WVC 6 -
CHAPTER 6. GENERAL PROVISIONS RESPECTING OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 2. OFFICIAL AND OTHER BONDS.
§6-2-1. When official bonds to be given.
Any person appointed or elected to any office or position in
this state who is required by any statute to enter into or give
bond, unless otherwise provided, shall give his official bond
within sixty days after he has been appointed or duly declared
elected; but if at the time of his appointment or election he shall
be absent from the state, circuit, county or district for which he
is appointed or chosen, he shall give such bond within sixty days
after notice of his appointment or election. If no term of the
court or other tribunal authorized to take and approve such bond
shall be held within sixty days after the appointment or
declaration of the election of an officer required by law to give
bond and qualify before such court or tribunal, or after the
person, if absent from the state, county or district, is notified
of his appointment or election, he shall give bond at the first
term of such court or other tribunal next thereafter held:
That the state executive officers shall qualify on or
before the first Monday after the second Wednesday of January next
after their election: Provided further,
That any person appointed
or elected to fill a vacancy in any office shall give such bond
within ten days after notice of such appointment or election, if
the court or other tribunal authorized to take and approve such
bond shall sit within said period; otherwise, at the first sitting
of such court or other tribunal after notice of such appointment or
election. No person shall enter into or discharge any of the duties of his office until he shall have given the bond required of
him by law.
§6-2-2. How bonds made payable and proved; sureties.
Every official bond, and every bond required by law to be
taken or approved by, or given before, any court, board or officer,
shall, unless otherwise provided, be made payable to the state of
West Virginia, and shall be signed by one or more sureties deemed
sufficient by such court, board or officer, and be proved or
acknowledged before, or approved by, such court, board or officer.
§6-2-3. Condition; liability.
Unless otherwise specially provided, every bond required by
any statute of this state of any person undertaking an office or
employment shall be conditioned upon the faithful discharge by the
principal of the duties of his office or employment, and upon
accounting for and paying over, as required by law, all moneys
which may come into his possession by virtue of the office or
employment. The liability of the principal and his sureties upon
such bond shall extend to all moneys received by the principal by
virtue of his office or employment under the laws in effect at the
time of the execution of the bond, and to all money which shall
come into his possession by virtue of his office or employment
under the provisions of any law enacted during his continuance in
such office or employment.
§6-2-4. Failure to give bond; penalty for acting without giving
If any person elected or appointed to any office, or position,
of whom an official bond is required, shall fail to give the bond
within the time prescribed by law, the office or position shall be
deemed vacant; and any person who shall enter into or discharge any
of the duties pertaining to such office or position, before he
shall have given the bond required by law, shall forfeit not less
than fifty nor more than one thousand dollars.
§6-2-5. Bonds of officers appointed to fill vacancies.
The bond of any officer appointed to fill a vacancy until the
ensuing general election, or for the unexpired term, shall be in
the same penalty and contain like conditions as the bond required
by law of an officer for the regular or full term, and shall be
given before and approved by the same person, court or body
authorized to take and approve the bond of a person elected or
appointed to such office for the full term.
§6-2-6. Bonds of certain state officers.
The following officers shall give bonds to be approved by the
governor, in the penalties hereinafter named: Secretary of state,
twenty-five thousand dollars; auditor, fifty thousand dollars;
treasurer, five hundred thousand dollars; state superintendent of
free schools, three thousand dollars; and commissioner of
agriculture, five thousand dollars.
§6-2-7. Approval of form and execution by attorney general.
Every bond requiring the approval of the governor, the board
of public works, the state commissioner of public institutions, or
any other state officer, board or commission, shall be first
submitted to the attorney general, and if he be of opinion that the
bond is in proper form and regularly executed, he shall indorse
thereon his approval of its sufficiency in form and manner of
§6-2-8. Bond of clerk of supreme court of appeals.
The clerk of the supreme court of appeals shall give bond, to
be approved by said court, in a penalty of not less than three
thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars, as the court shall
§6-2-9. Where bonds of clerk and state officers filed and
The bond of the clerk of the supreme court of appeals, and the
bond of any state officer or employee that is required to be
approved by the governor, the board of public works, the state
commissioner of public institutions, or any other state officer,
board or commission, except the bond of the secretary of state,
shall be filed and recorded in the office of the secretary of
state, and the bond of the secretary of state shall be filed and
recorded in the office of the auditor and a certified copy thereof
in the office of the secretary of state.
§6-2-10. Bonds of county officers; required for deputy sheriffs.
