There are three elected officials in the executive branch of local government who are critical in the operation of the court: clerk of court, prosecutor, and sheriff. (Elected local legislators, other elected department heads, probation departments that are in the executive branch, and some senior appointed officials also are very important, but this chapter is limited to these three elected officials, because their role is central to a court’s overall effectiveness.) These officials deserve special attention because they have a direct impact on the proper functioning of the court yet are beyond the court’s direct control and from time to time make decisions that work against the court’s best interests. Probation officers also directly impact a court’s operation, but normally the interests of probation and the court are parallel; negative impacts on a court from the probation function usually are tied to funding (and therefore staffing) limitations on probation rather than policy or operational differences.