Renita Linville appointed first African American Clerk of Court

Renita Linville

Renita Linville appointed first African American Clerk of Court
June 05
12:01 2019

Attorney Renita Thompkins Linville will fill the vacancy left by Forsyth County Clerk of Court Susan Frye, making her the first African American to hold the position.

Linville, who is the sole practitioner of her own law firm located downtown, has more than 30 years of experience in the courtroom. After graduating from North Carolina Central University Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in business administration, Linville received her juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law.

In addition to her professional work as an attorney, Linville also serves as the First Lady of Piney Grove Baptist Church of Winston-Salem. Throughout her career Linville has also served on several boards including Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry, Bethlehem Center, Winston-Salem Urban League, The Legal Society of Northwest NC and Mediation Services Inc. For her work in the community in 2018, Linville was recognized during The Chronicle’s annual Community Service Awards.

As the clerk of court Linville will be responsible for recording and maintaining thousands of documents, including court calendars, subpoenas, judicial orders, injunctions and judgments, while also managing more than 90 employees.

The decision to appoint Linville was made by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Todd Burke. General Statue (GS) 7A-100 gives Burke the power to appoint the clerk of court in cases of death or resignation. The statue reads, “In cases of death or resignation of the clerk, the senior regular resident superior court judge, pending appointment of a successor clerk, may appoint an acting clerk of superior court for a period of not longer than 30 days.”

Frye officially retired on June 1. She started her career with the county in 1976 as a deputy clerk of court. Before she was elected by voters in 2010, she served as an arbitration manager for former Chief District Judge William Reingold.

Because she was chosen to fill the vacancy Linville will have to run for re-election in 2020. 

When discussing Linville’s appointment  with The Chronicle earlier this week, Judge Burke said he was honored to be able to make the decision. He said, “It’s an honor to be able to appoint someone who has distinguished themselves in their profession as an attorney, moreover someone who has always been active in the community.

“Mrs. Linville is a lifelong resident of Forsyth County, and although this is an appointment, this is ultimately an elected office. Her experience and qualifications will make her competitive to be re-elected and to perform at a high level as Forsyth County Clerk of Court.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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