Karen Bushell was appointed clerk of Montgomery County Circuit Court following the retirement of Barbara Meiklejohn on March 31. Bushell will run for a full term in 2022. Credit: Photo courtesy of Karen Bushell

Karen Bushell, the newly appointed clerk of Montgomery County Circuit Court, plans to run for a full term next year.

Bushell was appointed clerk following the retirement of Circuit Court Clerk Barbara Meiklejohn, who retired on March 31. Meiklejohn was elected in 2014, then re-elected in 2018.

Bushell has worked in the Montgomery County court system for 20 years, which includes time spent working for Judges Katherine Savage and Nelson Rupp.

After Meiklejohn was elected in 2014, Bushell was appointed chief deputy clerk.

Bushell said in an interview with Bethesda Beat on Monday that the clerk is considered the independent recordkeeper for the court The clerk is responsible for issuing writs; accounting and disbursement of funds; marriage and business licenses; collections and processing court filings.

She manages a staff of 190 employees.


“It was a very easy transition from chief deputy to clerk,” Bushell said. “I feel that the employees are very comfortable with the transition. There hasn’t really been a hiccup with the policies or procedures or anything like that.”

Bushell said she will finish out Meiklejohn’s term, which runs through next year, then will run for a full term of her own. She has not filed for election yet.

Meiklejohn could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.


Bushell said Meiklejohn worked for the court system for 45 years before retiring last month.

“It wasn’t an easy to decision to make to not fulfill her term,” Bushell said. “It was just time for her to retire, she said.”

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@moco360.media


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