SCOTT COUNTY, ARKANSAS
Founded November 5, 1833
James Forbes
Judge James Forbes
Phone: (479) 637-2155
Fax: (479) 637-4199
Email:
scottcountyjudge@yahoo.com

Duties Of The County Judge

The county judge is an elected official in county government. The Constitution of the State of Arkansas provides for the election of the county judge to a two-year term of office with the requirements that he/she be at least 25 years of age, a qualified elector, and a resident of the county. In the event of a vacancy in office, the quorum court fills the vacancy by appointment, the appointee serving until the next general election, when a successor is elected. Before beginning his/her duties, the county judge must enter into an official bond, to guarantee his/her proper performance of the duties. This may be accomplished either through the State Fidelity Bond Program, which covers all employees on the payroll, or a Fidelity Bond purchased for the officer. The county judge must also take the constitutional oath of office.

The county judge is entitled to that salary fixed for his/her office by applicable law and quorum court appropriation. To assist the county judge in the performance of his/her duties, the county judge may appoint such number of assistants as the quorum court may approve by funding. The county judge generally supervises the personnel within his/her employment and may discharge them and regulate their employment, within the guidelines established by the quorum court.

The office of the county judge is to be operated according to all constitutional and statutory provisions of law in concurrence with the annually approved budget for the office. The chief executive officer for county government is the county judge. As chief executive, the county judge authorizes and approves the disbursement of all appropriated county funds, operates the system of county roads, administers ordinances enacted by the Quorum Court, has custody of county property, accepts grants from federal, state, public and private sources, hires county employees, except those persons employed by other elected officials of the county, and resides over the quorum court without a vote, but with the power of veto.

All powers not vested in the county judge as the chief executive officer of the county shall continue to be exercised and administered by the county court, over which the county judge shall preside. The county court, in fact, is the county judge sitting in a judicial role. (ACA 14-14-1102)

The county court of each county has exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters relating to:
  1. County Taxes: Including real and personal ad valorem taxes collected by county government. The county court's authority in this area includes jurisdiction over the assessment of property, equalization of assessments on appeal, tax levies, tax collections, and the disbursement of tax proceeds.
  2. Paupers: The court's jurisdiction includes all county administrative actions affecting the conduct of human services programs serving indigent residents of the county where such services are financed in total or in part by county funds.
  3. Jurisdiction in each other case that may be necessary to the internal improvement and local concerns of the respective counties including county financial activities and works of general public u tility or advantage designed to promote intercommunication, trade, and commerce, transportation of persons and property, or the development of natural resources, which are not otherwise transferred to the county judges to be administered in an executive capacity.
  4. The county court shall have all other jurisdiction now vested by law in the county court excepting with respect to those powers formerly vested in the county court under the provisions of Section 28 of Article 7 of the Constitution that were transferred to the county judge under the provisions of Section 3 of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution. (ACA 14-14-1105)
In addition to the duties of the county court, the county judge is responsible for supervising the activities of the various state and federal agencies operating at the county level. The county judge must also apply for all federal and state assistance moneys for which the county is eligible, and appoints the members to all administrative and advisory boards in the county.
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