Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 16. Local Constitutional Officers, Courthouses and Supplies
12/4/2021

Chapter 16. Local Constitutional Officers, Courthouses and Supplies.

Article 1. Local Constitutional Officers, Courthouses and Supplies.

§ 15.2-1600. Counties and cities required to elect certain officers; qualifications of attorney for the Commonwealth; duties and compensation of officers; vacancies, certain counties and cities excepted; officer's powers not to be diminished.

A. The voters of each county and city shall elect a treasurer, a sheriff, an attorney for the Commonwealth, a clerk, who shall be clerk of the court in the office of which deeds are recorded, and a commissioner of revenue. To qualify to be elected or hold office, an attorney for the Commonwealth shall be a member of the bar of this Commonwealth. The duties and compensation of such officers shall be prescribed by general law or special act and any vacancy in such office shall be filled, notwithstanding any charter provision to the contrary, by a majority of the circuit judges of the judicial circuit for the county or city pursuant to the provisions of §§ 24.2-226 and 24.2-227. Any county or city not required to have or to elect such officers prior to July 1, 1971, shall not be so required by this section, nor shall the provisions of this section apply to those counties and cities which have heretofore adopted, or may hereafter adopt, a form of government, as provided by law, which does not require such counties or cities to have or elect one or more of such officers.

B. Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the governing body or the chief administrative officer of a locality to designate an elected constitutional officer to exercise a power or perform a duty which the officer is not required to perform under applicable state law without the consent of such officer, nor by designation to diminish any such officer's powers or duties as provided by applicable state law including the power to organize their offices and to appoint such deputies, assistants and other individuals as are authorized by law upon the terms and conditions specified by such officers.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 223, § 15.1-40.1; 1979, c. 522; 1982, c. 637; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1601. Requirements for officers.

The officers required by § 15.2-1600 are subject to the residency, qualification for office, bonding, dual-office-holding requirements and prohibitions provided for in Chapter 15 of this title.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1602. Sharing of such officers by two or more units of government.

Two or more units of government may share the officer or officers, or any combination of them, required by § 15.2-1600 if (i) a petition, signed by a number of qualified voters equal to fifteen percent of the number of votes cast in such units of government by voters thereof and counted for candidates in the last gubernatorial election in such units of government, and in no event signed by less than 100 voters of such units of government, is filed with a circuit court having jurisdiction in one or more of such units of government, asking that a referendum be held on the question "May the (names of the units of government) share the (officer or officers), as the case may be, (naming such officers if less than all) required by Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia ?"; (ii) following the filing of such petition, the court shall by order entered of record, issued in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, require the regular election officials of the units of government to open the polls and take the sense of the voters on such question and (iii) at the election held on the day designated by order of such court, a majority of the voters voting in such election in each such unit of government shall have voted "Yes." The clerk of the circuit court which entered the order shall publish notice of the election in a newspaper of general circulation in such units of government once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to the election.

The regular election officials of the units of government shall open the polls at the various voting places in such units of government on the date specified in the order and conduct the election in the manner provided by law. The election shall be by ballot which shall be prepared by the electoral boards of the units of government and on which shall be printed the following:

"May _______________ share the officer or officers, as the case may be, (naming such officers if less than all) required by Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

In the blank shall be inserted the names of the units of government in which such election is held. The question required by this section may be modified to accommodate the naming of the officer or officers. Any voter desiring to vote "Yes" shall mark a check (✓) mark or a cross (✗ or +) mark or a line (-) in the square provided for such purpose immediately preceding the word "Yes," leaving the square immediately preceding the word "No," unchanged. Any voter desiring to vote "No" shall mark a check (✓) mark or cross (✗ or +) mark or a line (-) in the square provided for such purpose immediately preceding the word "No," leaving the square immediately preceding the word "Yes," unmarked.

The ballots shall be counted, returns made and canvassed as in other elections, and the results certified by the electoral boards to the court ordering such election. Thereupon, the court shall enter an order proclaiming the results of the election, and a duly certified copy of the order shall be transmitted to the State Board of Elections and to the governing bodies of the units of government affected.

Thereafter, the officer or officers shall be elected by the voters of the units of government desiring to share such officer or officers; however, the provisions of this section shall not reduce the term of any person holding an office at the time the election provided for in this section is held.

1971, Ex. Sess., c. 223, § 15.1-40.2; 1975, c. 517; 1976, c. 301; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1603. Appointment of deputies; their powers; how removed.

The treasurer, the sheriff, the commissioner of the revenue, and the clerk of any circuit court may at the time he qualifies as provided in § 15.2-1522 or thereafter appoint one or more deputies, who may discharge any of the official duties of their principal during his continuance in office, unless it is some duty the performance of which by a deputy is expressly forbidden by law. The sheriff making an appointment of a deputy under the provisions of this section may review the record of the deputy as furnished by the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to certification to the appropriate court as provided hereunder.

The sheriff may appoint as deputies medical and rehabilitation employees as are authorized by the State Compensation Board. Deputies appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall not be considered by the State Compensation Board in fixing the number of full-time or part-time deputies which may be appointed by the sheriff pursuant to § 15.2-1609.1.

The officer making any such appointment shall certify the appointment to the court in the clerk's office of which the oath of the principal of such deputy is filed, and a record thereof shall be entered in the order book of such court. Any such deputy at the time his principal qualifies as provided in § 15.2-1522 or thereafter, and before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and prescribe the oath now provided for in § 49-1. The oath shall be filed with the clerk of the court in whose office the oath of his principal is filed, and such clerk shall properly label and file all such oaths in his office for preservation. Any such deputy may be removed from office by his principal. The deputy may also be removed by the court as provided by § 24.2-230.

Code 1950, § 15-485; 1952, c. 112; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-48; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 549; 1976, c. 199; 1979, c. 660; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1604. Appointment of deputies and employment of employees; discriminatory practices by certain officers; civil penalty.

A. It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a constitutional officer:

1. To fail or refuse to appoint or hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of appointment or employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or military status; or

2. To limit, segregate, or classify his appointees, employees, or applicants for appointment or employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of the individual's race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or military status.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to make it an unlawful employment practice for a constitutional officer to hire or appoint an individual on the basis of his sex or age in those instances where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular office. The provisions of this section shall not apply to policy-making positions, confidential or personal staff positions, or undercover positions.

C. With regard to notices and advertisements:

1. Every constitutional officer shall, prior to hiring any employee, advertise such employment position in a newspaper having general circulation or a state or local government job placement service in such constitutional officer's locality except where the vacancy is to be used (i) as a placement opportunity for appointees or employees affected by layoff, (ii) as a transfer opportunity or demotion for an incumbent, (iii) to fill positions that have been advertised within the past 120 days, (iv) to fill positions to be filled by appointees or employees returning from leave with or without pay, (v) to fill temporary positions, temporary employees being those employees hired to work on special projects that have durations of three months or less, or (vi) to fill policy-making positions, confidential or personal staff positions, or special, sensitive law-enforcement positions normally regarded as undercover work.

2. No constitutional officer shall print or publish or cause to be printed or published any notice or advertisement relating to employment by such constitutional officer indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination, based on sex or national origin, except that such notice or advertisement may indicate a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex or age when sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification for employment.

D. Complaints regarding violations of subsection A may be made to the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Law. The Office shall have the authority to exercise its powers as provided in Article 4 (§ 2.2-520 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 2.2.

E. Any constitutional officer who willfully violates the provisions of subsection C shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000.

F. As used in this section, "military status" means status as (i) a member of the uniformed forces, as defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5), of the United States or a reserve component thereof named under 10 U.S.C. § 10101, (ii) a veteran as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101(2), or (iii) a dependent as defined in 50 U.S.C. § 3911(4) except that the support provided by the service member to the individual shall have been provided 180 days immediately preceding an alleged action that if proven true would constitute unlawful discrimination under this section instead of 180 days immediately preceding an application for relief under 50 U.S.C. Chapter 50.

1989, c. 718, § 15.1-48.1; 1997, c. 587; 2004, c. 453; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, cc. 1137, 1140; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 196, 477, 478.

§ 15.2-1605. Vacations; sick leave and compensatory time for certain officers and employees.

A. "Employee," as used in this section, means an employee or deputy of the attorney for the Commonwealth, the treasurer, the commissioner of the revenue, the clerk of the circuit court, and the sheriff and shall also include the officers and employees of all courts whose salaries are paid by the Commonwealth.

B. Every county and city for which such employees work shall annually provide for each employee at least two weeks vacation with pay, at least seven days sick leave with pay, and such legal holidays as are provided for in § 2.2-3300. If any employee or deputy is required to work on any legal holiday, he shall receive, in lieu of the holiday, an equal amount of compensatory time with pay in the same calendar year in which such holiday occurs. The county or city may provide that vacation or sick leave may be accumulated or shall terminate within a given period of time; however, such vacation may not be accumulated in excess of six weeks. The cost of providing such benefits shall be borne in the same manner and on the same basis as the costs of the office are shared or as the excess fees therefrom may be shared. When a county or city has entered into an agreement with a constitutional officer to include his employees under the locality's personnel leave policies, then such employee may accrue and accumulate leave pursuant to such policies instead of under this section, as long as such local benefits are not less than the amounts as set out in this section.

C. For the purpose of computing the Commonwealth's financial obligations for accumulated vacation time of an employee under this section, the Commonwealth shall pay the lesser, and in any event only its proportional share, of the amount due to an employee for such time when computed (i) under the applicable counties' or cities' personnel policies, regulations and rules, or (ii) by treating the employee as a Commonwealth employee, under its applicable personnel policies, regulations and rules.

1972, c. 562, § 15.1-19.3; 1974, c. 103; 1977, c. 116; 1980, c. 547; 1984, c. 365; 1997, c. 587; 2017, c. 632.

§ 15.2-1605.1. Supplementing compensation of certain county and city officers and their employees.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of any county or city, in its discretion, may supplement the compensation of the sheriff, treasurer, commissioner of the revenue, director of finance, clerk of the circuit court, or attorney for the Commonwealth, or any of their deputies or employees, above the salary of any such officer, deputy or employee, in such amounts as it may deem expedient. Such additional compensation shall be wholly payable from the funds of any such county or city.

1970, c. 153, § 14.1-11.4; 1973, c. 437; 1974, c. 423; 1998, c. 872; 1999, c. 283; 2002, c. 832.

§ 15.2-1605.2. Salary increases for constitutional officers.

In every locality of this Commonwealth, whenever the Compensation Board shall provide salary increases, including but not limited to cost-of-living increases, whether specifically for constitutional officers and their assistants or deputies or for the general compensation to be paid in the aggregate to a constitutional officer, pursuant to any statutory or other authority, no locality shall use such reimbursement for any purpose other than salary during the fiscal year. A locality shall distribute such salary in appropriate proportions to its constitutional officers and their assistants or deputies.

As used in this section, "constitutional officer" means the treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of circuit court, or commissioner of revenue of any locality.

1998, c. 647.

§ 15.2-1606. Defense of constitutional officers; appointment of counsel.

In the event that any treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of the circuit court or commissioner of the revenue, or any deputy or assistant of any of such officers, is made defendant in any civil action arising out of the performance of his official duties and does not have legal defense provided under the insurance coverage of his office, such officer, or deputy or assistant thereto, may make application to the circuit court for the county or city in which he serves to assign counsel for his defense in such action. The court may, upon good cause shown, make such orders respecting the employment of an attorney or attorneys, including the attorney for the Commonwealth, as may be appropriate, and fix his compensation. Reimbursement of any expenses incurred in the defense of such charge may also be allowed by the court. Such legal fees and expenses shall be paid from the treasury of the county or city, and reimbursement shall be made from the Compensation Board in the proportions set out in § 15.2-1636.14.

1977, c. 554, § 15.1-66.4; 1985, c. 321; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1607. Providing legal fees and expenses for sheriffs and deputies.

If any sheriff or deputy sheriff is arrested or indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, and such charge is subsequently dismissed or there is rendered a verdict of not guilty, such sheriff or deputy sheriff may submit to the governing body of the locality in which he was elected or appointed a statement of legal fees and expenses incurred in his defense of such charge. The governing body may authorize that such legal fees and expenses, or any portion thereof, be paid from the treasury of such locality. If the affected sheriff or deputy sheriff disagrees with the action of the governing body, the officer may petition the circuit court for the county or city to award the fees and cost. The circuit court, sitting without a jury, shall hold a hearing on the matter. The court for good cause shown may order the governing body to pay all or any appropriate portion of the fees and cost.

1975, c. 30, § 15.1-66.3; 1983, c. 232; 1997, c. 587.

Article 2. Treasurer.

§ 15.2-1608. Treasurer.

The voters in every county and city shall elect a treasurer unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The treasurer shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon treasurers by law. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the governing body may request. The treasurer shall pay from the funds of the local government all properly authorized accounts submitted to him for payment. He shall be elected as provided by general law for a term of four years.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1608.1. Salaries of city treasurers.

The annual salaries of city treasurers or any officers, whether elected or appointed, who hold the combined office of city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise prescribed in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-8.1, 14-68, 14-68.1, 14-68.2, 14-68.3 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any persons holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-68 through 14-68.3; 1952, c. 479; 1956, cc. 606, 715; 1958, c. 371; 1960, c. 405; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-55; 1966, c. 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, cc. 617, 731; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1979, c. 233; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1608.2. Salaries of county treasurers.

