A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is used in the United States, Canada, Taiwan and Romania. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, county towns have a similar function.
In the United States, counties are the administrative subdivisions of a state. Counties administer state law at the local level as part of the decentralization of state authority. In many states, state government is further decentralized below the county level by dividing counties into incorporated cities and towns and/or unincorporated civil townships, in order to provide local government services. The city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. Generally, the county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, and hall of records, are located in the county seat, though some functions may also be conducted in other parts of the county, especially if it is geographically large.
A county seat is usually, but not always, an incorporated municipality. The exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia, and Howard County, Maryland. (Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.) Likewise, some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or formerly included "Court House" as part of their name, (e.g. Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia).
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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