County Row Offices

Definition:

▪ Elected county officers other than county commissioners
▪ The structure of county row offices varies with the class (population size) of the county
▪ In some classes of counties, two row offices are combined, such as register of wills and recorder of deeds
▪ Operate independently of commissioners
▪ Commissioners govern row officer’s budgets, salaries, personnel administration and physical facilities

Office Titles:

Controller:

Manages and administers the fiscal affairs of the county; only in 2nd through 5th class counties.

Auditors:

Review the financial administration of the county; only in 6th through 8th class counties.

Treasurer:

Receives and disburses county revenues.

District Attorney:

Conducts criminal prosecution. Salary paid in part by state.

Sheriff:

Officer of the court, serves judicial writs and other documents, may provide courthouse security and/or oversee jail management.

Prothonotary:

Clerk of the court of common pleas (civil court).

Clerk of Courts:

Clerk of the criminal courts.

Register of Wills:

Jurisdiction over wills and estates.

Recorder of Deeds:

Custodian of county records including property deeds and development plans.

Coroner:

Investigates deaths of a suspicious or violent nature, issues certificate of death when the death occurs without medical attention.

Jury Commissioners (2):

Manage the process of empaneling juries, counties may abolish the positions.

Length of Term:

▪ 4 Years

How Elected:

▪ At large: by all the registered voters in the county

Qualifications:

▪ Registered voter
▪ 18 years or older
▪ Resident of the county for one year prior to the election
▪ Other qualifications apply for some row offices such as district attorney

Compensation and Employment:

▪ Compensation set by the county commissioners sitting as a salary board
▪ Commissioners cannot change salary schedule during their own term
▪ Commissioners cannot set salary during an election year