The annual salaries of county treasurers or any officers, whether elected or appointed, who hold the combined office of county treasurer and commissioner of the revenue subject to the provisions of § 15.2-1636.17, shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-68.1, 14-69, 14-69.1, 14-69.2, 14-69.3 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any person holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-69 through 14-69.3; 1952, c. 479; 1956, c. 604; 1960, c. 415; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-56; 1966, cc. 309, 566, 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, c. 617; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1979, c. 233; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

Article 3. Sheriff.

§ 15.2-1609. Sheriff.

The voters in every county and city shall elect a sheriff unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The sheriff shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon sheriffs by general law. He shall enforce the law or see that it is enforced in the locality from which he is elected; assist in the judicial process as provided by general law; and be charged with the custody, feeding and care of all prisoners confined in the county or city jail. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as may be requested of him by the governing body. The sheriff shall be elected as provided by general law for a term of four years.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1609.1. Number of deputies.

Except as provided in § 15.2-1603, the respective number of full-time deputies appointed by the sheriff of a county or city shall be fixed by the Compensation Board after receiving such recommendation of the board of supervisors of the county or the council of the city, as the case may be, as the board of supervisors or city council may desire to make. Such recommendation, if any, shall be made to the Compensation Board on or before April 1 of each year. In any county without a police force or any city without a police force that was created by the consolidation of a city and a county subsequent to July 1, 2011, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 35 (§ 15.2-3500 et seq.), upon the request of the board of supervisors of such county or the council of such city, the number of such law-enforcement deputies shall be fixed at not less than one such deputy for each 1,500 population in such county or city excluding the population served by state educational institution police departments if the sheriff's department does not provide the majority of the law-enforcement activities to such population according to uniform crime reports compiled by the Department of State Police. The Compensation Board shall also consider any agreement the sheriff may have pursuant to § 15.2-1726 and any obligation he may have pursuant to this section to provide law enforcement for towns or townships in fixing the number of deputies. The governing body of any county or city may employ a greater number of law-enforcement deputies than fixed by the Compensation Board, provided that the county or city shall pay the total compensation and all employer costs for such additional deputies.

Code 1950, § 14-83; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-70; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1973, c. 180; 1979, cc. 236, 660; 1980, c. 146; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 293; 1998, cc. 276, 290, 305, 307, 327, 872; 2011, cc. 339, 350.

§ 15.2-1609.2. Sheriffs' salaries; salaries of certain full-time deputies; maximum limits.

A. The sheriffs of the counties and the cities of the Commonwealth and their full-time deputies shall be paid salaries for their services and allowances for the necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, to be determined as hereinafter provided.

B. The annual salaries of the sheriffs of the counties and cities of the Commonwealth shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in subsection C.

C. Any sheriff whose salary in the year ending June 30, 1980, included an increase under deleted provisions of former § 14.1-74 shall receive the same amount of such increase for the terms in which he continues in office.

D. The annual salary of each full-time deputy sheriff who is primarily a courtroom security officer, a correctional officer or a law-enforcement officer shall be determined by the sheriff in whose service he is employed and shall be reported to the Compensation Board by the sheriff at the time he files his report for the allowance of the expenses of his office as provided in § 15.2-1636.7 and at any time thereafter when the sheriff effects a change in the salary or employs a new such deputy sheriff. Such salaries as determined by the respective sheriff shall conform to the requirements set forth in subsection E and shall not in the aggregate exceed the aggregate allowance by the Compensation Board for personal services to the respective sheriffs for such deputy sheriffs.

However, notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this section and of § 15.2-1636.8, the salary of any full-time deputy sheriff who, in addition to having primary duties related to courtroom security, corrections or law enforcement, also supervises other deputy sheriffs, or who is designated an investigator by the sheriff in whose services he is employed, shall be fixed and determined by the Compensation Board. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Compensation Board from setting salary levels of civil process officers in localities having a population of more than one hundred thousand at a level equal to salary levels of deputy sheriffs who are primarily courtroom security, correctional, or law-enforcement officers.

E. The salary range of any full-time deputy sheriff who is primarily a courtroom security officer, a correctional officer or a law-enforcement officer and, if employed on or after July 1, 1974, also has a high school education or the equivalent thereof, shall be no less than that of a correctional officer within the classification and pay system for state employees and shall be administered in accordance with regulations for that system administered by the Department of Human Resource Management. The Governor shall provide the Compensation Board the salary range and regulations within that system as of July 1, 1980, and as of any subsequent date on which changes in the salary ranges and regulations may be adopted.

F. The salary of any deputy sheriff shall not exceed ninety percent of the salary of the sheriff by whom he is employed.

Code 1950, §§ 14-81, 14-86, 14-86.1; 1952, c. 331; 1954, c. 683; 1956, c. 609; 1958, c. 349; 1960, c. 505; 1962, cc. 292, 439, 510, 572; 1964, cc. 386, 656, §§ 14.1-73, 14.1-74; 1966, cc. 16, 364, 704; 1970, c. 678; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 617; 1973, c. 519; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 595; 1978, c. 588; 1980, cc. 587, 588, §§ 14.1-73.1:1, 14.1-73.1:2, 14.1-73.1:3; 1981, cc. 383, 406; 1983, c. 600; 1985, c. 406; 1998, c. 872; 2000, cc. 66, 657.

§ 15.2-1609.3. Fees and mileage allowances.

A. Every sheriff, and every sheriff's deputy, shall collect all fees and mileage allowances provided by law for the services of such officer, other than those he is entitled to receive from the Commonwealth or from the county or city for which he is elected or appointed and fees and mileage allowances provided for services in connection with the prosecution of any criminal matter in the circuit courts. However, no fee shall be charged for serving any public orders, for summoning or impaneling grand juries, or for services in elections except as provided under Title 24.2.

B. All fees and mileage allowances accruing in connection with any civil or criminal matter shall be collected by the clerk of the court in which the case is heard and paid by him into the treasury of the county or city in which the case is heard. All fees collected by or for every sheriff and deputy shall be paid into the treasury of the county or city for which he is elected or appointed, on or before the tenth day of the month next succeeding that in which the fees are collected. The treasurer of each county and city shall credit such amounts in excess of such fees received in fiscal year 1994 to the account of the Commonwealth to be remitted to the State Treasurer along with other funds due to the Commonwealth.

C. In any case in which a sheriff makes a levy and advertises property for sale and by reason of a settlement between the parties to the claim or suit he is not permitted to sell under the levy, the sheriff is not entitled to any commissions, but in addition to his fees for making the levy and return, he shall be entitled to recover from the party for whom the services were performed the expenses incurred for advertisement of the proposed sale of the property.

D. When, after distraining or levying on tangible property the officer neither sells nor receives payment and either takes no forthcoming bond or takes one which is not forfeited, he shall, if not in default, have in addition to the $1 for a bond, if one was taken, a fee of $12. If the fee is more than one-half of what his commission would have amounted to if he had received payment, he shall, whether a bond was taken or not, receive a fee of at least $1 and so much more as is necessary to equal the one-half.

Code 1950, §§ 14-82, 14-100, 14-105, 14-106; 1964, c. 386, §§ 14.1-69, 14.1-89, 14.1-94, 14.1-95; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1975, c. 591; 1995, c. 51; 1997, c. 208; 1998, c. 872; 2004, c. 210.

§ 15.2-1609.4. Records of expenses of sheriffs and full-time deputies.

Each sheriff and each full-time deputy shall keep a record of all expenses incurred by him including expenses for traveling, telephone, telegraph, clerical assistance, office facilities and supplies, bond premiums, cook hire, maintenance and repair cost of automobile police radio equipment including radio transmitter system and all accessories thereto, and any other expense incident to his office. Each full-time deputy shall file a monthly report with his principal showing in detail the expenses incurred by him. Each sheriff shall also include in the report the mileage which was incurred for himself and each full-time deputy as a result of patrolling performed at the direction of the sheriff, the mileage to and from the residence of the sheriff or full-time deputy and the place where the sheriff or full-time deputy starts his duty and the mileage shall be an allowable expense of the sheriff's department.

Code 1950, § 14-87, p. 71; 1952, c. 714; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-75; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1978, c. 666; 1983, c. 317; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.5. Submission of statement of expenses.

Each sheriff shall submit a monthly statement of all traveling expenses incurred by him, and by each of his full-time deputies, to his county or city. The county or city shall pay the expenses to the person or vendor entitled thereto and submit same to the Compensation Board for reimbursement if within the sheriff's annual budget approved by the Board. Payments due counties and cities under this section shall be paid to the county or city within ninety days following the receipt by the Compensation Board of a completed statement of monthly expenses.

Code 1950, § 14-88; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-76; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1983, c. 382; 1985, c. 271; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.6. Agreements regarding traveling expenses.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1609.5, the governing body of any county or city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, enter into such agreement with the sheriff of such county or city with respect to the traveling expenses, including the use of privately owned vehicles, of such sheriff and his deputies as the governing body may deem proper. With the consent of the Compensation Board, in any county having a regular police force authorized by law and in which the jail of another county or city has been adopted as the jail of such county, the police officers, in place of the sheriff, who transport any persons charged with violation of a state law under order of the judge of the circuit court of such county to the jail so adopted, shall receive the same mileage as the sheriff would have received had he transported such persons. Any such police officer transporting any such person shall make claim for mileage on the same forms the sheriff uses for such claims and in the same manner. When any such mileage is collected by any police officer, he shall pay the same into the county treasury and the payment of such mileage shall be made in the manner provided for the payment of mileage to sheriffs.

Code 1950, § 14-89; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-77; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.7. Salaries and expense allowances to be paid by Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth shall pay the salaries and expense allowances of such sheriffs and their full-time deputies, and of the compensation and expense allowances of their part-time deputies, fixed as provided except that beginning July 1, 1982, such payments to any eligible county or newly formed city under the provisions of Chapter 39 (§ 15.2-3900 et seq.) or Chapter 35 (§ 15.2-3500 et seq.) of this title, which elects to receive state law-enforcement assistance in accordance with the terms of Article 8 (§ 9.1-165) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 shall be reduced by an amount equal to the salaries and expense allowances of its law-enforcement deputy sheriffs or the amount of state assistance to be received by the county or newly formed city under the provisions of Chapter 39 (§ 15.2-3900 et seq.) or Chapter 35 (§ 15.2-3500 et seq.) of this title, pursuant to Article 8 (§ 9.1-165) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, whichever is the lesser. Such salaries shall be paid in equal monthly installments and the expense allowances shall be paid monthly when the amount thereof is established as hereinabove provided, except that the Board may provide advance payments on a monthly pro rata basis to any county or city and adjust subsequent monthly advances based on actual expenditures incurred in the preceding month. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the General Assembly, through the general appropriation act, may allow any locality receiving a 100 percent apportionment of law-enforcement assistance to continue to receive such full apportionments.

Code 1950, § 14-91; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-79; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 564; 1979, c. 83; 1981, c. 485; 1983, c. 326; 1986, c. 235; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.8. Payments to counties having certain optional forms of organization and government.

The Compensation Board shall, in the manner provided by law, determine the compensation and expense allowances for the sheriff, and his deputies, of each county which has adopted or hereafter adopts any form of county organization and government provided for in Chapter 5 (§ 15.2-500 et seq.), Chapter 6 (§ 15.2-600 et seq.) or Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of this title, so long as such county shall continue such form of county organization and government in effect in such county, as if such county had not adopted any such form of government, but the salaries and expense allowances shall be paid into the general fund of the treasury of such county. The actual compensation and expense allowance to be paid the sheriff, and his deputies, of any such county shall be fixed as provided in the form of county organization and government adopted by such county, without regard to the limits provided for in this article, and shall be paid by such county.

The provisions of this section shall also be applicable to any county which adopts and has in effect in such county any other optional form of county organization and government which may be provided by law, if such form of county organization and government shall provide that the entire compensation of the sheriff of such county shall be fixed by authorities of the county and paid by the county.

Code 1950, § 14-93; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-82; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 236; 1979, c. 83; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1609.9. Compensation of part-time deputies.

The part-time deputies of sheriffs shall not receive fixed salaries, but shall be entitled to receive reasonable compensation for their services and allowances for their expenses, to be determined and paid as hereinafter provided. Each such part-time deputy shall keep a record of all services performed by him as such, which shall be reported to the sheriff whose deputy he is. The sheriff shall likewise keep a record of all services performed by each part-time deputy. Each sheriff shall file a monthly report with the board of supervisors or other governing body of the county or city council, as the case may be, on or before the fifth day of the month next succeeding that in which such services are performed, showing in detail all services and hours of service rendered by part-time deputies. The board of supervisors or other governing body or the city council shall recommend to the Compensation Board what in its judgment is a fair compensation to pay each individual part-time deputy of a sheriff on the basis of such reports, except that the limit for compensation per hour of service shall not exceed the hourly equivalent of the minimum annual salary paid a full-time deputy sheriff of like rank and experience who performs like services in the same county or city. In addition, mileage and other expenses for rendering the services shall be paid. If in the judgment of the governing body such limit would work a hardship on a particular part-time deputy sheriff, each sum may be increased with the written approval of the judge of the circuit court of the county or city for which such officer is appointed.