Every commissioner of a county commission and every clerk of
a circuit court shall give bond with good security, to be approved
by the circuit court, or the judge thereof in vacation; and every
sheriff, deputy sheriff, surveyor of lands, clerk of a county
commission, assessor, county superintendent of schools, notary
public and magistrate shall give bond with good security, to be
approved, unless otherwise provided by law, by the county
commission of the county in which such officer is to act. The
penalty of the bond of each commissioner of a county commission
shall be not less than twenty thousand dollars and not more than
two hundred thousand dollars, the amount to be fixed by the circuit
court of the county, or the judge thereof in vacation, by order
entered of record on the proper order books of both the county and
circuit courts; of the clerk of the circuit court, not less than
ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars; of the sheriff,
not less than one hundred thousand dollars nor more than the
aggregate amount of all state, county, district, school, municipal
and other moneys which will probably come into his hands during any
one year of his term of office; of the deputy sheriff, not less
than thirty-five thousand nor more than one hundred thousand
dollars; of the surveyor of lands, not less than one thousand nor
more than three thousand dollars; of the clerk of the county
commission, not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand
dollars; of the assessor, not less than two thousand nor more than five thousand dollars; of the county superintendent of schools, not
less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars; of a
notary public, not less than two hundred fifty nor more than one
thousand dollars. Any public body required to pay the premiums on
official bonds may provide a blanket bond policy for two or more
such official bonds: Provided,
That the bond herein required to be
given by a notary public may be given before the clerk of the
county commission, in the vacation of said commission, and approved
by it at its next regular session.
For the purposes of this section, "deputy sheriff" shall mean
a person appointed by a sheriff as his deputy whose primary duty as
such deputy is within the scope of active, general law enforcement
and as such is authorized to carry deadly weapons, patrol the
highways, perform police functions, make arrests or safeguard
The bond described in this section is not required for deputy
sheriffs if a county purchases professional liability insurance
pursuant to the provisions of section three, article fourteen-a,
chapter seven of this code.
§6-2-10a. Additional bonds of county clerks.
The official bond provided for in section ten of this article,
relating to county clerks, shall be deemed to apply only to
collection of local fees. The state auditor, on behalf of the
general school fund, and the state conservation commissioner, on
behalf of the state conservation commission, shall require from the
county clerk of any county such additional bonds as are deemed
necessary, and in such amounts as are deemed adequate to protect
the general school funds and the state conservation funds in the
hands of such clerk. The auditor and the state conservation
commissioner shall require corporate surety bonds and pay the
necessary premiums from the said general school funds and the said
state conservation fund on said additional bonds, but the amount of
such additional bonds shall not exceed the amount of the state
funds handled by such clerk during the preceding fiscal year.
§6-2-11. Bonds of municipal officers.
Every officer or employee of a municipality who handles public
funds or property, and every other officer or employee of a
municipality of whom it shall be required, shall, unless otherwise
provided by law, give bond, with good security, to be approved by
the council or other similar body of such municipality, and in such
penalty as such council or other similar body shall prescribe,
conditioned upon the faithful discharge of the duties of his office
or employment and the faithful accounting for and paying over, as
required by law, of any funds or property coming into his
§6-2-12. Where certain bonds filed and recorded.
Every official bond given before, or approved by, the county
court or the clerk thereof, and every bond executed in any
proceeding before said court, including fiduciary bonds, and the
bond of the clerk of the circuit court, shall be filed in the
office of the clerk of the county court, and be recorded in a book
kept by him for the purpose, and labeled "Record of Bonds." Every
official bond given before, or approved by, the council or other
similar body of any municipality, and every official bond given
before, or approved by, any board of education of any magisterial
district or independent district, shall be filed and preserved in
the office of the recorder or clerk of such municipality, or in the
office of the clerk or secretary of such board of education, as the
case may be, and be recorded in the records of such council or
other similar body of the municipality, or of such board of
education, respectively, and a certified copy of every such bond
shall, by such recorder, clerk or secretary, be forthwith made and
filed in the office of the clerk of the county court of the county
of such municipality or board of education, and said last-mentioned
clerk shall record such copy in the book to be kept by him as
aforesaid. Every bond given before, or approved by, the circuit
court, or the judge thereof in vacation, or the clerk of such
court, and every bond filed in any civil suit or proceeding in any
circuit court, and the bond of the clerk of the county court, shall
be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court, and be recorded in a book kept by him for the purpose, and labeled "Record
of Bonds." Any bond required of the clerk of any criminal,
intermediate or other inferior court, shall be filed in the office
of the clerk of the county court, and be recorded as other bonds in
said office, and every bond taken in any proceeding in such
criminal, intermediate or inferior court, shall be filed and
recorded in the office of the clerk of such criminal, intermediate
or inferior court: Provided, however,
That where the bond of the
clerk of any court is herein required to be filed and recorded in
the office of the clerk of some other court, the clerk of the court
in whose office such bond is filed shall make and deliver to the
clerk filing the same a certified copy of the bond so filed, which
certified copy shall be filed and recorded in the office of the
clerk giving such bond.
§6-2-13. Copies to be sent to the state tax commissioner; penalty
for failure to send.
A copy of the official bond of every sheriff, assessor, clerk
of the circuit court, clerk of the county court or other tribunal
established in lieu thereof, clerk of the supreme court of appeals,
and notary public, shall be sent to the state tax commissioner by
the officer in whose office the original is filed, within two
months after the same is filed in his office. If the officer whose
duty it is so to send any such copy fail to do so within the time
specified, he shall forfeit fifty dollars.
