JACK COUNTY
Established August 27, 1856

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Duties of the County Office

County Judge: The Texas Constitution vests broad judicial and administrative powers in the position of county judge, who presides over a five-member commissioners court, which has budgetary and administrative authority over county government operations.

The county judge handles such widely varying matters as hearings for beer and wine license applications, hearing on admittance to state hospitals for the mentally ill and mentally retarded, juvenile work permits and temporary guardianships for special purposes. The judge is also responsible for calling elections, posting election notices and for receiving and canvassing the election returns. The county judge may perform marriages.

A county judge in Texas may have judicial responsibility for certain criminal, civil and probate matters - responsibility for these functions vary from county to county. In those counties in which the judge has judicial responsibilities, the judge has appellate jurisdiction over matters arising from the justice courts. The county judge is also head of civil defense and disaster relief, county welfare and in counties under 225,000 population, the judge prepares the county budget along with the county auditor or county clerk.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/judge.asp
 
Commissioner: The job of the county commissioner calls for hands-on service delivery as well as policy-making budget decisions.
Four commissioners, each elected from a quarter of the county's population, serve along with the county judge on the commissioners court. In addition to assuring that county roads are maintained, commissioners vote with the county judge to set the budget for all county departments and adopt a tax rate.
Among other responsibilities, the commissioners court:
Sets the yearly property tax rate and approves the budget and employment level for the county;
Sets commissioners and justice of the peace precinct boundaries;
Calls, conducts and certifies elections, including bond elections;
Sets employment and benefit policy;
Establishes long-range thoroughfare, open space, land use, financial and law enforcement/jail needs plans;
Acquires property for rights-of-way or other uses determined to be in the public's best interest;
Reviews and approve subdivision platting and wastewater treatment for rural areas;
Provides rural ambulance services and subsidizes rural fire protection;
Oversees the construction, maintenance and improvement of county roads and bridges;
Appoints non-elected department heads and standing committees;
Supervises and controls the county courthouse, county buildings and facilities;
Adopts a county budget;
Determines county tax rates;
Fills vacancies in elective and appointive positions; and
Has exclusive authority to authorize contracts in the name of the county.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/commiss.asp
 
District/County Attorney: Effective enforcement of the law requires the sure-handed expertise of a knowledgeable prosecutor.
The main duties of the county and/or district attorney is to represent the state in criminal cases. The county and/or district attorney works with law enforcement officers in the investigation and preparation of cases to be heard before the criminal courts. When requested in writing, the county attorney provides legal counsel to county officers.
The overwhelming importance of the office of public prosecutors arises from the fact that upon the prosecuting attorney rests the power of determining whether prosecution in any given case shall be inaugurated or, if inaugurated, pushed to a successful conclusion.
Other duties include prosecution of juvenile offenders, representation of victims of violence in protective orders and representing the Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory services in removing children from abusive households.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/attorney.asp
 
District/County Clerks: District clerks are called on to assure that the affairs of the district courts are maintained objectively with the full confidence of judicial authorities.
The Texas Government Code states the duties and powers of the clerk of the district court: "The clerk of the District Court has custody of and shall carefully maintain and arrange the records relating to or lawfully deposited in the clerk's office." The district clerk shall:
Record the acts and proceedings of the district court;
Enter all judgments of the court under the direction of the judge;
Record all executions issued and the returns issued on the executions;
Process passport applications;
Administer child support payments;
Administer trust accounts for minors ordered by the courts;
Keep an index of the parties to all suits filed in the court, and make reference to any judgment made in the case; and
Keep an account of all funds collected by the office, by way of fines and fees, and the amount due jurors in district court for service.
County Clerk
Without county clerks, many of government's underlying responsibilities would go undone.
The main duties of the county clerk are:
Administering all county and state elections, including early voting and primaries, unless the commissioners court has transferred the function to the tax assessor-collector or an office of county election administrator;
Serving as clerk of the county court and the commissioners court and keep records of the proceedings;
Acting as recorder of deeds and other instruments;
Filing and recording birth and death certificates;
Recording assumed names, wills and probate;
Issuing marriage licenses; and
Accounting for all funds paid to the office by way of fines and fees, and the amount owed to county court jurors for service.
In Texas counties with a population of less than 8,000, unless there has been a special election, the county clerk also serves as the district clerk, assuming all constitutional and statutory duties of the district clerk, along with those of county clerk.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/clerk.asp
 
