Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 12. General Powers and Procedures of Counties
5/19/2022

Article 4. Payment of Claims.

§ 15.2-1243. Governing body to receive, audit and approve claims; warrants.

A. The governing body of every county shall receive and audit all claims against the county, except those required to be received and audited by the county school board, and shall, by resolution or recorded vote, approve and order warrants issued in settlement of those claims that are found to be valid; provided that a county administrator, county executive or county manager may sign and issue orders or warrants under such conditions as the governing body may prescribe. Every warrant issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall bear the date on which the governing body orders it to be issued and shall be made payable on demand, signed by the clerk of the governing body or his deputy, countersigned by the chairman or acting chairman of the governing body, and recorded in the form and manner prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. Such warrant may be converted to a negotiable check by the treasurer, or appropriately designated deputy treasurer, by affixing his signature thereto in conformity with the provisions of § 58.1-3162 and by designating thereon the bank by which it is to be paid.

B. Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection A, the governing body of any county may provide, by resolution, for the drawing of special warrants on the county treasurer, payable out of county funds, in payment of compensation, when such compensation has been earned or is due for (i) all employees and officers under written contract, and all officers elected or appointed for a term of office and their deputies and employees, (ii) upon receipt of certified time sheets or other evidence of services performed, the payment of all other employees whose rates of pay have been established by such governing body or its properly designated agent, or (iii) for payment on contracts for construction projects according to the terms of such contracts. All such special warrants so authorized shall be signed by the clerk of such governing body and countersigned by the chairman of such governing body. Any special warrant may be converted into a negotiable check in the manner provided in subsection A. All such payrolls and contracts so paid shall be reviewed and approved by the governing body at its next regular meeting.

C. The governing body of any county may, in its discretion, destroy the papers constituting any or all claims allowed and paid, upon the expiration of five years after audit in accordance with retention regulations established pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 15-253; 1952, cc. 16, 304; 1954, c. 183; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-547; 1968, c. 269; 1979, c. 206; 1982, c. 493; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1244. Limitations on issuance of warrants.

No county governing body shall order any warrant issued for any purpose other than the payment of a claim received, audited and approved as required by § 15.2-1243. No clerk, deputy clerk, chairman or acting chairman of any county governing body shall sign or countersign any warrant not ordered issued by the governing body pursuant to § 15.2-1243. No county governing body shall expend in any year for any purpose an amount greater than the amount available for such purpose during the year or order issued against any fund at any time any warrant in excess of the amount available in such fund and in the treasurer's possession at the time such warrant is issued, taking into account all previously issued and outstanding warrants payable from such fund. No interest shall be paid on any county warrant. Any clerk, deputy clerk or member of any county governing body who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in addition shall be guilty of malfeasance in office.

Code 1950, § 15-256; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-549; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1245. Procedure for allowance of claims.

A. No account shall be allowed by the governing body of the county unless made out in separate items with the nature of each item specifically stated. When no specific fees are allowed by law, the time actually and necessarily devoted to the performance of any service charged in such account shall be verified by affidavit, which shall be filed with the account. The attorney for the Commonwealth, or the county attorney if there is one, shall represent the county before the board and advise the board of any claim which in his opinion is illegal or not before the board in proper form or upon proper proof, or which for any other reason ought not to be allowed. No such claim shall be denied unless the attorney representing the county has, by certified mail, served written notice on the claimant or his agent of the date that the governing body will consider the claim.

