Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 17.1. Courts of Record
Chapter 2. Clerks, Clerks' Offices and Records
5/26/2022

Article 6. Names, Discharges, Etc., of War Service Men.

§ 17.1-261. Recordation of names of men who served during World War I.

The clerk of the circuit court of each county or city shall preserve the book or books in which have been recorded the lists of the residents of such counties or cities, who became members of the military forces of the United States during World War I.

Any person who has joined either the naval or military forces of the United States or its allies, may have his name spread upon such record, upon application and proof of such service, or some person may make such application for him, and when done his name shall be placed upon the record.

The clerks shall be entitled to the fees allowed by law for copying in similar cases.

1918, p. 500, § 17-84; Michie Code 1942, § 5214a; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-262. Recordation of discharges of those who served in World War I.

Whenever the honorable discharge of any person who served in the military or naval forces of the United States or its associates during World War I, and who at the time of entering such service was a resident of Virginia shall be delivered to the clerk of any circuit court in this Commonwealth, the clerk shall record the same in the book hereinafter provided for. Copies of honorable discharges certified by the clerk shall be received as evidence of the facts therein stated.

1924, p. 471, 472, §§ 17-85, 17-86; Michie Code 1942, §§ 5214b, 5214d; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-263. World War I Memorial Record.

Each circuit court clerk shall maintain a loose-leaf binder suitable for permanent record purposes of such standard form as was prescribed by the Virginia World War I History Commission, and sufficient loose leaves printed in such blank form as was prescribed by such commission, known as the "World War I Memorial Record," which shall be a public record book of the clerk's office. The clerk shall record therein the honorable discharges.

If the clerk has recorded the honorable discharges in any other book prior to receipt of the special books, such prior recordations are hereby validated and approved. Recordations and certified copies thereof heretofore or hereafter furnished shall have the same force and effect as those provided by § 17.1-262 and whenever the World War I History Commission shall have approved the form of the record book so previously in use, it shall be optional with the clerk to continue the use of such record book.

1924, p. 471, § 17-87; Michie Code 1942, § 5214c; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-264. Recording information on discharges of World War II servicemen.

A. When the honorable or dishonorable discharge of any person who served in the armed forces of the United States, or its associates, during World War II and who was a resident of the county or city at the time of his induction is presented, the clerk shall record the information contained therein in the proper spaces provided for such purpose in the book known as "Induction and Discharge Record, World War II." If the induction record of the veteran presenting a discharge for recordation is not already recorded, the clerk shall ascertain this information and record it along with the discharge.

B. Such record book shall be kept in the clerk's office as a public record and shall be paid for by the county or city, as other public record books are paid for. It shall be standard loose-leaf construction, suitable for permanent record purposes, and shall consist of a binder with canvas jacket, an index and a quantity of sheets printed to provide space for (i) the induction record, (ii) the service record, and (iii) the discharge. Under clause (i) suitable headings and space for recording the induction information obtained from the draft boards shall be provided and under clauses (ii) and (iii) suitable headings and space for recording the information contained in the discharge papers shall be provided.

1944, p. 33, §§ 17-90, 17-91; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 3392a; 1998, c. 872.

§ 17.1-265. Recordation of evidence of discharge generally; confidentiality.

A. The clerk of the circuit court of the county or city wherein a person discharged from the armed forces of the United States resides shall record, upon presentation, free of charge, the original or a properly authenticated copy of either the discharge certificate or the report of separation from active duty (Department of Defense Document DD-214), or both.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 17.1-208, discharge certificates and reports of separation from active duty recorded pursuant to this section shall be open for inspection and copying only by the following:

1. The subject of the record;

2. The duly qualified conservator or guardian of the subject of the record;

3. The duly qualified executor or administrator of the estate of the subject of the record, if deceased, or, in the event no executor or administrator has qualified, the next of kin of the deceased subject;

4. An attorney, attorney-in-fact, or other agent or representative of any of the persons described in subdivision 1, 2 or 3, acting pursuant to a written power of attorney or other written authorization; or

5. A duly authorized representative of an agency or instrumentality of federal, state, or local government seeking the record in the ordinary course of performing its official duties.

Under the circumstances in which time is of the essence, including but not limited to, requests for copies of records attendant to the making of funeral arrangements or arrangements for medical care, the clerk, in ascertaining whether a person seeking access to discharge certificates or reports of separation from active duty is qualified to do so pursuant to this section, may rely upon the sworn statement of the requestor made in person before the clerk or his deputy.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the clerk may permit access to discharge certificates or reports of separation from active duty of deceased persons for bona fide genealogical or other research purposes.

1934, p. 99, § 17-92; Michie Code 1942, § 5214f; 1980, c. 392; 1998, c. 872; 2002, c. 299.