Quorum Court

 

(from www.garlandcounty.org/file.php?id=49)

Quorum Court:

The legislative body of county government is called the Quorum Court and is composed of 9, 11, 13 or
15 members depending on the population of the county. The Quorum Court Members are called Justices of the
Peace and are elected for 2-year terms from districts within the county. These district officials meet each
month, more often if necessary, to conduct county business and review ordinances and resolutions for
passage. The county judge is the presiding officer over the Quorum Court without a vote, but with the power
of veto. This veto can be overridden with a 3/5 vote of the total membership of the Quorum Court (ACA 14-
14-801).

Justice of the Peace:

The Justice of the Peace is an elected official in county government. The Constitution of the State of
Arkansas provides for the election of the Justice of the Peace to a 2-year term office with the requirements
that he be a qualified elector and resident. In the event of a vacancy in office, the Governor fills the vacancy
by appointment and the appointee serves until the next general election, when his successor is elected.
Before assuming duties, the Justice of the Peace must take the constitutional oath of office. The Justice
of the Peace is entitled to per diem compensation for attending any official, regular, special or committee
meetings of the quorum court, as long as the compensation does not exceed the specified amount for that size
county (as prescribed by state law for the calendar year). Each quorum court sets and appropriates its own
per diem compensation within the limits provided by law. (Garland County Quorum Court members were
allowed $4,679 in the budget year 2002.)

The quorum court is the legislative body of county government and, depending upon county
population, is composed of 9, 11, 13, or 15 members. Garland County has 13 quorum court members. These
officers, representing districts within the county meet each month, more often if necessary, to conduct county
business and review ordinances and resolutions for passage. The county judge is the presiding officer over the
quorum court without a vote, but with the power of veto. The veto can be overridden with a 3/5 vote of the
total membership of the Quorum Court.

As provided by Amendment No. 55 of the Arkansas Constitution, county government acting through its
quorum court may exercise local legislative authority not expressly prohibited by the Constitution or by law for
the affairs of the county. Some limitations are:

(1) The quorum court cannot declare any act a felony (felonies are covered by the State Criminal
Code).
(2) The quorum court may exercise no authority unrelated to county affairs.
The quorum court may exercise the following powers, but is not limited to:
(a the levy of taxes in the manner prescribed by law;
(b) appropriate public funds for the expenses of the county in a manner prescribed by ordinances;
(c preserve the peace and order and secure freedom from dangerous or noxious activities;
provided, however that no act may be declared a felony;
(d) for any public purpose, contract, or join with any other county, or with any political subdivision
or with the United States;
(e create, consolidate, separate, revise, or abandon any elected office or offices except during the
term thereof; provided, however, that a majority of those voting on the questions at a general
election have approved said action;
(f) fix the number and compensation of deputies and county employees;
(g) fix the compensation of each county officer with a minimum and maximum to be determined
by law;
(h) fill vacancies in elected county offices;
(i) provide for any service or performance of any function relating to county affairs;
(j and exercise other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for effective administration of
authorized services and functions. (ACA 14-14-810).