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e-Li: Electronic Library

County Offices

The Tennessee Constitution expressly provides for certain county offices, while others are created by the state legislature. In addition to the office of county mayor/executive and the county legislative body, Article VII, Section 1, of the Tennessee Constitution provides that each county have a sheriff, trustee, register, county clerk, and assessor of property elected by the voters of the county for terms of four years. The Judicial Article of the Tennessee Constitution, Article VI, also provides in Section 13 that any inferior court clerk shall be elected by the people on a district or county basis to a four-year term, and that the chancellors shall appoint a clerk and master for each district or county for a term of six years. Both the circuit court clerk and the clerk and master are currently elected or appointed one per county, but some counties have private acts or charters that establish other inferior court clerks such as general sessions court clerk and juvenile court clerk. All of these constitutional or quasi- constitutional offices except the assessor of property collect fees and are commonly referred to as "fee" offices. The legislature determines the qualifications and duties of each office. Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 1. The duties of these officers in a county with a consolidated city-county government are specified in the charter.