Code 1950, § 14-90; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-78; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1972, c. 225; 1980, c. 550; 1998, c. 872; 2017, c. 337.

§ 15.2-1609.10. Prohibited practices; collection of data.

A. No sheriff or deputy sheriff shall engage in bias-based profiling as defined in § 52-30.1 in the performance of his official duties.

B. The sheriff of every locality shall collect data pertaining to (i) all investigatory motor vehicle stops, (ii) all stop-and-frisks of a person based on reasonable suspicion, and (iii) all other investigatory detentions that do not result in an arrest or the issuance of a summons pursuant to § 52-30.2 and report such data to the Department of State Police for inclusion in the Community Policing Reporting Database established pursuant to § 52-30.3. The sheriff of the locality shall be responsible for forwarding the data to the Superintendent of State Police.

C. The sheriff shall post the data that has been forwarded for inclusion in the Community Policing Reporting Database on a website that is maintained by the sheriff or on any other website on which the sheriff generally posts information and that is available to the public or that clearly describes how the public may access such data.

2020, c. 1165; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 37.

§ 15.2-1610. Standard uniforms and motor vehicle markings to be adopted by sheriffs.

A. Except as provided in § 15.2-1611, all uniforms used by sheriffs and their deputies and police officers under the direct control of a sheriff while in the performance of their duties shall (i) easily identify local law-enforcement officers to members of the public, (ii) be of a design and style approved by the sheriff of the locality, and (iii) be worn according to the policies established by the sheriff of the locality.

B. All marked motor vehicles used by sheriffs' offices shall conspicuously display on each front side door of such vehicles the words "Sheriff's Office" or "Sheriff" and the name of the county or city.

C. All sheriffs' offices shall be in full compliance with specifications for uniforms and motor vehicle markings, if the sheriff prescribes that uniforms be worn and marked motor vehicles be utilized.

1988, c. 626, § 15.1-90.3; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 413; 2005, cc. 337, 452; 2008, c. 284; 2015, c. 132; 2016, cc. 176, 462; 2019, c. 298.

§ 15.2-1611. Alternate clothing for sheriff and deputies.

When the duties of a sheriff or deputy sheriff are such that the wearing of the standard sheriff's uniform would adversely limit the effectiveness of the sheriff's or deputy sheriff's ability to perform his prescribed duties, then clothing appropriate for the duties to be performed may be required by the sheriff.

1984, c. 398, § 15.1-90.2; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1612. Wearing of same or similar uniforms by unauthorized persons; penalty.

Any unauthorized person who wears a uniform identical to or substantially similar to a standard uniform used by an office of sheriff in accordance with § 15.2-1610 with the intent to deceive a casual observer or with the intent to impersonate the office of sheriff is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense is punishable as a Class 6 felony.

For purposes of this section, "substantially similar" means so similar in appearance as to be likely to deceive the casual observer.

1988, c. 626, § 15.1-90.4; 1997, c. 587; 2005, cc. 337, 452; 2013, c. 431.

§ 15.2-1612.1. Deputy sheriffs to complete course of instruction established by Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Any full-time deputy sheriff not employed on July 1, 1971, shall successfully complete a course of instruction established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services as provided in clause (i) of subdivision 2 of § 9.1-102.

1972, c. 716, § 14.1-73.2; 1973, c. 216; 1974, c. 571; 1975, c. 387; 1976, c. 705; 1979, c. 419; 1980, c. 587; 1984, c. 779; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1613. Operation of sheriff's office.

Any county or city may appropriate funds for the operation of the sheriff's office.

In addition to those items listed in § 15.2-1615.1, counties and cities shall provide at their expense in accordance with standards set forth in § 15.2-1610 a reasonable number of uniforms and items of personal equipment required by the sheriff to carry out his official duties.

1986, c. 139, § 15.1-137.3; 1990, c. 68; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1613.1. Processing fee may be imposed on certain individuals.

Any county or city may by ordinance authorize a processing fee not to exceed $25 on any individual admitted to a county, city, or regional jail following conviction. The fee shall be ordered as a part of court costs collected by the clerk, deposited into the account of the treasurer of the county or city and shall be used by the local sheriff's office to defray the costs of processing arrested persons into local or regional jails. If processing costs are incurred by a regional jail rather than a local sheriff's office, the fees collected pursuant to such ordinance may be used by the regional jail to defray the costs of processing arrested persons. Where costs are incurred by a sheriff's office and a regional jail the fees collected pursuant to such ordinance may be divided proportionately as determined by the local governing body or bodies, between the sheriff's office and the regional jail. Where costs are incurred by a police department for booking or fingerprinting services, the fees collected pursuant to such ordinance may be divided proportionately as determined by the local governing body or bodies, between the sheriff's office and the police department.

2002, c. 840; 2003, c. 623; 2011, cc. 300, 664.

§ 15.2-1614. Destruction of receipts.

Every sheriff shall maintain in his office all official receipt books showing receipt of any funds in his custody or that of the court, all cancelled checks showing payments from any such funds, and all statements of bank accounts in which funds of the sheriff's office are deposited. Such books, checks, receipt books and statements shall be maintained for a period of three years after they are audited by any individual or entity authorized by § 15.2-1615 to inspect them and thereafter may be destroyed in accordance with retention regulations established pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

1976, c. 468, § 15.1-84.1; 1982, c. 493; 1993, c. 334; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1614.1. Expense of boarding and lodging jurors.

Whenever it is necessary for a sheriff or sergeant to pay for the board and lodging of juries, he shall obtain a receipt for the funds so spent and on or before the fifth day of the month next succeeding he shall present such bill to the board of supervisors or other governing body of the county or to the city council, as the case may be, which shall, if it is found correct, reimburse the sheriff or sergeant for the amount so spent by him for such purpose. The county or city shall be reimbursed by the Commonwealth for all sums so expended on account of any criminal trial involving an offense against the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 14-94; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-83; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1615. Sheriff to deposit funds, keep account of receipts and disbursements, keep books open for inspection.

A. All money received by the sheriff shall be deposited intact and promptly with the county or city treasurer or Director of Finance, except that the sheriff shall maintain an official account for (i) funds collected for or on account of the Commonwealth or any locality or person pursuant to an order of the court and fees as provided by law and (ii) funds held in trust for prisoners held in local correctional facilities, in accordance with procedures established by the State Board of Local and Regional Jails pursuant to § 53.1-68.

The sheriff's official accounts shall be secured in accordance with the Virginia Security for Public Deposits Act (§ 2.2-4400 et seq.).

B. The sheriff shall keep the books, papers, receipt books and statements pertaining to the receipts and disbursements of his office at all times ready for inspection by the Auditor of Public Accounts or any other certified public accountant authorized by the governing body. Furthermore, the accounts and books of the sheriff shall be included in the audit of the local government conducted pursuant to § 15.2-2511.

1993, c. 334, § 15.1-83.1; 1997, c. 587; 2020, c. 759.

§ 15.2-1615.1. Manner of payment of certain items in budgets of sheriffs.

A. Whenever a sheriff purchases office furniture, office equipment, stationery, office supplies, telephone or telegraph service, postage, or repairs to office furniture and equipment in conformity and within the limits of allowances duly made and contained in the then current budget of any such sheriff under the provisions of this chapter, the invoices therefor, after examination as to their correctness, shall be paid by the county or city directly to the vendors, and the Commonwealth shall monthly reimburse the county or city the cost of such items on submission by such sheriff to the Compensation Board of duplicate invoices and such other information or evidence as the Compensation Board may deem necessary. This procedure shall also apply to the payment of the premiums on the official bonds of such sheriffs, their deputies and employees, to the premiums on burglary and other insurance, and for any physical examinations required pursuant to § 15.2-1705 for a sheriff and each of his full-time deputies at a rate specified by the Compensation Board.

B. The Compensation Board may allow as an expense allowance to the sheriff of any county or city the cost of operation, maintenance and repair of a closed circuit television system and all accessories thereto or of leasing electronic security equipment or making repairs to the same, which system and equipment are installed in any jail under his control for the surveillance of prisoners.

1964, c. 386, § 14.1-80; 1968, c. 607; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1979, c. 83; 1983, c. 382; 1985, c. 271; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1616. When deputy may act in place of sheriff.

When for any cause it is improper for the sheriff of any county or city to serve any process or notice or to summon a jury, such process may be directed to any deputy of the sheriff, and the process or notice may be served and the jury summoned by any such deputy.

Code 1950, § 15-509; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-74; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1617. Deputies of deceased sheriffs.

If any sheriff dies during his term of office, his chief deputy shall have the same right to remove any deputy from office and to appoint another, that the sheriff himself, if alive, would have had; or any such deputy may be removed by order of the circuit court for the county or city of which his principal was sheriff; but unless so removed, the deputies of such sheriff, in office at the time of his death, shall continue in office until the qualification of any new sheriff, and execute the office in the name of the deceased, in like manner as if the sheriff had continued alive until such qualification. Any default or misfeasance in office of any such deputy shall be as much a breach of the condition of the bond of the sheriff, and of the bond of such deputy, as if the sheriff had continued alive and in the exercise of his office.

Code 1950, § 15-510; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-75; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1618. Compensating certain law-enforcement officers disabled in performance of duty.

All counties and cities shall provide for the relief of any sheriff or deputy sheriff who is disabled, totally or partially, by injury or illness as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty, including the presumption under § 51.1-813. Such total disability retirement benefits shall be not less than those provided under the disability retirement provisions of § 51.1-404 of the Virginia Retirement System.

1976, c. 772, § 15.1-75.1; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1619. When officers not to take obligations.

No officer shall, by color of his office, take any obligation of or for any person in his custody, otherwise than is directed by law.

Code 1950, § 15-513; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-78; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1620. Process, etc., sent to officer by mail.

Any sheriff or other officer may transmit by mail to the proper officer, with his return thereon, any order, warrant or process which came to his hands from beyond his locality and proof that any order, warrant or process was put into the post office, duly addressed to any officer, and that the postage thereon was paid, shall be prima facie evidence of the receipt thereof by the officer to whom the same is addressed, by due course of mail, and this prima facie evidence may be furnished by the receipt taken, at the time the order, warrant or process is put into the post office, from the postmaster, or his deputy, and the certificate of a magistrate of the acknowledgment of the receipt before him. However, an officer may protect himself from a forfeiture or fine upon such proof, by making oath that he did not himself receive the order, warrant or process, so addressed to him, and that he verily believes it was not received by any of his deputies.

Code 1950, § 15-518; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-83; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1621. Receipts to be given by officers.

Every officer shall deliver to each person who pays him, or from whose property he makes taxes, levies, militia fines or officers' fees, a receipt for all that is so paid or made, with a statement showing how much thereof is for taxes, how much for levies, how much for militia fines and how much for officers' fees, and also the bills for such fees. Any officer failing herein shall forfeit to such person four dollars.

Code 1950, § 15-519; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-84; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1622. Judgment against officer for money due from him.

If any officer or his deputy makes a return upon any order, warrant or process by which it appears that he has received any sum of money by virtue of such order, warrant or process or, having received any sum of money by virtue of any warrant, order or process, he fails to make proper return thereof, the person entitled to such sum of money may, by motion to the court to which, or to the clerk's office of which, such order, warrant or process was returnable, recover against such officer and his sureties and against his and their personal representatives the amount so received, with interest thereon at the annual rate of fifteen percent from the time such order, warrant or process was returnable till payment; and, upon such motion, the fact that such order, warrant or process has not been returned, as herein required, shall be prima facie proof that the whole amount required thereby to be made, principal, interest and costs, has been collected. When such collection or return is made by a deputy, there may also be a like motion and judgment against such deputy and his sureties and against his and their personal representatives.

Code 1950, § 15-520; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-85; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1623. Judgment for officer or sureties against deputy, etc., when officer liable for misconduct of deputy.

If any deputy of a sheriff or other officer commits any default or misconduct in office for which his principal or the personal representative of such principal is liable, or for which a judgment or decree shall be recovered against either, the principal or his personal representative may, on motion, obtain a judgment against such deputy and his sureties, and their personal representatives, for the full amount for which such principal or his personal representative may also be so liable or for which such judgment or decree may have been rendered. However, no judgment shall be rendered by virtue of this section for money for which any other judgment or decree has been previously rendered against such deputy or his sureties or their personal representatives.

Code 1950, § 15-521; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-86; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1624. When judgment against officer or sureties has been obtained and paid.

If any judgment or decree is obtained against a sheriff, or other officer, or his sureties, or their personal representatives, for or on account of the default or misconduct of any such deputy and shall be paid in whole or in part by any defendant therein, he or his personal representative may, on motion, obtain a judgment or decree against such deputy and his sureties and their personal representatives for the amount so paid, with interest thereon from the time of such payment and five percent damages on such amount.

Code 1950, § 15-522; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-87; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1625. In what court motions may be made.

Any motion under either § 15.2-1623 or § 15.2-1624 may be made in the circuit court for the county or city in which the default or misconduct of the deputy occurred or was committed.

Code 1950, § 15-523; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-88; 1997, c. 587.

Article 4. Attorney for the Commonwealth.

§ 15.2-1626. Attorney for the Commonwealth.