§6-2-14. Requiring new or additional bonds; effect of failure to
Any court, board, or officer authorized to approve any
official bond may at any time require from any officer by whom any
such bond may have been given, a new bond, or an additional bond to
that already given, to be approved by such court, board or officer.
If the officer so required to give a new bond, or to give such
additional bond, shall, after being notified of the requirement,
fail to comply therewith within the time prescribed, his office
shall be deemed vacant, unless the time for giving such new or
additional bond be extended or the requirement withdrawn.
§6-2-15. How surety released from liability; requiring substitute
When a surety in an official bond, or his personal
representative, shall have reason to believe that he or the estate
of his decedent is likely to suffer pecuniary loss, in consequence
of such suretyship, he may file his petition before the court,
board or officer by whom such bond was approved, to be released
therefrom. The petition shall state the ground upon which his
belief is founded, and shall be verified by his affidavit. Upon
the filing of such petition and proof that a notice of the time and
place of filing the same has been served upon the principal in such
bond at least ten days before the filing thereof, in the manner
prescribed by law for the serving of notices, such court, board or
officer shall require a new bond to be given. And if any officer,
being so required, fail to give a new bond within the time
required, his office shall be deemed vacant, unless the time for
giving such new bond be extended or the requirement withdrawn.
And, except where otherwise provided, the surety in any bond, which
is required to be approved by any court, board or officer, or the
personal representative of any such surety, may be released from
liability in like manner.
§6-2-16. Effect of new or additional bond.
Where it is provided by any section of this article, or any
other section of this code, or shall be provided by any subsequent
statute, that any new bond, or bonds in addition to one already
given, may be required to be given by any officer, fiduciary, or
any other person, if such new bond, when required, be given and
accepted, the sureties in the former bond and their estates shall,
except in cases where it is otherwise expressly provided, be
discharged from all liability for any breach of duty committed by
their principal after such new bond is given and accepted. If such
additional bond, when required, be given and accepted, the former
bond shall continue in force and have the same effect in all
respects as if such additional bond had not been required, given,
and accepted; except that in such case the sureties in the
additional bond shall be jointly liable with the sureties in the
former bond for any breach of duty committed by their principal
after such additional bond was so given and accepted.
§6-2-17. Suits on bonds payable to state brought in name of state.
Upon any bond payable to the state of West Virginia, whether
heretofore or hereafter taken, suits may be prosecuted from time to
time in the name of the state, for the benefit of the state, or of
any county, district, corporation or person injured by a breach of
the condition of any such bond, until damages are recovered in the
aggregate equal to the penalty thereof.
§6-2-18. Proceedings must show for whose benefit prosecuted;
The proceedings in such suit must show for whose benefit it is
prosecuted; and the party for whose benefit it is prosecuted shall
be liable for costs if the judgment be for the defendant; and the
court may, in its discretion, require security for costs from such
party, according to the principles and usages of law.
§6-2-19. When bonds may be required of other officers and
Any board, commission or officer who has authority by law to
appoint to office, or to employ any person in behalf of the state,
or to place any person in charge of any property belonging to the
state, or to authorize such person to receive into his custody
moneys, securities or property belonging to the state, and of whom
a bond is not otherwise required by law, may require of such person
a bond in such penalty as such board, commission or officer may
prescribe, and conditioned and payable as official bonds.
§6-2-19a. Oaths and bonds of employees and deputies of tax
The tax commissioner shall require every employee and deputy
who collects fees or handles funds, or who has custody of
equipment, supplies, and other property belonging to the state, to
take the oath prescribed by section 5, article IV of the state
constitution; and he shall require every employee and deputy to
furnish, or he shall himself obtain, a bond, insurance policy,
indemnity contract, or other contract, protecting and indemnifying
the state against any and all loss or damage that may be occasioned
by the failure of the employee or deputy faithfully to perform the
duties pertaining to his employment, and to account for, pay over
and deliver to the proper officer or agent of the tax commissioner
or state, all moneys and other property which may come into his
custody or under his control by virtue of his employment. Such
bond, insurance policy, indemnity contract, or other contract,
shall be in such form, and in such sum, and with such security, as
may be prescribed or approved by the tax commissioner, and may
cover any one employee or deputy or any number of employees or
deputies. The premiums for all such bonds, insurance policies,
indemnity contracts, or other contracts, shall be paid by the tax
§6-2-20. Premiums to be allowed on official bonds.
Every officer or employee who is paid a salary, and who is
required to give an official bond by virtue of the provisions of
this article, and who furnishes a surety company bond, shall be
reimbursed by the state, county, municipality or board of
education, as the case may be, for the actual premium paid to the
surety company for such bond, in an amount not exceeding seven
dollars and a half per thousand per annum.
§6-2-21. Bonds taken for persons in custody.
No officer, by color of his office, shall take any obligation,
otherwise than is directed by law, of or for any person in his
custody. If he does the same shall be void.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.