Row Officers

There are 10 county departments headed by independently elected officials, called row officers, who are elected at large and serve 4-year terms. The row officers receive office space and budgetary allocations from the County Commissioners, but independently manage the day-to-day operations of their offices. The functions of each office vary widely. Below are brief descriptions of each office's primary functions. Please take a minute to peruse each officer's site to learn more or to access their services.

Clerk of Courts

The Clerk of Courts' office is primarily responsible for processing, maintaining and recording criminal case records for the York County Court of Common Pleas. Among its other duties, the Clerk of Courts also collects court costs/fines, and licenses private detectives.

Clerk of Orphans' Court

The responsibilities of the Clerk of Orphans' Court include the maintaining of dockets and files for petitions for incapacitated persons, appointment of guardians, adoptions (which records are confidential) and any other issues which may come before the Orphans' Court Division. The Clerk's office is also responsible for taking applications for - and issuing - marriage licenses.


The Controller maintains all fiscal and accounting records to ensure compliance with the most recent accounting standards and procedures. The office also maintains a list of unclaimed money owed to people from the district courts, prison and other county departments.


The Coroner's office investigates and completes death certificates for certain types of deaths. Such deaths include those occurring under suspicious circumstances, operative deaths, stillbirths and others.

District Attorney

The District Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer of the county, and is mandated by law to sign all bills of indictment and conduct in court all criminal and other prosecutions in the name of the Commonwealth. He is also a minister of justice and must exercise his duties with complete impartiality.


All civil litigation is filed with the Prothonotary. Such litigation includes mortgage foreclosures, personal injury cases, license suspension appeals, divorce, child custody and protection from abuse cases. The Prothonotary also accepts U.S. passport applications.

Recorder of Deeds

The Recorder of Deeds office is responsible for the recording and maintaining of all real estate documents in the county of York, Pennsylvania. Beyond real estate, the Recorder's office also records military discharge papers and notary bonds/commissions.

Register of Wills

The Register of Wills, who also serves as the Clerk of the Orphans' Court, has jurisdiction of the probate of wills and the grant of letters to a personal representative. Letters Testamentary (with a will) or Letters of Administration (no will) are granted to properly qualified individuals. The Register's office also collects inheritance taxes on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, and is a great source for genealogical information.


The Sheriff is an officer of the courts whose responsibilities include service subpoenas, providing security in courtrooms and for transporting and securing prisoners to and from correctional facilities. The Sheriff's Office also handles licenses to carry firearms.


The Treasurer's office is responsible for receiving and depositing all money that is payable to the County of York. The Treasurer's office also sells hunting, fishing, bingo, small games of chance and dog licenses.