The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney occupies a critical position in the criminal justice system. Commonly referred to as the District Attorney in most states, the Commonwealth's Attorney must focus the power of the state on those who defy its laws. As legal representative for the people, the Commonwealth's Attorney has the duty to seek justice for all.
The county judge/executive shall be the chief executive of the county and shall have all the powers and perform all the duties of an executive and administrative nature vested in, or imposed upon, the county or its fiscal county by law, or by agreement with any municipality or other subdivision of government, and such additional powers as are granted by the fiscal court. The county judge/executive shall be responsible for the proper administration of the affairs of the county placed in his charge.
The duties of the county clerk fall into the general categories of clerical duties of the fiscal court: issuing and registering, recording and keeping various legal records, registering and purging voter rolls, conducting election duties, and conducting tax duties.
Circuit court clerks are responsible for managing the records of Circuit and District courts, Kentucky's trial courts. Circuit court clerks receive lawsuits and court documents, record legal documents, provide legal documents and other legal materials, are present during trials, schedule juries, receive and disburse money, maintain the jury system, administer oaths, handle affidavits, and issue driver licenses and non-driver identification cards. One circuit court clerk is elected in each Kentucky county. They serve for a term of six years.
The county attorney must attend the District Court in his or her county and prosecute all violations of criminal and penal law in the court's jurisdiction. Further, the county attorney and the commonwealth's attorney must cooperate in the enforcement of laws and, when necessary, assist each other in prosecution within their respective courts. They may agree to share or redistribute their prosecutorial duties in the Circuit and District Courts (KRS 15.725).
The sheriff's duties fall into four categories: tax collection, election duties, services to courts, and law enforcement. A sheriff spends the most time on civil duties, as opposed to criminal or law enforcement duties.20
The primary duty of the surveyor is making land surveys and determining boundary lines and corners, when ordered to do so by the courts or upon the request of individual landowners.
A coroner is a public official, appointed or elected, in a particular geographic jurisdiction, whose official duty is to investigate deaths under circumstances specified by statute (KRS 72).
Constables may execute warrants, summons, subpoenas, attachments, notices, rules and orders of court in all criminal, penal and civil cases, and shall return all process placed in his hands to the courts or persons issuing them, on or before the return day, noting the time of execution on them. A constable may exercise the duties of his office in any part of the county, but shall not execute any process in which he is personally interested except fee-bills for his own service. He shall not levy on or sell land, or any interest therein
In counties with a magisterial form of fiscal court, the most important function of the justice of the peace or magistrate is service on the fiscal court. The terms justice of the peace and magistrate are synonymous (OAG 85-30). However, the office of justice of the peace or magistrate, unlike that of county commissioner, is a constitutionally required office that must be filled regardless of the form of the fiscal court. Although the constitution mandates their election, justices in counties with a commissioner form of fiscal court have few duties. Before 1978, magistrates possessed important judicial duties, but the Judicial Amendment to the constitution abolished the magisterial courts and stripped magistrates of their judicial duties. In counties with a county commissioner form of fiscal court, magistrates' few remaining duties include the solemnization of marriages and the acceptance of applications for notaries public. Justices of the peace or magistrates may perform marriages if so authorized by the governor or the county judge/executive.
Each county jailer has "custody, rule and charge of the jail in his county" and "all persons in the jail" (KRS 71.020)
Subject to the direction, instruction, and supervision of the Department of Revenue, a property valuation administrator must make the assessment of all property in the county, prepare property assessment records, and perform other duties relating to assessment as the law or the Department of Revenue may prescribe (KRS 132.420). The property valuation administrator assesses property for the state, the county, and other districts. Any city may elect to use the annual county assessment for property situated in the city, except for levying and collecting ad valorem taxes on motor vehicles, in which case cities must use the assessment completed under the supervision of the Department of Revenue pursuant to KRS 132.487 (KRS 132.285)