a full-time clerk within a couple of months.

Now after years on the job, few know the court system as well as Bond.

“She is a court lead and that makes her the best of the best,” said Bonnie Gilderoy, court supervisor, who oversees Bond. “She is very knowledgeable and has outstanding customer-service skills.”

Those skills come in handy because so many residents easily get confused trying to distinguish among the three courts in Kent — the city’s Municipal Court, the King County District Court and the King County Superior Court. The Municipal Court and District Court share the same facility, known as Aukeen Court, on Central Avenue and operated by King County. The city leases space in it from the county.

King County Superior Court is located at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center, near Kent Station.

“When you don’t understand the system and a person like Ellen gives you directions, it’s beneficial to all — customers and us,” Gilderoy said.

As a court clerk, Bond enters into a computer and maintains the records of each case. She processes paperwork for court fees, setting bail, commitment orders, no-contact orders or whatever else a case might require.

Judges at Municipal Court handle misdemeanor cases, including assaults, thefts, prostitution, drunk driving and numerous other traffic offenses. The city jail is located next door to the Municipal Court.

Bond makes regular trips to the jail to get inmates to fill out paperwork in connection with their cases.

“They’re usually pretty mellow and usually on their best behavior,” Bond said. “And we have officers always there with us. I’ve been doing it so many years, I’m comfortable there.”

Bond also does accounting for the court and handles bank deposits. She assists with jury coordinating and jury orientation. A recent change allows potential jurors, after showing up at court on a Monday, to check in by phone to see if they are needed for a trial during the week.

Outside of work, Bond, who grew up in Federal Way and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, is married to Bryan Bond, a city of Kent fleet-services employee. They have been married for 12 years and have two children, ages 5 and 3.

The couple lives in Federal Way. They teach Sunday school together for children in the third-to-fifth grades at Grace Church in Federal Way. Bond likes to do digital scrap-booking, where all she has to do is print out pages rather than the cutting and pasting required in the more traditional scrap-booking activity.

Bond also enjoys working four, 10-hour days per week rather than the standard five, eight-hour shifts per week that most people work. She has worked the four days per week schedule for almost 10 years.

That’s one reason Bond stays so positive on her job.

“She enjoys her job and it shows,” Gilderoy said. “I’ve never seen Ellen have a bad day.”


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