The voters in every county and city shall elect an attorney for the Commonwealth unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officer by general law. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the governing body may request. He shall be elected as provided by general law for a term of four years. Every county and city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, provide for employing compensated assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth as in the opinion of the Compensation Board may be required. Such assistant or assistants shall be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth for a term coterminous with his own. The compensation for such assistants to the attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as provided for assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth under § 15.2-1627.1.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1627. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Duties of attorneys for the Commonwealth and their assistants.

A. No attorney for the Commonwealth, or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, shall be required to carry out any duties as a part of his office in civil matters of advising the governing body and all boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees of his county or city; of drafting or preparing county or city ordinances; of defending or bringing actions in which the county or city, or any of its boards, departments or agencies, or officials and employees thereof, shall be a party; or in any other manner of advising or representing the county or city, its boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees, except in matters involving the enforcement of the criminal law within the county or city.

B. The attorney for the Commonwealth and assistant attorney for the Commonwealth shall be a part of the department of law enforcement of the county or city in which he is elected or appointed, and shall have the duties and powers imposed upon him by general law, including the duty of prosecuting all warrants, indictments or informations charging a felony, and he may in his discretion, prosecute Class 1, 2 and 3 misdemeanors, or any other violation, the conviction of which carries a penalty of confinement in jail, or a fine of $500 or more, or both such confinement and fine. He shall enforce all forfeitures, and carry out all duties imposed upon him by § 2.2-3126. He may enforce the provisions of § 18.2-268.3, 29.1-738.2, 46.2-341.20:7, or 46.2-341.26:3.

1977, c. 584, § 15.1-8.1; 1978, c. 141; 1988, c. 389; 1997, c. 587; 2011, c. 210; 2017, c. 623, 2020, cc. 1285, 1286; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 15.2-1627. (Effective January 1, 2022) Duties of attorneys for the Commonwealth and their assistants.

A. No attorney for the Commonwealth, or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, shall be required to carry out any duties as a part of his office in civil matters of advising the governing body and all boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees of his county or city; of drafting or preparing county or city ordinances; of defending or bringing actions in which the county or city, or any of its boards, departments or agencies, or officials and employees thereof, shall be a party; or in any other manner of advising or representing the county or city, its boards, departments, agencies, officials and employees, except in matters involving the enforcement of the criminal law within the county or city.

B. The attorney for the Commonwealth and assistant attorney for the Commonwealth shall be a part of the department of law enforcement of the county or city in which he is elected or appointed, and shall have the duties and powers imposed upon him by general law, including the duty of prosecuting all warrants, indictments or informations charging a felony, and he may in his discretion, prosecute Class 1, 2 and 3 misdemeanors, or any other violation, the conviction of which carries a penalty of confinement in jail, or a fine of $500 or more, or both such confinement and fine. He shall enforce all forfeitures, and carry out all duties imposed upon him by § 2.2-3126. He may enforce the provisions of § 18.2-268.3, 29.1-738.2, 46.2-341.20:7, or 46.2-341.26:3. He may, in his discretion, file a notice of appeal with the circuit court for the appeal of a criminal case for which he was the prosecuting attorney and he may appear and represent the Commonwealth in any criminal case on appeal before the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court for which he was the prosecuting attorney, provided that the Attorney General consented to such appearance pursuant to § 2.2-511.

He shall also represent the Commonwealth in an appeal of a civil matter related to the enforcement of a criminal law or a criminal case for which he was the prosecuting attorney, including a petition for expungement of a defendant's criminal record, an action of forfeiture filed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22.1 (§ 19.2-386.1 et seq.) of Title 19.2, or any matter which he may enforce pursuant to this section.

1977, c. 584, § 15.1-8.1; 1978, c. 141; 1988, c. 389; 1997, c. 587; 2011, c. 210; 2017, c. 623, 2020, cc. 1285, 1286; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 489, 550, 551.

§ 15.2-1627.1. Salaries of attorneys for the Commonwealth and assistants.

A. The annual salaries of attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

In cities and counties having a population of more than 35,000 inhabitants, the Compensation Board, in determining the salary for the assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth, shall consider the provisions of §§ 15.2-1628 and 15.2-1630 requiring that such attorneys serve on a full-time basis, and shall also consider the amount of the salaries paid to the assistants to the city or county attorney of such city or county.

These same factors shall also be considered in determining the salary for assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth in cities having a population of more than 17,000 inhabitants, and less than 35,000 inhabitants when the council for such city and the Compensation Board shall concur that the attorney for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

Any city served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth on January 1, 1993, under the provisions hereof shall continue to be served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth in the event the population of such city shall have fallen below the 17,000 population threshold in the most recent U.S. census and shall be administered in the same manner as cities with populations in excess of 17,000 but of 35,000 or less. In such jurisdictions, the attorney for the Commonwealth and his assistant attorneys and their successors in office shall be subject to the requirements regarding full-time service and part-time private practice as in effect for such positions on January 1, 1993. No further action by the council of the city or the Compensation Board shall be necessary.

B. Each assistant attorney for the Commonwealth authorized by law, if his services shall be deemed necessary by the Compensation Board, shall receive an annual salary which shall not exceed ninety percent of the salary received by the attorney for the Commonwealth of his county or city. However, after January 1, 1980, in cities having a population of more than 35,000 inhabitants, the Compensation Board shall not provide any compensation for any assistant attorney for the Commonwealth when the attorney for the Commonwealth for any such city does not serve on a full-time basis or engages in the practice of law outside of his duties as attorney for the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 14-66; 1950, p. 637; 1952, c. 566; 1954, cc. 648, 662; 1956, c. 630; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-53; 1966, c. 279; 1970, c. 551; 1972, c. 215; 1973, c. 126; 1974, c. 429; 1976, c. 689; 1977, c. 623; 1980, c. 588; 1981, c. 415; 1983, c. 600; 1989, c. 293; 1993, cc. 446, 620; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1627.2. Disposition of fees of attorneys for the Commonwealth.

Every such attorney for the Commonwealth shall, however, continue to collect all fees which he may be entitled to receive by law, other than from the Commonwealth and any political subdivision, and shall dispose of the same as in this section provided. One-half of all fees to which attorneys for the Commonwealth are entitled for the performance of official duties or functions, shall be paid by them or such official as may collect the same, not later than the tenth day of the month following their receipt, into the treasuries of their respective counties and cities, and the remaining one-half of all such fees shall be paid by such official as may collect the same into the state treasury, not later than the tenth day of the month following their receipt.

Code 1950, § 14-67; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-54; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1627.3. Attorneys for the Commonwealth and city attorneys; in criminal cases; when no costs or fees taxed.

The fees of attorneys for the Commonwealth in all felony and misdemeanor cases in which there is a conviction and sentence not set aside on appeal or a judgment for costs against the prosecutor, and for expenditures made in the discharge of his duties shall be as follows:

For each trial of a single count felony indictment, $40.

For each trial of a multiple count felony indictment, $40 per count.

For each person tried for a misdemeanor in his circuit court, $15, and for each person prosecuted by him before such court of his county or city for a misdemeanor, which he is required by law to prosecute, or upon an indictment found by a grand jury, $15, and in every misdemeanor case so prosecuted the court or judge shall tax in the costs and enter judgment for such misdemeanor fee.

No attorney for the Commonwealth or city attorney shall receive a fee for appearing in misdemeanor cases before a district court notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.

No costs or fees shall be taxed for, or in any way allowed to, an attorney for the Commonwealth of any city or county or a city attorney of any city in any case, unless he in person, or by a duly authorized assistant, actually appears and prosecutes the proceedings before the court.

Code 1950, §§ 14-99, 14-130; 1964, c. 386, §§ 14.1-88, 14.1-121; 1975, c. 591; 1983, c. 229; 1998, c. 872; 1999, c. 9; 2010, c. 874; 2011, c. 890.

§ 15.2-1627.4. Coordination of multidisciplinary response to sexual assault.

A. The attorney for the Commonwealth in each political subdivision in the Commonwealth shall coordinate the establishment of a multidisciplinary response to criminal sexual assault as set forth in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, and hold a meeting, at least annually, to (i) discuss implementation of protocols and policies for sexual assault response teams consistent with those established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services pursuant to subdivision 37 d of § 9.1-102 and (ii) establish and review guidelines for the community's response, including the collection, preservation, and secure storage of evidence from Physical Evidence Recovery Kit examinations consistent with § 19.2-165.1.

B. The following persons or their designees shall be invited to participate in the annual meeting: the attorney for the Commonwealth; the sheriff; the director of the local sexual assault crisis center providing services in the jurisdiction, if any; the chief of each police department and the chief of each campus police department of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; a forensic nurse examiner or other health care provider who performs Physical Evidence Recovery Kit examinations in the jurisdiction, if any; the Title IX coordinator of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; representatives from the offices of student affairs, human resources, and counseling services of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction, if any; a representative of campus security of any institution of higher education in the jurisdiction that has not established a campus police department, if any; and the director of the victim/witness program in the jurisdiction, if any. In addition, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall invite other individuals, or their designees, to participate in the annual meeting, including (i) local health department district directors; (ii) the administrator of each licensed hospital within the jurisdiction; (iii) the director of each health safety net clinic within the jurisdiction, including those clinics created by 42 C.F.R. § 491.1 and the free and charitable clinics; and (iv) as determined by the attorney for the Commonwealth, any other local health care providers.

C. Attorneys for the Commonwealth are authorized to conduct the sexual assault response team annual meetings using other methods to encourage attendance, including electronic communication means as provided in § 2.2-3708.2.

2009, c. 817; 2012, cc. 343, 625; 2016, cc. 235, 550; 2020, cc. 1072, 1073.

§ 15.2-1627.5. Coordination of multidisciplinary response to child sexual abuse and the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults.

A. The attorney for the Commonwealth in each jurisdiction in the Commonwealth shall establish a multidisciplinary child sexual abuse response team, which may be an existing multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team shall conduct regular reviews of new and ongoing reports of felony sex offenses in the jurisdiction involving a child and the investigations thereof and, at the request of any member of the team, may conduct reviews of any other reports of child abuse and neglect or sex offenses in the jurisdiction involving a child and the investigations thereof. The multidisciplinary team shall meet frequently enough to ensure that no new or ongoing reports go more than 60 days without being reviewed by the team.

B. The following individuals, or their designees, shall participate in review meetings of the multidisciplinary team established pursuant to subsection A: the attorney for the Commonwealth; law-enforcement officials responsible for the investigation of sex offenses involving a child in the jurisdiction; a representative of the local child protective services unit; a representative of a child advocacy center serving the jurisdiction, if one exists; and a representative of an Internet Crimes Against Children task force affiliate agency serving the jurisdiction, if one exists. In addition, the attorney for the Commonwealth may invite other individuals, or their designees, including the school superintendent of the jurisdiction; a representative of any sexual assault crisis center serving the jurisdiction, if one exists; the director of the victim/witness program serving the jurisdiction, if one exists; and a health professional knowledgeable in the treatment and provision of services to children who have been sexually abused.

C. The attorney for the Commonwealth in each jurisdiction may also establish a multidisciplinary adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation response team to review cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults as defined in § 63.2-1603. The multidisciplinary team may be established separately or in conjunction with any already existing multidisciplinary team.

2014, cc. 780, 801; 2019, cc. 170, 775.

§ 15.2-1628. Attorneys for the Commonwealth and assistants in certain counties to devote full time to duties; no additional compensation for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant.

A. In counties having a population of more than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth, except volunteer assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth, shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

Any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth shall, however, have a reasonable time, not to exceed thirty days, after assuming such office to provide for his disassociation from the private practice of law, if such attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth was previously engaged in the private practice of law.

B. The provisions of this section requiring all compensated attorneys for the Commonwealth to devote full time to their duties shall not apply in counties reaching a population of more than 35,000, which had a population of 35,000 or less immediately prior to the commencement of the term for which the attorney for the Commonwealth sought office.

C. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant required to devote full time to his duties shall receive any additional compensation from the Commonwealth or any county or city for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or his assistant in any criminal prosecution or investigation.

D. In any county where, on January 1, 1993, attorneys for the Commonwealth were required to devote full time to their duties in accordance with subsection A of this section, they and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth and their successors shall continue to devote full time to their duties and shall not engage in the private practice of law.

1977, c. 623, § 15.1-50.1; 1981, c. 296; 1982, c. 474; 1983, c. 361; 1991, c. 270; 1993, c. 858; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1629. Part-time attorneys for the Commonwealth in certain counties may seek full-time status.

A. Notwithstanding §§ 15.2-1627.1 and 15.2-1628, any attorney for the Commonwealth for a county may, with the consent of the Compensation Board, elect to devote full time to the duties of attorney for the Commonwealth at a salary equal to that for an attorney for the Commonwealth in a county with a population of more than 35,000. Such an election and consent by the Compensation Board shall be binding on the attorney for the Commonwealth and on successors in the office.

B. The Compensation Board shall prepare a list of localities eligible to have a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and shall prioritize the list according to the same workload measures used by the Compensation Board in staffing standards established for assistant attorney for the Commonwealth positions in Commonwealth's Attorneys' offices statewide.

C. Upon electing to become a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and upon receiving additional funding of such office by the Compensation Board, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall not thereafter engage in the private practice of law. No such election shall become effective until the July 1 immediately following the date of election, or until another date as agreed upon by the attorney for the Commonwealth and the Compensation Board.