B. If any claim has been allowed by the governing body against the county which in the opinion of such attorney is improper as to form or proof or illegal, the attorney shall seek the advice of the Attorney General as to legality or the State Auditor of Public Accounts as to matters of accounting. If any claim has been allowed by the governing body against the county which, in the opinion of any six owners of land within the county is improper as to form or proof or illegal, such landowners may appeal the decision of the governing body to the circuit court for the county. If either the Attorney General or the State Auditor of Public Accounts is of the opinion the claim is illegal or in improper form, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall appeal from the decision of the governing body to the circuit court for the county. In the event of any such appeal, the moving party shall serve a written notice of the appeal on the clerk of the governing body and the party in whose favor the claim is allowed within 30 days after the making of such decision. If the court finds and states in its order that the claim was improperly allowed but that the consideration received or to be received by the county for payments made or to be made was or will be for value, it shall dismiss the appeal. If the court finds otherwise, it shall remand the claim to the governing body for appropriate action.

C. Whenever any claim allowed by a county governing body is declared illegal by a court of competent jurisdiction, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the county attorney if there is one, in the name of the county, shall institute proper proceedings in the circuit court of his county within two years from the entry of the order declaring the claim illegal, if such amount has already been paid. Such attorney shall be available to the governing body and give his legal opinion when requested.

D. Nothing in this section shall prevent any county governing body from disallowing any account, in whole or in part, when rendered and verified consistent with subsection A, or requiring any other evidence of the truth and propriety of any account as it thinks proper.

Code 1950, §§ 15-257, 15-258; 1962, c. 623, §§ 15.1-550, 15.1-551; 1968, c. 450; 1980, c. 58; 1982, c. 173; 1984, c. 617; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1246. Appeal from disallowance of claim.

When a claim of any person against a county is disallowed in whole or in part by the governing body, if such person is present, he may appeal from the decision of the governing body within 30 days from the date of the decision. If the claimant is not present, the clerk of the governing body shall serve a written notice of the disallowance on him or his agent, and he may appeal from the decision within 30 days after service of such notice. In no case shall the appeal be taken after the lapse of six months from the date of the decision. The appeal shall be filed with the circuit court for the county. No appeal shall be allowed unless the amount disallowed exceeds $10. The disallowance may be appealed by serving written notice on the clerk of the governing body and executing a cash or surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit to the county in the amount of $250, with condition for the faithful prosecution of such appeal, and the payment of all costs imposed on the appellant by the court.

Code 1950, § 15-259; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-552; 1983, c. 114; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 300; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1247. When disallowance of claim final; exception; when no execution to be issued.

The determination of the governing body of any county disallowing a claim, in whole or in part, shall be a bar to any action in any court founded on such claim, unless (i) the decision of the governing body disallowing the claim is appealed; (ii) the governing body consents to the institution of an action by the claimant against the county; or (iii) the governing body fails to act upon any claim within 90 days of the date the claim is received by the governing body or its clerk, provided that such time may be extended by mutual agreement of the claimant and the county. No execution shall be issued upon any judgment recovered against a county, board of supervisors, or against any officer of the county, when the judgment should be paid by the county. Any judgment against the county shall be provided for by the governing body in the next county levy and paid by the treasurer as other county charges.

Code 1950, § 15-260; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-553; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 668.

§ 15.2-1248. No action against county until claim presented to governing body.

No action shall be maintained by any person against a county upon any claim or demand until such person has presented his claim to the governing body of the county, unless the governing body has entered into a binding arbitration agreement or there is a provision in a written contract with the county to submit to arbitration any controversy thereafter arising. When there exists such a provision in a contract or there is a written agreement to arbitrate, the provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act, Article 2 (§ 8.01-581.01 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 8.01, shall apply.

Code 1950, § 15-261; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-554; 1987, c. 483; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1249. Amounts allowed endorsed on claim; copies of record and accounts to be furnished.

The clerk shall endorse upon every account on which any sum shall be audited and allowed by the governing body the amount so audited and allowed and the charges for which the same was allowed; every such endorsement, if found to be in order, shall be subscribed by the chairman or acting chairman of the governing body; and the clerk shall deliver to any person who may demand it a certified copy of any record in his office, or of any account therein, on receiving from such person the fees allowed to the clerk of the circuit court for similar services.

Code 1950, § 15-262; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-555; 1997, c. 587.