Administrative decisions for the county are not made by full-time employees of the county, but by an elected governing board of three or five Commissioners. They serve as the elected ruling body of the county government structure and typically meet once to twice a month as determined by the commission. They are responsible for the county budget, county road department, social service administration and many other county concerns. Commissioners in North Dakota can be elected at-large or in commissioner districts, depending upon the county.
State's Attorneys serve as legal counsel and advisor to the county. They represent the state in criminal cases acting as prosecutor. State's Attorneys provide guidance to county commissioners and officials in interpreting the meaning of the N.D. Century Code and legislation.
The Sheriff is perhaps the most familiar county official to most citizens. A Sheriff's duties include making arrests, enforcing all state and local laws, maintaining jail facilities, transporting prisoners and mentally ill patients, serving legal papers, holding public sales of property under court orders and attending district court. Sheriffs have the authority to enforce laws in cities and towns as well as rural areas. While many of the responsibilities are regulated by the state and federal government, the Sheriff's primary role is still to preserve peace and order in the county.
The Treasurer's office is used by taxpayers, state agencies, lending institutions and reality companies, providing easy access to tax and real estate records throughout the year to anyone who requests that information. Treasurers are responsible for keeping track of all property taxes, including delinquency and foreclosures, and act as accountant, financial manager and investor for the county.
The information filed and recorded in the County Recorder's office is used by the auditor, treasurer, commissioners and other county officials, along with the general public and business entities. These records primarily deal with real estate, such as patents, deeds, mortgages, bills of sale, security agreements, judgments, decrees, liens and certificates of sale.