D. The Compensation Board shall fund such additional full-time offices of the attorney for the Commonwealth according to the priority list established in subsection B of this section, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly.

1993, c. 826, § 15.1-50.3; 1996, c. 561; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 417.

§ 15.2-1630. Attorneys for the Commonwealth for cities; no additional compensation for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant.

The voters in every city shall elect, for a term of four years, an attorney for the Commonwealth. Any city not required to have or to elect such officer prior to July 1, 1971, shall not be so required by this section. Assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth for cities may be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth for such city. Such assistants shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed in the manner provided by law. However, volunteer assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth serving without compensation may be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth without approval of the governing body or the Compensation Board. All assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth shall perform such duties as are prescribed by their respective attorney for the Commonwealth. In cities having a population of more than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth, except volunteer assistants serving without compensation, shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law; however, this provision shall not apply in cities reaching a population of more than 35,000, which had a population of 35,000 or less immediately prior to the commencement of the term for which the attorney for the Commonwealth sought office. In cities having a population of more than 17,000 and less than 35,000, attorneys for the Commonwealth and all assistant attorneys for the Commonwealth, except volunteer assistants serving without compensation, shall devote full time to their duties, and shall not engage in the private practice of law, if the council of the city and the Compensation Board all concur that he shall so serve. The office of assistant attorney for the Commonwealth heretofore created and provided for in the charters of such cities is hereby abolished.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant required to devote full time to his duties shall receive any additional compensation from the Commonwealth or any city or county for substituting for or assisting any other attorney for the Commonwealth or his assistant in any criminal prosecution or investigation.

Any attorney for the Commonwealth who is serving full time when the population for his city declines to 35,000 or less, according to a new United States census, may elect to continue serving on a full-time basis for the remainder of his current term and any subsequent successive terms. So long as he continues to serve on a full-time basis, he shall be compensated for full-time service on the same basis as an attorney for the Commonwealth in a city having a population of 35,001.

Any city served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth on January 1, 1993, under the provisions hereof shall continue to be served by a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth in the event the population of such city shall have fallen below the 17,000 population threshold in the most recent U.S. census and shall be administered in the same manner as cities with populations in excess of 17,000 but of 35,000 or less. In such jurisdictions, the attorney for the Commonwealth and his assistant attorneys and their successors in office shall be subject to the requirements regarding full-time service and part-time private practice as in effect for such positions on January 1, 1993. No further action by the council of the city or the Compensation Board shall be necessary.

Code 1950, § 15-414; 1956, c. 590; 1962, cc. 523, 623, § 15.1-821; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 159; 1974, c. 470; 1977, c. 623; 1981, c. 296; 1983, c. 361; 1986, c. 497; 1991, c. 270; 1993, cc. 446, 620; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1631. Part-time attorneys for the Commonwealth in certain cities may seek full-time status.

A. Notwithstanding §§ 15.2-1627.1 and 15.2-1630, any attorney for the Commonwealth for a city may, with the consent of the Compensation Board, elect to devote full time to the duties of attorney for the Commonwealth at a salary equal to that for an attorney for the Commonwealth in a city with a population of more than 35,000. Such an election and consent by the Compensation Board shall be binding on the attorney for the Commonwealth and on successors in the office.

B. The Compensation Board shall prepare a list of localities eligible to have a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and shall prioritize the list according to the same workload measures used by the Compensation Board in staffing standards established for assistant attorney for the Commonwealth positions in Commonwealth's Attorneys' offices statewide.

C. Upon electing to become a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth and upon receiving additional funding of such office by the Compensation Board, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall not thereafter engage in the private practice of law. No such election shall become effective until the July 1 immediately following the date of election, or until another date as agreed upon by the attorney for the Commonwealth and the Compensation Board.

D. The Compensation Board shall fund such additional full-time offices of the attorney for the Commonwealth according to the priority list established in subsection B of this section, subject to appropriations by the General Assembly.

1993, c. 826, § 15.1-821.1; 1996, c. 561; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 417.

§ 15.2-1632. Employment of assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth, subject to approval of Compensation Board.

Every county and city may, with the approval of the Compensation Board, provide for employing such additional compensated assistant or assistants to the attorney for the Commonwealth as in the opinion of the governing body may be required. Such assistant or assistants shall be appointed by the attorney for the Commonwealth. The compensation for such assistants to the attorneys for the Commonwealth shall be as provided for assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth under § 15.2-1627.1.

Code 1950, §§ 15-9.1, 15-9.2; 1956, cc. 245, 669; 1960, c. 53; 1962, cc. 189, 487, 623, § 15.1-9; 1964, c. 313; 1964, Ex. Sess., c. 3; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1633. Part-time compensated assistants to attorneys for the Commonwealth.

Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of §§ 15.2-1627.1, 15.2-1628 and 15.2-1630, the Compensation Board at the request of the attorney for the Commonwealth may provide for one compensated part-time assistant to a full-time attorney for the Commonwealth.

1983, c. 476, § 15.1-50.2; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1997, c. 587; 2000, c. 913.

Article 5. Clerks of Circuit Courts.

§ 15.2-1634. Clerks of circuit courts.

The voters in every county and in each city which has a circuit court, shall elect for a term of eight years, a clerk of such court unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. He shall be clerk of the circuit court and may also be the clerk of the governing body if the governing body so designates. He shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officers by general law and may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as may be requested of him by the governing body.

1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1635. Appointment of deputy when clerk of circuit court unable to perform duties.

Whenever it is found by the judge of a circuit court that a clerk of such court is, by reason of mental or physical disability, temporarily unable to perform his duties, the judge of the court may, by order entered of record, designate some other person as deputy clerk to perform the duties of such clerk. The person so designated may be the clerk or deputy clerk of another county or city or any other qualified person, and in the event that he is from another county or city, the provisions of §§ 15.2-1525 and 15.2-1534 shall not apply.

The person so designated shall thereby become a deputy of the regular clerk and shall be vested with all the authority of a regular clerk and may perform all acts which are required by law to be performed by such clerk with the same effect as if performed by the clerk for whom he serves as deputy, and shall before entering upon his duties take the oath prescribed in § 49-1, and furnish bond in the same amount as is required of the clerk.

The person so designated shall serve at the pleasure of the court during the disability of the clerk and within the limits of the unexpired term of the clerk.

No compensation out of the state or local treasury shall be paid such person designated under this section for his services while acting in such capacity but any expense incurred shall be paid by the county or city in which such service is performed upon the order of the judge of such court.

Code 1950, § 15-485.1; 1952, c. 187; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-49; 1993, cc. 621, 781; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1635.1. Maximum total compensation for clerk of the court in certain counties.

In Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Rappahannock Counties, wherein the clerk of the circuit court serves also as the clerk of the general district court and juvenile and domestic relations district court under the provisions of § 16.1-69.38, such clerk may be paid a sum not to exceed $5,000, by local supplement, for each of the two district courts served.

1998, c. 872.

Article 6. Commissioner of the Revenue.

§ 15.2-1636. Commissioner of the revenue.

The voters in every county and city shall elect a commissioner of the revenue, unless otherwise provided by general law or special act. The commissioner of the revenue shall exercise all the powers conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon such officer by general law. He may perform such other duties, not inconsistent with his office, as the governing body may request. He shall be elected for a term of four years as provided by general law.

1997, c. 587.

Article 6.1. Compensation Board Generally.

§ 15.2-1636.1. Salaries of city commissioners of the revenue.

The annual salaries of city commissioners of the revenue under this article shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-8.1, 14-70, 14-70.1, 14-70.2 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any person holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-70 through 14-70.2; 1952, c. 479; 1956, c. 605; 1960, c. 417; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-57; 1966, c. 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, c. 617; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.2. Salaries of county commissioners of the revenue.

The annual salaries of county commissioners of the revenue under this article shall be as prescribed in the general appropriation act, except as otherwise provided in § 15.2-1636.12.

Notwithstanding the repeal of §§ 14-8.1, 14-71, 14-71.1, 14-71.2, 14-71.3 and 14-75, effective July 1, 1964, the prior authority of such sections is continued in effect as to any person holding office on such date.

Code 1950, §§ 14-71 through 14-71.3; 1952, c. 479; 1954, c. 629; 1956, c. 603; 1960, c. 416; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-58; 1966, cc. 501, 565, 637; 1970, c. 679; 1972, c. 617; 1974, c. 271; 1976, c. 400; 1977, c. 565; 1980, c. 588; 1981, c. 415; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.3. Real estate transfer and license fees in counties.

The treasurers of the several counties shall hereafter collect the license fees and any other fees of the county commissioners of the revenue and shall pay the county fees into the county treasury and the state fees into the state treasury.

Code 1950, § 14-72; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-59; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.4. Real estate transfer and license fees in cities.

Such officers as may be authorized by law to collect city licenses shall collect all such license fees and apply them to the credit of their respective city treasuries. The treasurers of the several cities shall hereafter collect all state license fees and apply them to the credit of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 14-73; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-60; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.5. Membership; compensation.

The Compensation Board shall consist of the Auditor of Public Accounts, the State Tax Commissioner, as ex officio members, and one member, who may or may not be an officer or employee of the Commonwealth, who shall be appointed and designated as chairman of the Board by the Governor and who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Governor. The ex officio members of the Board shall not receive any compensation for their services as such members. The member designated by the Governor as chairman shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by law.

Code 1950, § 14-60; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-48; 1983, c. 382; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.6. Duties of chairman.

The chairman of the Board shall supervise the administrative work of the Board; receive, file, collate and classify the reports of the respective officers required to report to the Board; call meetings of the Board whenever any matters arise requiring its consideration or action; and have available for and lay before the Board all information necessary for the decision of questions coming before it. He shall conduct all correspondence with the various officers within the jurisdiction of the Board and institute and supervise investigations into the affairs and conduct of all such officers, as and when the Board may direct. He shall preside at all meetings of the Board and cause to be prepared and recorded proper minutes of the action taken at all such meetings, and keep and preserve all papers, books, correspondence and records of the Board.

Code 1950, § 14-61; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-49; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.6:1. Statement of receipts and expenses of officers.

The Compensation Board shall as soon as practicable annually furnish the board of supervisors or other governing body of each county and city with the statement showing receipts and expenses of office and of officers making report under this article.

Code 1950, § 14-158; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-158; 1972, c. 202; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.7. Filing requests for salaries.

At the times hereinafter prescribed, every attorney for the Commonwealth, every city and county treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, or any officer, whether elected or appointed, who holds the combined office of county or city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, and every sheriff, in addition to all such officers serving two or more local governments who were elected pursuant to § 15.2-1602, shall file with the chairman of the Board, upon forms prescribed by it, a written request for the expense of his office, stating the amount of salaries requested, and itemizing each item of expense for which allowance is sought, and every such officer shall concurrently file a copy of the request with the governing body of the county or city. Such requests shall be filed on or before February 1 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year for which such requests are made.

The chairman of the Board may, at any time, submit to any officer a written questionnaire concerning the affairs of his office, to ascertain all facts relevant to the determination of the proper allowance to be made with respect to the officer's salaries and the expenses of his office. Every officer shall answer fully and completely all questions so propounded and shall return the questionnaire to the chairman within five days.

The provisions of this section shall not affect the powers of any county operating under an optional form of organization and government as provided by Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.) of this title to determine the budgets of the aforementioned officers.

Code 1950, § 14-62; 1962, c. 439; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-50; 1966, c. 688; 1972, c. 731; 1978, c. 431; 1979, c. 233; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 242; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.8. Duties of Board in fixing salaries, expenses, etc.

All salaries of such officers shall be as hereinafter provided. The expenses and other allowances of all such officers shall be fixed and determined on or before May 1 of each year. The Board shall, no later than the fifteenth day following final adjournment of the General Assembly of Virginia in each session, provide to such officers and the local governing body of each city and county he represents, an estimate of expenses and other allowances to be fixed by the Board for the next fiscal year. The Board shall, at meetings duly called by the chairman, carefully consider the questionnaires and written requests filed as required by § 15.2-1636.7 and consider the work involved in the discharge of the duties of the respective officers, the extent to which such duties are imposed by actions of the local governing body, the amount expended or proposed to be expended by each for clerks, deputies and other assistants, the efficiency with which the affairs of each such office are conducted, and such other matters as the Board may deem pertinent and material, including the number of local governments served if more than one, including the pay and compensation plan of each political subdivision, if it has one, and the locality's plans for adjustments of salaries and expenses for the ensuing fiscal year, as well as the plan of the Commonwealth for adjustment of state salaries and expenses for such year. The Board shall fix and determine what constitutes a fair and reasonable budget for the participation of the Commonwealth toward the total cost of the office. In its deliberations with respect to any office of an attorney for the Commonwealth, the Board shall not consider whether volunteer assistants are being used in that office. Such budgets, in the aggregate, shall not contemplate state expenditures in excess of the appropriation available to the Board. Prior to holding any such meeting for the fixing of salaries and expenses as provided in this article, ten days' written notice of the time, place and purpose of such meeting shall be given every officer affected and to the mayor or city manager of the city or to the chairman of the governing body and administrator, executive or manager of the county affected.

