Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 15. Local Government Personnel, Qualification for Office, Bonds, Dual Office Holding and Certain Local Government Officers
12/2/2022

Article 4. Qualifications; Eligibility, Etc., of Local Elected Officers.

§ 15.2-1522. When and how officers qualify.

Every elected county, city, town and district officer, unless otherwise provided by law, on or before the day on which his term of office begins, shall qualify by taking the oath prescribed by § 49-1 and give the bond, if any, required by law, before the circuit court for the county or city, having jurisdiction in the county, city, town or district for which he is elected or appointed, or before the clerk of the circuit court for such county, city, town or district. However, members of governing bodies and elected school boards may qualify up to and including the day of the initial meeting of the new governing body or elected school board.

Any such oath of town council members, town mayors or members of Boards of Supervisors may be taken before any officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such oath shall be returned to the clerk of the council of the town, who shall enter the same record on the minute book of the council, or, for members of the Board of Supervisors, returned to the clerk of the circuit court having jurisdiction in the county for which he is elected or appointed, who shall record the same in the order book, on the law side thereof.

Whenever an officer required to give bond is included in a blanket surety bond authorized by § 2.2-1840, such officer shall furnish confirmation by the Division of Risk Management of the inclusion of the officer on such blanket surety bond and the amount of the coverage, which shall be the equivalent of giving the bond for purposes of qualification.

An appointed officer as used in this article means a person appointed to temporarily fill an elected position. District officer as used in this article means a person elected by the people other than national and statewide officers and members of the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 15-475; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-38; 1972, c. 549; 1979, c. 643; 1993, c. 329; 1996, c. 167; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 293; 2017, c. 598.

§ 15.2-1523. Record of qualification.

When an officer qualifies and gives bond, the judge shall certify the fact and the bond and certificate shall be returned to the clerk of the circuit court, and the certificate shall be entered in the order book of the court on the law side thereof and such bond shall be recorded by the clerk. When the officer qualifies and gives bond before the clerk, the clerk shall enter the fact of such qualification in the order book of the court, on the law side thereof, and record the bond.

Code 1950, § 15-476; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-39; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1524. Failure to qualify vacates office.

If any such officer fails to qualify and give bond, as required by § 15.2-1523, on or before the day on which his term begins, his office shall be deemed vacant. However, members of local governing bodies and elected school boards may qualify up to and including the day of the initial meeting of the new governing body or elected school board.

Code 1950, § 15-477; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-40; 1996, c. 167; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1525. Where officers shall reside.

A. Every county officer shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided thirty days next preceding his election or appointment, either in the county for which he is elected or appointed, or in the city wherein the courthouse of the county is or in a city wholly within the boundaries of such county. If no practicing lawyer who has resided in the county or in such city for the period aforesaid offers for election or appointment or if there is not more than one practicing lawyer residing in the jurisdiction who would be qualified to offer for election, it shall be lawful to elect or appoint as attorney for the Commonwealth for such county a nonresident, or one who has not resided in the county, or in such city, for the period above mentioned. Every city and town officer except the town attorney shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided thirty days next preceding his election or appointment in such city or town unless otherwise specifically provided by charter. Every district officer shall, at the time of his election or appointment, have resided in the district for which he is elected or appointed thirty days next preceding his election or appointment, and residence in any incorporated town within the district shall be regarded as residence in the district.

B. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, and except as other provisions of law may require otherwise, nonelected officers of any locality, and nonelected deputies of constitutional officers, shall not be required to reside in the jurisdiction in which they are appointed. However, the sheriff of any county or city may for law-enforcement purposes require that deputy sheriffs live within a reasonable distance of the administrative office of the sheriff's department.

Code 1950, § 15-487; 1952, c. 336; 1954, c. 323; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-51; 1966, c. 97; 1968, c. 6; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, cc. 549, 620, 624; 1973, c. 124; 1974, cc. 135, 229, 646; 1975, c. 100; 1976, c. 402; 1977, c. 28; 1978, cc. 106, 113; 1979, c. 362; 1980, cc. 1, 8, 11; 1981, cc. 551, 552, 556, 560, 561; 1982, c. 48; 1983, cc. 51, 76; 1984, cc. 65, 106, 711; 1994, c. 516; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1526. Removal vacates office.

If any officer, required by § 15.2-1525 to be a resident at the time of his election or appointment of the county, city, town or district for which he is elected or appointed, or of the city wherein the courthouse of such county is or in a city wholly within the boundaries of such county, remove therefrom, except from the county to such city or from such city to the county, or in case a nonresident who has been elected attorney for the Commonwealth remove from the county or county seat of the county in which he resided when elected, except to the county in which he is elected, his office shall be deemed vacant.

Code 1950, § 15-488; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-52; 1966, c. 97; 1997, c. 587.