Dallas County, Texas

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Dallas County is a Texas county located in north Texas officially part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area. Informally it is part of the North Texas region (sometimes called North Central Texas), one half of the Dallas/Fort Worth or DFW area and a significant portion of the region referred to as the metroplex. Dallas County is the second largest county in Texas by population and the ninth largest county by population in the nation. If you are looking for a Dallas employment law firm or Dallas divorce attorney you should contact my office to schedule a consultation.

County Government in Dallas County

Dallas, Texas is the county seat with the majority of the county’s population and land mass. Dallas is the third largest city in Texas by population and ninth largest by population in the nation. The county government primarily resides in downtown where it operates courts, administrative buildings and other administrative operations.

The county government operates exclusively within the confines of the county which is adjacent to Tarrant County, Denton County, Collin County, Ellis County, Rockwall County and Kaufman County. The county government is the county judge elected by county-wide vote. The primary governing body for the county is the commissioners court which includes the county judge plus four commissioners who are elected by their respective precinct. The commissioners court does not hear lawsuits like most courts. Their responsibilities are administrative with judicial authority to hear cases transferred to the Dallas County Courts at Law.

The commissioners court primarily deals with oversight and budgetary responsibilities within the county. They set budgets for the county governance agencies and districts ran by the county including Road and Bridge districts and the hospital district which oversees county-level public works.

Dallas County government also includes agencies subordinate to the commissioners court. Some agencies are ran by elected officials while others are administratively appointed by the court. These county agencies include the district attorney, district clerk, county clerk, sheriff, constables, tax assessor-collector and treasurer.

Within the county are also governments and government offices that do not report to the county, including city and town governments, state representatives and senators, judges and U.S. representatives. Some of the representative and senator districts within Dallas County include areas outside of Dallas County.

Dallas County Geography

In addition to Dallas, Texas there are a number of cities within the county. Many of these cities are only partially within Dallas County with the remainder in one or more adjacent counties. These include Balch Springs, Cedar Hill, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Combine, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, University Park, Wilmer and Wylie. Dallas County also includes the towns of Addison, Highland Park and Sunnyvale and one unincorporated community of Sand Branch.

Dallas County also includes some or all of a number of independent school districts including Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, Coppell ISD, Dallas ISD, DeSoto ISD, Duncanville ISD, Ferris ISD, Garland ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, GrapevineColleyville ISD, Highland Park ISD, Irving ISD, Lancaster ISD, Mesquite ISD, Richardson ISD and Sunnyvale ISD.

Although these cities, towns and school districts are government entities within the county they are not subordinate to the county government. They are independent governments with their own authority under state law. There is often coordination between local and county government due to the overlap of responsibilities and resources.

Courts in Dallas County

Dallas County includes several overlapping judicial systems of local, county, state and federal courts. County level courts in Dallas County include the civil and criminal County Courts at Law, statutory probate courts and justice of the peace courts. The county is also home to the Dallas County District Courts that hear both civil and criminal cases. Dallas is also home to the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas. The appellate court hears appeals from county and district courts within the county (and some surrounding counties). The individual cities operate their own municipal courts that hear certain misdemeanors and city ordinance violations within the city limits. The county is also within the U.S. Northern District of Texas and has its own division of federal district courts with jurisdiction over most civil and criminal cases under federal law.

Sources

Wikipedia Page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_County,_Texas

Cities in Dallas County – http://www.dallascounty.org/cities.php

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