When the salaries, expenses and other allowances for the several counties and cities have been tentatively fixed by the Board they shall notify the governing body of each city and county of the amounts so fixed. Within thirty days thereafter, but not later, the governing body may file with the Compensation Board any objection it may have to such allowances so fixed. When such objection is filed the Board shall fix a time for a hearing on such objection, of which time the governing body as well as the officer affected shall have at least fifteen days' notice. For the purpose of determining the merits of such protest the governing body may designate two members of such body to serve as additional members of the Compensation Board and such additional members shall each have one vote on the Board.

The chairman of the Board shall record the salary of each such officer, his clerks, assistants and deputies, and the allowances made for other items, and shall promptly notify each such officer of the same with respect to his office.

In fixing, determining and recording the salaries of the full-time deputy sheriffs mentioned in § 15.2-1609.2, the Board shall act solely with reference to establishing an aggregate allowance for personal services to the respective sheriffs for such deputy sheriffs. The annual salary of each such full-time deputy sheriff shall be fixed and determined as provided by § 15.2-1609.2.

Code 1950, §§ 14-63, 14-64; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-51; 1966, c. 688; 1979, cc. 233, 538; 1980, cc. 587, 588; 1983, c. 382; 1989, c. 242; 1994, cc. 780, 792; 1998, c. 872; 2000, c. 913.

§ 15.2-1636.9. Appeal from decision of Board.

A. Any officer whose budget is affected by a decision of the Board under this article made for the fiscal year pursuant to and at the time designated by §§ 15.2-1636.7 and 15.2-1636.8 and no other, or any county or city affected thereby, or the Attorney General as representative of the Commonwealth, shall have the right to appeal from any such decision of the Board, within forty-five days from the date of such decision. Such appeal shall lie to the circuit court of the county or city wherein the officer making the appeal resides. The court shall be presided over by three judges of circuit courts remote from that to which the appeal is taken. The three judges shall be chosen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from a panel of fifteen active or retired judges selected to hear such matters by the Supreme Court. Such judges shall remain on the panel for a period of time determined by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. No judge may be appointed to hear an appeal involving a jurisdiction in his current or former circuit. Notice of such appeal shall be given within the time above specified by any such officer to the Compensation Board, the county or city affected and the Attorney General. The officer appealing shall, in the appeal, state with specificity what action of the Compensation Board the officer is contesting, the additional services provided to the locality not required by law, and the cost of providing such service. The Compensation Board shall notify the Chief Justice forthwith when all administrative remedies have been exhausted by the appellant and the three-judge court shall be designated upon receipt of the notice by the Chief Justice. The appeal shall be heard within forty-five days from the date such notice is filed by the Board with the Chief Justice. At least fifteen days' notice of the time and place set for the hearing shall be given the officer noting such appeal, the county or city affected, the Compensation Board and the Attorney General. On such appeal all questions involved in said decision shall be heard de novo by the court and its decision on all questions shall be certified by the clerk thereof to the officer affected, to the locality and to the chairman of the Compensation Board.

In making its decision, the court shall give consideration to the amount of funds budgeted and expended by the local government for the constitutional officer which exceeds the amount reimbursed by the Compensation Board, the extent to which the officer provides additional services to the locality not required by law and to what extent, if any, the local government should participate in providing the additional funding requested by the constitutional officer. The court shall also give consideration both to the officer's ability to perform his statutory duties without additional funding and the ability of the Compensation Board and local government to provide additional funding for the officer's functions. The court shall also consider maximum staffing and funding levels set in the general appropriation act and any other statutory provisions which would otherwise prohibit the Compensation Board from granting the officer's request. The burden of proving the necessity of additional funding shall be borne by the officer. After due consideration of Compensation Board and local government statutory authority and the constitutional officer's demonstrated need for additional funding, the court shall determine the extent to which the Compensation Board and local government shall share in the additional funding. Should the court determine that additional funding is necessary for the officer to perform his duties, and that it is the responsibility of the Compensation Board to provide all or part of the additional funds, and that the Compensation Board does not have the ability to provide such additional funding, the Compensation Board shall request the necessary additional funding from the General Assembly at its next occurring regular session.

Should the court determine that additional funding is necessary for the officer to perform his duties and that it is the responsibility of the local government to provide all or part of the additional funds, and that the local government does not have the ability to provide such additional funding, the chief administrative officer of the local government shall include such request in the budget submission to the local governing body.

From the decision of the court there shall be no right of further appeal. The decision of the court shall be within the difference between the amounts originally requested by the appealing officer pursuant to § 15.2-1636.7 and the amounts fixed by the Compensation Board for such fiscal year; however, when the appeal is filed by a county or city such decision shall be within the difference between the prior salaries, expenses and other allowances of such officer and the amounts fixed by the Compensation Board for such fiscal year. In the event an appeal is filed by both the officer affected and the county or city affected, such decision shall be within the difference between the amounts originally requested by the appealing officer pursuant to § 15.2-1636.7 and the prior salaries, expenses and other allowances of such officer.

In pursuing the provisions of this section, constitutional officers may use funds designated by the Compensation Board or appropriated by their local governing body to employ independent counsel, provided that funds have been specifically appropriated for such purpose.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, no appeal of any decision of the Board shall lie to the circuit court from the date of enactment of this subsection until July 1, 1993, at which time the circuit court may consider appeals for all fiscal years affected by this moratorium and for subsequent fiscal years.

Code 1950, § 14-65; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-52; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 156; 1972, c. 390; 1974, c. 465; 1976, c. 673; 1977, c. 80; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 382; 1991, c. 617; 1992, c. 342; 1993, cc. 554, 563; 1995, c. 733; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.10. Appeals from certain decisions affecting expenses, etc., of circuit court clerks.

Any clerk of a circuit court shall have a right to appeal from the annual budget decision of the Board under this article affecting the expenses or allowances of the clerk, or the salary and number of clerk's deputies. In addition, any county or city affected by such decision or the Attorney General as representative of the Commonwealth shall have the right to appeal from the decision. Such appeals shall be taken and heard as provided in § 15.2-1636.9.

1984, c. 654, § 14.1-52.01; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.11. Determination of population.

For the purpose of fixing salaries specified in §§ 15.2-1608.1, 15.2-1608.2, 15.2-1609.2, 15.2-1627.1, 15.2-1636.1, and 15.2-1636.2, the population of each county and city shall be according to the last preceding United States census. If the area of any city has, since the last preceding United States census, been increased by annexation, the population of such city, for such purposes, shall be the population thereof as shown by the last preceding United States census, plus the increase resulting from such annexation. Whenever it appears to the satisfaction of the Compensation Board that the population of any county or city has, since the last preceding United States census, increased so as to entitle such county or city to be placed in a higher salary bracket, such county or city shall be considered within such higher salary brackets.

Code 1950, § 14-74; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-61; 1983, c. 600; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.12. Increase in salaries in certain cases.

Any officer whose salary in the year ending June 30, 1980, included an increase under deleted provisions of former § 14.1-62 shall receive the same amount of such increase for the terms in which he continues in office.

Code 1950, § 14-75; 1956, c. 455; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-62; 1980, c. 588; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.13. Time and manner of payment.

A. The salaries fixed in accordance with this article shall be paid in equal monthly installments. The expenses and other allowances of office within the limits fixed by the Board shall be paid monthly on the submission of satisfactory evidence that such expenses and other allowances were actually incurred. All counties and cities shall pay the entire amount of such salaries, expenses and other allowances and, upon notification to the Board, the Commonwealth shall reimburse all such counties and cities for the Commonwealth's proportionate share of such salaries, compensation, benefits under § 51.1-137, and other expense allowances.

B. In the event a county or city shall fail to make timely payment of the salaries, expenses or other allowances fixed in accordance with the provisions of law applicable thereto, the Board shall withhold all reimbursements for the office or offices affected thereby until such salaries, expenses or other allowances have been paid, unless such county or city has appealed pursuant to § 15.2-1636.8 or § 15.2-1636.9.

C. The Board may provide advance payments on a monthly pro rata basis to any county or city and adjust subsequent monthly advances based on actual expenditures incurred in the preceding month. Should the Board elect to make such advance payments to any locality, then it shall make such advance payments to all localities which request the same.

Code 1950, § 14-76; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-63; 1972, c. 564; 1976, c. 674; 1983, c. 326; 1984, c. 564; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.14. Proportion borne by Commonwealth and by localities.

A. The salaries, expenses and other allowances of attorneys for the Commonwealth in counties and cities as fixed and determined by the Compensation Board shall be paid by the Commonwealth after July 1, 1980.

B. The salaries, expenses and other allowances of treasurers and commissioners, or any officers, whether elected or appointed, who hold the combined office of county or city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue in the counties and cities shall be paid in the proportion of one-half by the respective counties and cities and one-half by the Commonwealth, except as hereafter in this section provided.

C. The salary, expenses and other allowances of any city treasurer who neither collects nor disburses local taxes or revenues shall be paid entirely by the Commonwealth and the salary, expenses and other allowances of any city treasurer who disburses local revenues but does not collect the same shall be paid in the proportion of one-third by the city and two-thirds by the Commonwealth.

D. In no event shall the amount paid by each city and county as its share of the salary of its respective treasurer and commissioner in any fiscal year exceed the actual dollar amount paid by such city and county for such salaries during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1980.

E. In the case of each county and city treasurer except a city treasurer who neither collects nor disburses local taxes or revenues, and in the case of each county and city commissioner of the revenue, the cost of such office furniture, office equipment and office appliances as may be specifically authorized by and included in the then current expense allowance made to such officer under the provisions of this article, shall be paid in the proportion of two-thirds by the county or city and one-third by the Commonwealth. The prices paid for such office furniture, office equipment and office appliances shall not be in excess of the prices available to the Commonwealth if such purchases were made through the Department of General Services' Division of Purchases and Supply. The words "office furniture, office equipment and office appliances," as used in this subsection, mean such items of this character as have a useful life of more than one year; and the word "cost," as used in this subsection, may include a rental cost, in the discretion of the Compensation Board, in any case in which, in the opinion of the Board, such rental cost, in whole or in part, is properly includible in the expense allowance.

F. If any county or city commissioner of the revenue or county or city treasurer uses any forms, sheets or books of any kind for the assessment or collection of state or local taxes or levies, or in connection with the assessment or collection of such taxes or levies, in lieu of the standard forms, sheets or books furnished by the Commonwealth, no part of the cost of such forms, sheets or books shall be paid by the Commonwealth, but their entire cost shall be paid out of the treasury of the county or city whose governing body required, authorized or consented to their use. This subsection shall not be construed as enlarging the existing powers of local governing bodies to require, authorize or consent to the use of such forms, sheets or books.

G. The cost of all forms, sheets and books of all kinds used for the assessment or collection of local license and local excise taxes or used in connection with the assessment or collection of local license and local excise taxes, shall be paid entirely out of the local treasury, including the cost of any tags, stamps, stickers, or other devices intended to evidence the payment of any such local license or local excise taxes.

H. The cost of all forms, sheets and books of all kinds used in the ascertainment, billing or collection of charges for utility or other special services rendered by a county or city, or by any district or agency thereof shall be paid entirely by the locality, although it may be the duty of the treasurer or the commissioner of the revenue to ascertain or collect such charges under applicable provisions of law.

The governing body of each county and city shall provide suitable office space for the treasurer and commissioner of the revenue, together with the necessary heat, light, water and janitorial service. The entire cost of providing such office space, heat, light, water and janitorial service shall be paid out of the local treasury.

The provisions of this section, as amended, shall not affect any county operating under an optional form of organization and government as provided by Chapter 3 (§ 15.2-300 et seq.) of this title.

Code 1950, § 14-77; 1954, c. 652; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-64; 1972, c. 731; 1977, c. 623; 1979, c. 83; 1980, c. 588; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.15. Manner of payment of certain items contained in budgets of county and city attorneys for the Commonwealth, treasurers and commissioners of the revenue.

A. Whenever a county or city attorney for the Commonwealth, treasurer or commissioner of the revenue purchases office furniture, office equipment, office appliances, tax tickets for state and local taxes collectible by county and city treasurers, stationery, office supplies, postage, data processing services, printing, advertising, telephone or telegraph service, or repairs to office furniture and equipment in conformity with and within the limits of allowances duly made and contained in the then current budget of any such officer under the provisions of this article, the invoices therefor, after examination as to their correctness, shall be paid by the county or city directly to the vendors, and the Commonwealth shall monthly pay the county or city the state's proportionate part of the cost of such items on submission by such officer to the Compensation Board of duplicate invoices and such other information or evidence as the Compensation Board may deem necessary. This section shall also apply to the payment of the premiums on the official bonds of such officers, their deputies and employees, and to the premiums on burglary and other insurance, except the premium on the bond of a treasurer the payment of which is governed by other provisions of law.

B. This section shall not apply to any city treasurer whose city is not required to pay any part of the cost of such items, in which event the Board shall pay the vendor upon receipt of the required invoices and other information.

Code 1950, § 14-77.1; 1958, c. 462; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-65; 1983, c. 382; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.16. Appropriations chargeable with Commonwealth's proportion of salaries, etc.

The Commonwealth's proportion of the salaries, expenses and other allowances of the treasurers, commissioners of the revenue, attorneys for the Commonwealth, and sheriffs shall be paid out of the appropriations made for those purposes in the general appropriation act.

