Veteran County Clerk Pat Chappelle was elected in 2008 to her seventh term as Lea County Clerk. She appointed Beverly Wofford, with 21 years experience in the Clerk’s office as her Chief Deputy Clerk to assist her in managing the many duties.
The County Clerk’s office is the official record keeper for Lea County. All documents pertaining to Lea County land are recorded in this office: deeds, oil & gas leases, mortgages etc. Any document which a person wishes to place on public record such as discharges from military service, powers of attorney, stipulations, espousal agreements, etc. are also recorded. To be eligible for recording a document must have original grantor signature(s), complete notary with seal or certified copy from county, state, federal government or a court of law. Uniform Commercial Code documents and copies of past and current County newspapers are on file.
The Clerk’s office issues marriage licenses. Licenses issued in Lea County may be used anywhere in the State of New Mexico but the record of the license and marriage are maintained in this office. The Clerk is also the Probate Clerk to the County Probate Judge and maintains all probate proceedings executed by the probate judge.
The County Clerk is the Chief administrator of elections. All elections except municipal elections are planned, conducted and canvassed by this office. Voter affidavits and files are processed and updated and all records pertaining to elections are maintained.
The Clerk is the ex-officio clerk of the County Commission, she or a deputy is required to be present and take minutes of all commission meetings. The preservation of commission proceedings such as minutes, ordinances and resolutions is the responsibility of the Clerk’s office.
By State law all records in the Clerk’s office are permanent and available to the public.