Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The name given to the prin--cipal subdivisions of the kingdom of England and of most of the states of the American Union, denoting a distinct portion of territory organized by itself for political and judicial purposes. The etymology of the word shows it to have been the district anciently governed by a count or carl. In modem use, the word may denote either the territory marked off to form a county or the citizens resident within such territory, taken collectively and considered as invested with political rights or the county regarded as a municipal corporation possessing subordinate governmental powers or an organized jural society invested with specific rights and duties. Patterson v. Temple, 27 Ark. 207; Eagle v. Beard, 33 Ark. 501; Wooster v. Plymouth, 62 N. H. 208.
    —County bridge. A bridge of the larger class, erected by the county, and which the county is liable to keep in repair. Taylor v. Davis County, 40 Iowa, 295; Boone County v. Mutchler, 137 Ind. 140, 36 N. Bl 534.
    —County commissioners. Officers of a county charged with a variety of administrative and executive duties, but principally with the management of the financial affiairs of the county, its police regniadons, and its corporate business. Sometimes the local laws give them limited judicial powers. In some states they are calied "supervisors." Com. v. Krickbaum, 199 Pa. 351, 49 Atl. 68.
    —County corporate. A city or town, with more or less territory annexed, having the privilege to be a county of itself, and not to be comprised in any other county; such as London, York, Bristol, Norwich, and other cities in England. 1 Bl. Comm. 120.
    —County conrt. A court of high antiquity in England, incident to the jurisdiction of the sheriff. It is not a court of record, but may hold pleas of debt or damages, under the value of forty shillings. The freeholders of the county (anciently termed the "suitors" of the court) are the real judges in this court, and the sheriff is the ministerial officer. See 3 Bl. Comm. 35, 36; 3 Steph. Comm. 395. But in modem English law the name is appropriated to a system of tribunals established by the statute 9 & 10 Viet. c. 95, having a limited jurisdiction, principally for the recovery of small debts. It is also the name of certain tribunals of limited jurisdiction in the county of Middlesex, established under the statute 22 Geo. II. c. 33. In American law. The name is used in many of the states to designate the ordinary courts of record having jurisdiction for trials at nisi prius. Their powers generally comprise ordinary civil jurisdiction, also the charge and care of persons and estates coming within legal guardianship, a limited criminal jurisdiction, appellate jurisdicton over justices of the peace, etc.
    —County jail. A place of incarceration for the punishment of minor offenses and the custody of transient prisoners, where the ignominy of confinement is devoid of the infamous character which an imprisonment in the state jail or penitentiary carries with it. U. S. v. Greenwald (D. C.) 64 Fed. 8
    —Connty officers. Those whose general authority and jurisdiction are confined within the limits of the county in which they are appointed, who are appointed in and for a particular county, and whose duties apply only to that county, and through whom the county performs its usual political functions. State v. Burns. 38 Fla. 367, 2l South. 290; State v, Glenn, 7 Heisk. Senn.) 473; In re Carpenter, 7 Barb. (N. Y.) ; Philadelphia v. Martin, 125 Pa. 583, 17 All. 507.
    —County palatine. A term bestowed upon certain counties in England, the lords of which in former times enjoyed especial privileges. They might pardon treasons, murders, and felonies. All writs and indictments ran in their names, as in other counties in the king's; and ali offenses were said to be done agninst their peace, and not, as in other places, oontra pacem domini regis. But these privileges have in modem times nearly disappeared.
    —County rate. In English law. An imposition levied on the occupiers of lands, and applied to many miscellaneous purposes, among which the most important are those of defraying the expenses connected with prisons, reimbursing to private parties the costs they have incurred in prosecuting public offenders,'and defraying the expenses of the county police. See 15 & 16 Viet & 8L
    — Connty road. One which lies wholly within one county, and which is thereby distinguished from a state road, which is a road lying in two or more counties. State v. Wood County, 17 Ohio, 186.
    —County-seat. A county-seat or county-town is the chief town of a county, where the county buildings and courts are located and the county business transacted. Williams v. Reutzel, 60 Ark. 155, 29 S. W. 374; In re Allison, 13 Colo. 525, 22 Pac. 820, 10 In R. A. 790, 16 Am. St. Rep. 224 ;' Whallon v. Grid-ley, 51 Mich. 503, 16 N. W. 876.
    —County sessions. In England, the court of general quarter sessions of the peace held in every county once in every quarter of a year. Mozley & Whitley.
    —County-town. The county-seat; the town in which the seat of government of the county is located. State v. Cates, 105 Tenn. 441, 58 S. W. 649.
    —County warrant. An order or warrant drawn by some duly authorized officer of the county, directed to the county treasurer and directing him to pay out of the funds of the county a designated sum of money to a named individual, or to his order or to bearer. Savage v. Mathews, 98 Ala. 535, 13 South. 328; Crawford v. Noble County, 8 Okl. 450, 58 Pac. 616; People v. Rio Grande County, 11 Colo. App. 124, 52 Pac. 748.
    —Foreign county. Any county having a judicial and municipal organization separate from that of the county where matters arising in the former county are called in question, though bath may lie within the same state or country.