The budgets fixed by the Compensation Board may thereafter be amended by the Compensation Board upon the request of the officer or local governing body or when changed circumstances so require. No budget shall be increased if any portion of the increase is payable from local funds without the concurrence of the local governing body.

All provisions of charters of cities and towns inconsistent with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Code 1950, § 14-78; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-66; 1966, c. 688; 1980, c. 588; 1983, c. 382; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.17. Payments to counties which do not have certain officers.

The Compensation Board shall determine the compensation and expense allowances for the attorney for the Commonwealth, the treasurer and the commissioner of the revenue for each county which adopts any form of county organization and government provided for in Chapter 5 (§ 15.2-500 et seq.) or Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of this title in the same manner as if such county had not adopted such form of county organization and government and had continued to have all of such officers. Thereafter, the portion of such compensation and such expense allowances payable by the Commonwealth shall be paid into the general fund of the treasury of the county. The actual compensation and expense allowances to be paid the attorney for the Commonwealth, the treasurer and the commissioner of the revenue, or the officers, agents or employees performing the duties and exercising the powers thereof, of any such county shall be fixed and determined as provided in said Chapter 5 (§ 15.2-500 et seq.) or Chapter 8 (§ 15.2-800 et seq.) of this title without regard to the limits provided for in this article.

Code 1950, § 14-79; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-67; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 236; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.18. Deputies, office expenses, premiums on bonds, etc.

The Compensation Board shall determine (i) how many deputies and assistants, if any, are necessary to the efficient performance of the duties of the office of the officer filing a report required by § 17.1-283, (ii) what should be the compensation of such deputies and assistants, (iii) what allowance, if any, should be made for office expenses and premiums on official bonds, and (iv) the manner in which such compensation should be paid or such allowance made. Each of such officers shall, on or before the first day of November in each year, report to the Board, on official estimate blanks, furnished for such purpose, an estimate in itemized form showing the amount of expenses expected to be incurred in the operation and maintenance of his office for the ensuing year, and all such expenses must be approved in advance by the Board in order to be deductible under § 17.1-284. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the Compensation Board from increasing at any time in the year allowances for such expenses as provided in § 15.2-1636.19. The Compensation Board shall report annually to the Governor on the expenses of such office.

Code 1950, § 14-151; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-141; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.19. Adjustment of questions of division of compensation, expenses, etc.

The Compensation Board may adjust equitably all questions of the division of compensation, allowances for deputies and assistants, office expenses and premiums on bonds which may arise due to the change of incumbents in any such offices or from any other cause. All adjustments shall be made as nearly as possible in accordance with the intent of this Code. The Board may, on written application from any clerk of a court of record, and for good cause shown, increase the allowance made to such clerks for deputies and assistants, office expenses and premiums on bonds. The governing body of a county or city may, by resolution adopted and certified, make to the Compensation Board any recommendation it may desire to make with respect to the expense account of any clerk of a court of record as to increase or decrease of expense.

Code 1950, § 14-152; 1964, c. 386, § 14.1-142; 1998, c. 872.

§ 15.2-1636.20. Payments to localities under the Personal Property Tax Relief Act of 1998.

Localities shall be reimbursed for the administrative costs associated with the implementation of Chapter 35.1 (§ 58.1-3523 et seq.) of Title 58.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 15.2-1636.14 and Item 70 of Chapter 464 of the Acts of Assembly of 1998, the Compensation Board shall approve and reimburse 100 percent of such costs that it deems fair and reasonable. The manner of submitting and preparing estimates for such costs and for reimbursements shall be as directed by the Compensation Board.

1998, Sp. Sess. I, c. 2; 1999, cc. 148, 185.

Article 7. Sharing of Certain Constitutional Officers.

§ 15.2-1637. Sharing of offices; transfer of jurisdiction.

A. Any attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of a circuit court, or sheriff who performed his duties and had jurisdiction in both a city and a county prior to July 1, 1971, as provided for in Article VII, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia, shall continue to serve both political subdivisions until the city is transferred in accordance with the provisions of §§ 16.1-69.6 and 17.1-506 to a judicial circuit and district which is comprised of a county other than the circuit and district where the city was situated. Until such transfer is made, the voters residing in the city shall be entitled to vote for these officers at the general election for county officers.

B. Upon the effective date of the transfer referred to in subsection A of this section, the city shall have appointed for it by the judges of the circuit court for the county in the judicial circuit to which the city was transferred an attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of the circuit court and sheriff, which constitutional officers shall be those of the adjoining county. In cases where the city has an elected sheriff, such sheriff shall be the only sheriff for the city. The city may contract with the county to which it was transferred for jail facilities.

In any case where the effective date of the transfer is to take place within 120 days after an election for any of these officers in the county to which the city is transferred, the voters of the city shall be entitled to vote in that election for each officer. The voting wards or precincts of the city shall be treated as precincts of the adjoining county, and no candidate for these offices shall be required to qualify separately in the city. The voters of the city shall thereafter be entitled to vote for these officers.

C. In order to complete the transfer of the jurisdiction of the respective circuit courts when the situation in subsection A occurs, the following shall control:

1. As to any crime occurring or civil cause of action arising in the city before the effective date of the transfer, the circuit court of the former judicial circuit shall have jurisdiction.

2. As to any crime occurring or civil cause of action arising in the city on or after the effective date of the transfer involving a matter required by general law to be located in a circuit court, the circuit court of the judicial circuit to which the city was transferred shall have jurisdiction.

D. All writings authorized by law to be recorded in the circuit court for the city transferred pursuant to subsection A of this section shall be recorded in the circuit court to which the city was transferred beginning on the effective date of the transfer.

1980, c. 592, § 15.1-994.1; 1987, c. 624; 1997, c. 587.

Article 8. Courthouses.

§ 15.2-1638. County or city governing body to provide courthouse, clerk's office, jail and suitable facilities for attorney for the Commonwealth; acquisition of land.

The governing body of every county and city shall provide courthouses with suitable space and facilities to accommodate the various courts and officials thereof serving the county or city; within or outside such courthouses, a clerk's office, the record room of which shall be fireproof; a jail; and, upon request therefor, suitable space and facilities for the attorney for the Commonwealth to discharge the duties of his office. The costs thereof and of the land on which they may be, and of keeping the same in good order, shall be chargeable to the county or city. The fee simple of the lands and of the buildings and improvements thereon utilized for such courthouses shall be in the county or city, or jointly in a county and a city, and the governing body of the county or city may purchase so much of such property, as, with what it has, may be necessary for the purposes enumerated or for any other proper purpose of the county or city. However, any portion of the property owned by a county and located within a city or town and not actually occupied by the courthouse, clerk's office, or jail may be sold or exchanged and conveyed to such city or town to be used for street or other public purposes. Any such sale or exchange by the governing body of a county shall be made in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-1800.

The amendments contained in Chapter 90 of the 1986 Acts of Assembly shall not apply to the City of Virginia Beach.

Code 1950, §§ 15-686, 15-688; 1954, cc. 49, 264; 1956, c. 329; 1960, c. 145; 1962, cc. 283, 489, 623, § 15.1-257; 1964, c. 241; 1986, c. 90; 1997, c. 587; 2007, c. 813; 2019, c. 240.

§ 15.2-1638.1. Administrative assistants in offices of circuit court judges who are employees of a locality.

An employee, not employed by a constitutional officer, hired and paid by a county or city to assist with the administration of a circuit court judge's office shall serve at the sole direction and under the sole supervision of such judge. Nothing herein shall be construed to affect the authority of the circuit court clerk to (i) perform statutory duties with respect to court administration or (ii) assign deputy clerks to provide judicial assistance to the court, at the sole discretion of the clerk.

2020, c. 1061.

§ 15.2-1639. Providing offices for various officers, judges, etc.

The governing body of each county and city shall, if there are offices in the courthouses of the respective counties and cities available for such purposes, provide offices for the treasurer, attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff, commissioner of the revenue, commissioner of accounts and division superintendent of schools for such county or city. Any such governing body may, if there are offices in their respective courthouses available for such purposes, provide offices for the judge of any court sitting in the county or city, and any judge of the Court of Appeals or justice of the Supreme Court who may reside in the county or city, and if such offices are not available in the courthouse, offices may be provided by the governing body, if they deem it proper, elsewhere than in the courthouse of the county or city.

Code 1950, § 15-689; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-258; 1984, c. 703; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1640. Renting rooms in courthouse.

With the approval of the judge of the circuit court for the county or for the city, any vacant rooms in the courthouse, after furnishing offices to the officers listed in § 15.2-1639, may be rented for a term of not exceeding one year to other persons for office purposes, and any public room or hall in the building may be hired for compensation for the purpose of giving public entertainments. All moneys received by the counties or cities under this section, shall constitute a fund to maintain and care for such building.

Code 1950, § 15-690; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-259; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1641. Leasing or other use of other buildings.

When the governing body of any county or city, pursuant to § 15.2-1638, has purchased or may hereafter purchase any land, a part of which has valuable buildings thereon, whether when so purchased or since constructed, and that portion of the land so occupied by such buildings, or the buildings thereon is, in the discretion of such governing body, not required for the purposes mentioned in § 15.2-1639, such governing body, if deemed proper by it, may either lease such building or buildings for private or other purposes, or remodel and use the same for other public purposes. However, the lease or use shall be first approved by the judge of the circuit court for the county or for the city, as the case may be, and such lease or use shall be terminated when, in the opinion of such judge, the building or buildings or the land occupied by the same, is needed for any of the purposes enumerated in § 15.2-1638.

Code 1950, § 15-691; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-260; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1642. Certain conveyances of courthouse grounds validated.

Any other provision of law to the contrary, notwithstanding, any conveyance made prior to January 1, 1954, by a county, of a portion of the county courthouse grounds, to a town to be used for public purposes, shall be in all respects valid.

Code 1950, § 15-692.1; 1954, c. 150; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-263; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1643. (Effective until January 1, 2022) Circuit courts to order court facilities to be repaired.

A. When it appears to the circuit court for any county or city, from the report of persons appointed to examine the court facilities, or otherwise, that the court facilities of such county or city are insecure, out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public, the court shall enter an order, in the name and on behalf of the Commonwealth against the supervisors of the county, or the members of the council of the city, as the case may be, to show cause why a mandamus should not issue, commanding them to cause the court facilities of such county or city to be made secure, or put in good repair, or rendered otherwise safe as the case may be, and to proceed as in other cases of mandamus, to cause the necessary work to be done. The court shall cause a copy of such order to be served upon each supervisor or member of the council, as the case may be.

B. Upon the entry of such order, as provided in subsection A hereof, the chief judge of the circuit shall forthwith notify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the entry thereof. Upon receipt of the notice, the Chief Justice shall assign a judge of a circuit remote from the circuit wherein the repairs are alleged to be necessary to hear and determine whether, after consideration of such matters as set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4, the court facilities are in fact insecure or out of repair or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public and the extent to which repairs, if any, are necessary.

Before a mandamus is issued, if the concerned governing body elects, or if the pleadings allege that the court facilities are in fact insecure or out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public, the local governing body shall appoint a five-member panel, three of whom shall be qualified by training and experience as either an architect or a professional engineer, not representing the same firms, to review the court facilities in question and make recommendations to the local governing body and circuit court judge assigned by the Chief Justice concerning the construction or repairs deemed necessary.

In making their recommendations, the panel shall consider matters such as, but not limited to, the following:

1. Security provisions to safeguard court personnel, participants and the public;

2. Efficient layout and circulation patterns to maximize public access, promote efficient operations, and accommodate the diverse users;

3. Provision of administrative and service areas, judges' chambers, hearing rooms, conference rooms, prison holding areas, and public information areas; and

4. Comfort, safety and obsolescence of the existing facility or any part thereof.

The existing facilities shall be considered in relationship to their location and the extent of their use, and their failure to meet any of these general considerations shall not necessarily be deemed a cause for determining them inadequate.

In making their recommendations, the panel may consult recognized national standard works in the field.

All costs, fees and expenses of the five-member panel, after approval by the local governing body, shall be paid by the county or city that appointed the panel.

C. If, after hearing, the court finds that the court facilities are not insecure or out of repair or otherwise unsafe, or having been in such condition, that the necessary repairs have been made, the court shall vacate the order. If the court finds that the court facilities are insecure or out of repair or otherwise unsafe, it shall issue its mandamus as provided in subsection A.

D. Appeals shall be allowed to the Supreme Court of Virginia as appeals from courts of equity are allowed.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a circuit court to require that an additional or replacement courthouse be constructed.

Code 1950, § 15-693.1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-267; 1975, c. 444; 1979, c. 507; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 758; 2012, cc. 805, 836.

§ 15.2-1643. (Effective January 1, 2022) Circuit courts to order court facilities to be repaired.

A. When it appears to the circuit court for any county or city, from the report of persons appointed to examine the court facilities, or otherwise, that the court facilities of such county or city are insecure, out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public, the court shall enter an order, in the name and on behalf of the Commonwealth against the supervisors of the county, or the members of the council of the city, as the case may be, to show cause why a mandamus should not issue, commanding them to cause the court facilities of such county or city to be made secure, or put in good repair, or rendered otherwise safe as the case may be, and to proceed as in other cases of mandamus, to cause the necessary work to be done. The court shall cause a copy of such order to be served upon each supervisor or member of the council, as the case may be.