Justice of the Peace: The justice of the peace is the legal jurisdiction closest to the average citizen.
Section 19 of Article 5 of the Texas Constitution provides that: justice of the peace courts have original jurisdiction in criminal matters of misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only and such other jurisdiction as may be provided by law. Original jurisdiction is the authority to accept a case at its inception, try it and pass judgment based upon the laws and facts. This is distinguished from appellate jurisdiction which is jurisdiction to review a court's action. The justice of the peace performs the functions of a magistrate and conducts inquests.
A justice of the peace may issue warrants for search and arrest, conduct preliminary hearings, administers oaths, perform marriages and serve as a coroner in counties where there is no provision for a medical examiner. The justice court also functions as a small claims court in civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is not in district or county court and the amount in controversy does not exceed $5,000. They can also deal with matters concerning foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens on personal property.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/jpeace.asp
 
Constable: These peace officers are the first link in the county's chain of law enforcement.
Along with their deputies, constables have all the enforcement powers of Texas peace officers. They are sometimes referred to as the executive officer of the justice of the peace courts. Their duties are to:
Subpoena witnesses;
Act as bailiff;
Execute judgments; and
Service of process.
In large metropolitan counties the constable may also assist the county and district courts. In addition, they may perform patrol functions and make criminal investigations. They are involved in the overall effort to reduce the effects of crime in their communities, including in some cases the operation of truancy programs.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/constab.asp
 
Assessor-Collector: Because of the wide range of responsibilities performed by the assessor-collector, most citizens deal with this county official more frequently than any other office.
The major tax duty of the assessor-collector, who collects property taxes, is the assessment (calculation) of taxes on each property in the county and collection of that tax as established by the Constitution and the State Property Tax Code. In addition, as an agent of the Texas Department of Transportation, the assessor-collector is responsible for the registration and licensing of motor vehicles owned by residents of the county.
Another duty of the county tax assessor-collector is that of voter registrar. In most Texas counties, a person would register to vote through the office of county tax assessor-collector. In a few counties, the commissioners court has designated the county clerk or an elections administrator to provide this function. The county tax office voter registration responsibilities include accepting applications for voter registration, issuing voter certificates, maintaining voter registration lists, verifying petitions for local option elections and submitting required reports to the Secretary of State's Office.
The county tax assessor-collector is also responsible for the collections of special fees imposed by the county and state on coin-operated vending machines, alcoholic beverage permits and registration and titling boats
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/taxasco.asp
 
Treasurer: The county treasurer is the county's banker.
The county treasurer, as the chief custodian of county finance, shall:
Receive all monies belonging to the county from whatever source;
Keep and account for all monies in a designated depository; and
Pay and apply or disburse all monies in such a manner as commissioners court may direct, by law.
All receipts of any official belonging to the county must be turned over to the county treasurer daily. The county treasurer often acts as the chief liaison between the county and all depository banks. In this capacity, he or she maintains records of all deposits and withdrawals, and reconciles all bank statements, thus assuring their accuracy and the safety of county funds. The county treasurer, who may be designated as the county's investment officer, is required to submit regular reports on county finance to the members of commissioners court to inspect and verify.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/treasur.asp
 
County Auditor: The county auditor maintains the integrity of financial administration of county government.
The county auditor's primary duty is to over see financial record-keeping for the county and to assure that all expenditures comply with the county budget. The county auditor, by law, has continuous access to all books and financial records and conducts detailed reviews of all county financial operations.
The office of county auditor is neither created by nor under the hierarchical control of the administrative body - the commissioners court. While commissioners court is the budgeting body in county government, both the county auditor and commissioners court are required, by law, to approve or reject claims for disbursement of county funds. The integrity of county financial administration is entrusted to a dual control system of "checks and balances."
The county auditor has general oversight of all the books and records of all county officials and is charged with strictly enforcing laws governing county finances.
http://www.county.org/counties/desc_office/auditor.asp
 
     
     
     
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