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About

County Attorney

County Attorney


About
Our History
Creation of the Office of County Attorney
General Duties of County Attorneys
Duties of the Montgomery County Attorney
Leadership Staff
Speaker's Bureau
Careers

About

CHIEF LEGAL COUNSEL FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY

The county attorney is the chief legal counsel for the Montgomery County government. Our office provides legal representation to Commissioners Court, county elected officials and department heads, members of our law enforcement, and other county employees in the performance of their official duties.

  • We prosecute juvenile criminal felony offenses and Class A and B misdemeanor offenses committed by children between the ages of ten (10) years and under the age of seventeen (17) years.
  • Our office is responsible for all real estate issues including acquisition, use, maintenance and disposition of real estate owned by Montgomery County.
  • We serve as the legal advisers to the local Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (TDFPS) office.
  • We represent Montgomery County and the officials of the county in all civil matters pending before a court of Montgomery County or any other court.
  • Our office assists local merchants and citizens in collecting amounts stolen from them through worthless checks.
  • We help citizens obtain civil commitments for those who have family members suffering from severe mental health issues.
  • We assist private citizens in obtaining protective orders against those that are committing family violence against them.

Our History

Attorneys Who Have Served as Montgomery County Attorney
(Portions of this information were abstracted from original records in the Texas State Archives, Austin, Texas 1836-1884 (dates are either election or commission dates); and Montgomery County Clerk’s records 1884-1980, as found in the 1981 Montgomery County History at pages 17 – 28, published by the Montgomery County Genealogical and History Society.)

B.D. Griffin 2019 - Present
J D Lambright 2013 - 2019
David K. Walker 2001 – 2012
Frank H. Bass, Jr. 1993 – 2000
D.C “Jim” Dozier 1985 – 1992
Larry L. Foerster 1981 – 1984
William J. Bernardino 1965 – 1980
Ellis A. Oualline, Jr. 1960 – 1964
George W. Morris 1954 – 1960
A. K. Stewart 1950 – 1954
J. W. Simpson, Jr. 1948 – 1950
J. W. Simpson 1946 – 1948
Paul Grogan 1944 – 1946
Arnold Smith 1940 – 1944
Paul Grogan 1934 – 1940
A. A. (Sam) Turner 1928 – 1934
Joe W. Strode 1924 – 1928
Nat Hart Davis 1920 – 1924
Robert J. Sullivan 1912 – 1920
W. M. Williams 1906 – 1912
J. E. Wells 1902 – 1906
J. W. Lewis 1900 – 1902
Clinton W. Nugent 1898 – 1900
James T. Rucks 1896 – 1898
John M. Lewis 1894 – 1896
James T. Rucks 1890 – 1894
B. H. Powell 1884 - 1890
W. P. McComb 1882
A. Richards, Jr. 1880
James R. Davis 1878
J. E. White 1876, 1878
W. J. McGrew 1867


Creation of the Office of County Attorney

The current Constitution of the State of Texas took effect on February 15, 1876, and is the seventh (including the Mexican constitution) constitution in Texas history. The previous six were adopted in 1827 (while Texas was still part of Mexico), 1836 (as the Republic of Texas), 1845, 1861, 1866 and 1869.

The 1866 Constitution of the State of Texas provided for the creation of the County Courts and the office of County Attorney. That document stated “the Legislature may provide for the appointment of a County Attorney to represent the State and county in said court, whose term of office, duties and compensation shall be such as may be prescribed by law”. It appears, however, the office of County Attorney disappeared just 3 years later, as there is no mention of such a position in the 1869 Texas Constitution.

But some 7 years later in 1876, Texas adopted its seventh and current Constitution. Article V. Section 21 of the 1876 Constitution stated “A county attorney, for counties in which there is not a resident criminal district attorney, shall be elected by the qualified voters of each county, who shall be commissioned by the governor, and hold his office for the term of two years. In case of vacancy the Commissioners’ Court of the county shall have power to appoint a county attorney until the next general election. The county attorneys shall represent the State in all cases in the District and inferior courts in their respective counties, but if any county shall be included in a district in which there shall be a district attorney, the respective duties of district attorneys and county attorneys shall in such counties by regulated by the Legislature. The Legislature may provide for the election of district attorneys in such districts, as may be deemed necessary, and make provision for the compensation of district attorneys and county attorneys.”

General Duties of County Attorneys
Under our Constitution, Texas has three different types of local state’s attorneys. These are county attorneys, district attorneys, and criminal district attorneys. The Constitution provides that every county that does not have a resident criminal district attorney will have an elected county attorney. In counties where there are both a county attorney and a district attorney, the state legislature specifies the respective duties, both criminal and civil, of each position. Consequently, the duties of county attorneys vary substantially from county to county.


Duties of  the Montgomery County Attorney
Montgomery County is the 11th largest county in the state of Texas; however, it is the 5th largest county with a County Attorney.  Provisions describing the duties of the County Attorney in Montgomery County are contained in Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated, Government Code Section 45.270 that became effective June 17, 2005.

  • The county attorney of Montgomery County, or the County Attorney’s assistants, shall represent the state, Montgomery County, and the officials of the county in all civil matters pending before a court of Montgomery County or any other court.
  • The county attorney has the powers, duties, and privileges in Montgomery County relating to:
    • Civil commitment matters under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code;
    • Juvenile matters, including proceedings under Title 3, Family Code;
    • Child Protective Services; and
    • Protective orders under Title 4, Family Code.
  • Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the Commissioners Court in Montgomery County may retain independent counsel in any civil matter.
  • Regarding worthless checks, the County Attorney has the authority to draft the criminal complaints for worthless checks under articles 2.04 and 2.05 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. By agreement with the District Attorney, the County Attorney files the theft by check cases under the name of the District Attorney and they handle the prosecution, while the County Attorney handles the collection.
  • Finally, in addition to the authority provided above by Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated, Government Code Section 45.270, the County Attorney handles mental health cases pursuant to Chapters 573 and 574 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.


Leadership Staff

Amy Dunham   Marc Brumberger   Patti Ohagen
Amy Dunham
First Assistant County Attorney / Chief of Civil Division
  Marc Brumberger
Juvenile Chief
  Patti O'Hagan
Administrative Manager

No Image Available        
Sarah Stallberg
CPS Chief
       

 

Speaker's Bureau
Would you like your organization to know about the role of the county attorney’s office in county government? Do you want to hear more about juvenile crime in Montgomery County? Maybe you would like information on the type of services our office offers the public. Schedule the County Attorney B. D. Griffin to speak at your organizations next meeting. Call 936-538-8013 to learn more details.

Careers
There are no open positions at this time.  If you would like to submit a resume for future consideration, please email it to patti.o’hagan@mctx.org.

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