B. Upon the entry of such order, as provided in subsection A hereof, the chief judge of the circuit shall forthwith notify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the entry thereof. Upon receipt of the notice, the Chief Justice shall assign a judge of a circuit remote from the circuit wherein the repairs are alleged to be necessary to hear and determine whether, after consideration of such matters as set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4, the court facilities are in fact insecure or out of repair or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public and the extent to which repairs, if any, are necessary.

Before a mandamus is issued, if the concerned governing body elects, or if the pleadings allege that the court facilities are in fact insecure or out of repair, or otherwise pose a danger to the health, welfare and safety of court employees or the public, the local governing body shall appoint a five-member panel, three of whom shall be qualified by training and experience as either an architect or a professional engineer, not representing the same firms, to review the court facilities in question and make recommendations to the local governing body and circuit court judge assigned by the Chief Justice concerning the construction or repairs deemed necessary.

In making their recommendations, the panel shall consider matters such as, but not limited to, the following:

1. Security provisions to safeguard court personnel, participants and the public;

2. Efficient layout and circulation patterns to maximize public access, promote efficient operations, and accommodate the diverse users;

3. Provision of administrative and service areas, judges' chambers, hearing rooms, conference rooms, prison holding areas, and public information areas; and

4. Comfort, safety and obsolescence of the existing facility or any part thereof.

The existing facilities shall be considered in relationship to their location and the extent of their use, and their failure to meet any of these general considerations shall not necessarily be deemed a cause for determining them inadequate.

In making their recommendations, the panel may consult recognized national standard works in the field.

All costs, fees and expenses of the five-member panel, after approval by the local governing body, shall be paid by the county or city that appointed the panel.

C. If, after hearing, the court finds that the court facilities are not insecure or out of repair or otherwise unsafe, or having been in such condition, that the necessary repairs have been made, the court shall vacate the order. If the court finds that the court facilities are insecure or out of repair or otherwise unsafe, it shall issue its mandamus as provided in subsection A.

D. Appeals shall be allowed to the Court of Appeals as appeals from courts of equity are allowed.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a circuit court to require that an additional or replacement courthouse be constructed.

Code 1950, § 15-693.1; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-267; 1975, c. 444; 1979, c. 507; 1997, c. 587; 2002, c. 758; 2012, cc. 805, 836; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 489.

§ 15.2-1644. Petition for removal of county courthouse; writ of election.

A. Whenever a number of voters equal to at least one third of the voters of a county registered in the county on the January 1 preceding filing of the petition, petition the circuit court of such county, or whenever the governing body of any county by resolution duly adopted requests the circuit court for such county, for an election in such county on the question of the removal of the courthouse to one or more places specified in the petition or resolution, such court shall issue a writ of election in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, which shall fix the day of holding such election. Such petition shall also state the amount to be appropriated by the board of supervisors for the purchase of land, unless the land is to be donated, and for the erection of necessary buildings and improvements at the new location.

B. If the courthouse is used before and after removal for any city as well as for the county, then the petition shall be signed by a number of voters equal to at least one-third of the total number of voters registered in the locality on the January 1 preceding filing of the petition. The registered voters of such city shall be eligible to sign the petition. The petition shall state the amounts to be appropriated by both the county and city. The voters of such city shall be eligible to vote in any election on the question of relocating the courthouse. The court shall issue a writ of election to such city the same as issued to and for the county.

The votes of such city voters shall be treated as if they were cast by qualified voters of the county for the purposes of these sections (§§ 15.2-1644 through 15.2-1654).

C. In the case of the removal of a county courthouse that is not located in a city or town, and that is not being relocated to a city or town, such removal shall not require a petition or approval by the voters. However, this subsection shall not apply to the removal or relocation of any county courthouse, whether located on county or city property, that is entirely surrounded by a city, and any such courthouse shall be removed or relocated only in accordance with the provisions of subsections A and B.

Code 1950, § 15-43; 1956, c. 95; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-559; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1975, c. 517; 1978, c. 380; 1997, c. 587; 2017, c. 487; 2018, c. 732.

§ 15.2-1645. How election held and conducted.

The election specified in § 15.2-1644 shall be held and conducted as other special elections are held and conducted.

Code 1950, § 15-44; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-560; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1646. Certification of result to board of supervisors; procuring land and buildings; relocation to contiguous or nearby land.

If it appears from the returns that a majority of the votes cast at the election specified in § 15.2-1644 are for the removal of the courthouse to one of the places specified in the petition or resolution, the results shall be certified to the board of supervisors of the county, with the amount authorized to be expended for land, if not donated, and for necessary buildings and improvements. If the vote is for removal, the board of supervisors shall at once proceed to acquire the necessary land at the new location, if the same has not been donated, and to erect the necessary buildings and improvements.

The relocation or expansion of a courthouse to (i) land contiguous with its present location, including contiguous property directly across a public right-of-way, or (ii) any property within 1,000 feet of the parcel upon which the courthouse is located, and within the same county, city, or town is not such a removal as to require authorization by the electorate.

The provisions of these sections requiring authorization by the electorate shall not apply, in the case of a joint court system, between Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, York County and the City of Poquoson, and Greensville County and the City of Emporia, to the relocation of the courthouse to other land within the localities which it serves, from its present location, if the governing bodies find by concurrent resolutions that the existing courthouse is inadequate and that renovation or expansion of the existing courthouse is not feasible.

Code 1950, § 15-45; 1956, c. 95; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-561; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1975, c. 59; 1976, c. 497; 1994, c. 504; 1997, cc. 587, 598; 2005, c. 36; 2018, c. 582; 2020, c. 139.

§ 15.2-1647. Removal of court.

As soon as the courthouse is completed, the board of supervisors shall certify the fact to the judge of the circuit court for the county, who shall, after sixty days' notice, to be published in a newspaper in the county if any, and if none, then in a newspaper having general circulation in the county, order his court to be held in the new location.

Code 1950, § 15-46; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-562; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1648. Donation of land and money.

Any town or individual may donate to the county the land necessary for its uses at any of the locations named in the petition, which shall not be less than one acre, and may offer as an inducement for such removal such sum of money as may be desired. Any offer to donate the land shall be accompanied by a deed for the land, to be regularly executed and placed in the hands of the clerk of the county. Any offer of money shall be accompanied by a certified check or other satisfactory security to be likewise placed in the hands of the clerk to be delivered by him to the treasurer of the county. If the location stated in the deed or offer of money is selected by the voters, the treasurer shall record the deed and collect and place the fund to the credit of the county to be drawn on by the board of supervisors as hereinafter directed.

Code 1950, § 15-47; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-563; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1649. Town may issue bonds to finance donation; election on bonds.

When any town desires to donate to the county any land or sums of money as an inducement for such removal and the town has not sufficient funds in its treasury as it may desire to offer, the town may borrow the money and issue its bonds therefor. Whenever a number of voters equal to at least twenty-five percent of the voters of such town, registered in the town on the January 1 preceding the filing of the petition, petition the circuit court for the county wherein such town is located for an election to be held on such bond issue, the circuit court shall, in accordance with Article 5 (§ 24.2-681 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 24.2, issue a writ of election, ordering a special election upon such bond issue, in which the date of holding such election in the town shall be fixed. Such petition shall state the purposes for which the proceeds of such bond issue shall be used, and the amount of such issue. The election shall be held and the vote canvassed and returns made in accordance with the requirements of the general election law, except that the certificate of the electoral board shall be as follows:

"We hereby certify that at the election held in the town of............ on the.......... day of.........., 20....., upon the question of a bond issue of.......... dollars, to be used as a donation to.......... county as an inducement for removal of the courthouse of the county to the town,..... votes were cast for the bond issue and..... votes were cast against the bond issue."

The ballots used in the election shall be as follows:

"Shall the Town of............. issue bonds to the amount of............ dollars to be used as a donation to.......... County, as an inducement for the removal of the courthouse?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The electoral board shall certify in duplicate the vote cast in such elections, for and against the bond issue, one of such certificates to be filed with the clerk of the county and the other with the judge of the circuit court.

Such election shall be subject to inquiry in the manner provided by § 15.2-1654.

Code 1950, § 15-48; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-564; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1650. When and how council to issue bonds; payment of interest; sinking fund.

If a majority of the voters in the town taking part in such election vote in favor of the bond issue, the council of the town may issue its bonds to the amount set out in the petition, either coupon or registered, signed by its mayor, and attested by the town clerk, and deliver the same to the clerk of the county as satisfactory security for the obligations imposed by this section. The council of the town may make annual appropriations out of the revenues of the town to pay the interest on the bonds and to provide a sinking fund for the redemption of the bonds by special levy or otherwise.

Code 1950, § 15-49; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-565; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1651. When supervisors may issue bonds of county.

If the land is not donated, and the fund offered is not sufficient to acquire the land and erect the necessary buildings, or if the land is donated and the fund offered is not sufficient for the purposes aforesaid, the board of supervisors may issue the bonds of the county to an amount which with the fund offered shall be equal to the amount set out in the petition, and the proceeds of the bonds with the amount donated shall constitute the fund out of which the land shall be acquired, if not donated, and the buildings erected and improvements made. If the financial condition of the county is such as to render the issue of bonds unnecessary, the supervisors may decline to issue them. However, the amount expended shall not exceed the amount named in the petition and authorized by the voters.

Code 1950, § 15-50; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-566; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1652. Form of ballots for county election on removal and appropriation; certificate of electoral board.

The ballots used in the election required by § 15.2-1644 shall be as follows:

"Shall the courthouse be removed to........., and shall the Board of Supervisors be permitted to spend $..... therefor?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No"

The manner of ascertaining the vote and making returns thereof shall conform in all respects to the requirements of the general election law, except that the certificate of the electoral board shall be as follows:

"We hereby certify, that at the election held on the.......... day of........., 20....., upon the question of removing the courthouse to.......... and permitting the expenditure of $..... therefor,..... votes were cast Yes; and..... votes were cast No."

Code 1950, § 15-51; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-567; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1977, c. 306; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1653. Ascertaining results.

The electoral board shall ascertain the vote from the returns, and shall certify in duplicate the votes cast for removal and authorizing the expenditure of the amount stated in the petition and against removal. One of the certificates shall be filed with the county clerk and the other with the judge of the circuit court.

Code 1950, § 15-52; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-568; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 42, 245; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1654. Contest of election.

Returns in such election shall be subject to the inquiry, determination and judgment of the circuit court for the county in which the election is held, upon complaint of fifteen or more voters of the county of an undue election or false return. The complaint shall fully set out the grounds of contest and, if any votes were improperly received or rejected, shall give a list of such votes, with objections to the action of the election officials in receiving or rejecting the same. Two of the persons making the complaint shall take and subscribe an oath that the facts therein stated are true to the best of their knowledge and belief. The complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which such election is held. Notice of contest, stating that the complaint has been filed in the clerk's office, shall be given by posting the same at the courthouse door and at two or more public places in the county, and by publishing it once a week for two successive weeks in some newspaper published in the county or, if there is none so published, then in some newspaper having general circulation in the county. The time and place of taking depositions, if any, shall be stated in the notice, which shall entitle the parties giving the notice to take the depositions to be read as evidence in the contest. The complaint shall be filed and notice given within ten days after the election, otherwise the complaint shall not be valid. Any one or more persons who voted at such removal election may, within thirty days from the election, file in the circuit court clerk's office an answer to the complaint, in which any of the allegations of the complaint may be denied, and any statement made going to show the regularity of the old election, and the propriety of the action of the election officials in receiving or rejecting the votes set out in the complaint, and a list of the votes he or they will dispute. If the respondents desire to take depositions, notice thereof shall be given to any one or more of the persons signing the complaint. If no answer is filed to the complaint within thirty days from the election, no one shall be heard to deny the allegations of the complaint, but the persons making the same shall prove the allegations thereof to the satisfaction of the court. The circuit court for the county in which the election is held, after the expiration of thirty days from the election, shall proceed to pass upon the complaint without a jury, on such depositions as may have been taken under the notices aforesaid, and upon such other legal testimony as may be adduced by either party at the hearing of the case. In judging such election and return, the court shall proceed on the merits thereof and decide the same on the Constitution and laws and according to the right of the case and shall enter such order as will carry its decision into full and complete effect. The judgment of the court shall be final.

Code 1950, § 15-53; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-569; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-1655. No other election held for ten years.

After an election has been held in any county upon the question of the removal of its courthouse, no other such election shall be held within ten years.

Code 1950, § 15-54; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-570; 1997, c. 587.

Article 9. Supplies and Equipment.

§ 15.2-1656. Supplies and equipment to be furnished to clerks of courts of record.

The governing body of each county and city shall, at the expense of the county or city, provide (i) suitable books and stationery, in addition to supplies furnished by the Commonwealth, for the use of clerks of all courts of record, together with appropriate cases and other furniture, for the safe and convenient keeping of all the books, documents and papers, in the custody of such officers; (ii) official seals for such officers; and (iii) such other office equipment, electronic or other systems, and appliances as in their judgment may be reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of such offices.

Code 1950, § 15-10.1; 1954, c. 652; 1956, c. 480; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-19; 1973, c. 544; 1980, c. 549; 1997, c. 587; 2014, cc. 360, 589.