Subtitle 1. General Provisions

Cross References. Annual list of eligible banks for deposits by local governments, § 19-8-105.

Emergency temporary location for political subdivisions, § 14-14-308.

Immunity from tort liability, § 16-120-101 et seq.

Chapter 1 General Provisions

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2015, No. 1070, § 71, provided: “ARKADELPHIA 2025 COMMISSION.

“(a) There is hereby created the Arkadelphia 2025 Commission to be composed of the Mayor, City Manager, and Chairman of the City Planning Commission of Arkadelphia, the Superintendent of the Arkadelphia Public School District, the member of the Arkansas House of Representatives representing the Arkadelphia area, the member of the Arkansas Senate representing the Arkadelphia area, the County Judge of Clark County, the Presidents of Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University, the President and Executive Secretary of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and at least an equal number of citizens of the Arkadelphia area to be appointed by the members just named. The Commission shall be as broadly based as possible to represent all the diverse interests and to represent every race, gender, income level, and geographic area.

“(b) The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

“(1) Determine the immediate needs of Arkadelphia and its surrounding area;

“(2) Determine the long-range needs and opportunities of the Arkadelphia area;

“(3) Seek and expend funds from all sources, both public and private;

“(4) Coordinate the activities of the various federal, state, and local agencies as well as the private sector in providing for the economic, social, and physical needs of the area;

“(5) To serve as the lead agency in the rebuilding and revitalization of the Arkadelphia area;

“(6) Adopt bylaws and establish goals; and

“(7) Perform all other powers and functions necessary to fulfill its duties.

“(c) The Commission shall be subject to audit by the Division of Legislative Audit [Arkansas Legislative Audit].

“The provisions of this section shall be in effect only from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.”

Acts 2016, No. 251, § 71, provided: “ARKADELPHIA 2025 COMMISSION.

“(a) There is hereby created the Arkadelphia 2025 Commission to be composed of the Mayor, City Manager, and Chairman of the City Planning Commission of Arkadelphia, the Superintendent of the Arkadelphia Public School District, the member of the Arkansas House of Representatives representing the Arkadelphia area, the member of the Arkansas Senate representing the Arkadelphia area, the County Judge of Clark County, the Presidents of Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University, the President and Executive Secretary of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and at least an equal number of citizens of the Arkadelphia area to be appointed by the members just named. The Commission shall be as broadly based as possible to represent all the diverse interests and to represent every race, gender, income level, and geographic area.

“(b) The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

“(1) Determine the immediate needs of Arkadelphia and its surrounding area;

“(2) Determine the long-range needs and opportunities of the Arkadelphia area;

“(3) Seek and expend funds from all sources, both public and private;

“(4) Coordinate the activities of the various federal, state, and local agencies as well as the private sector in providing for the economic, social, and physical needs of the area;

“(5) To serve as the lead agency in the rebuilding and revitalization of the Arkadelphia area;

“(6) Adopt bylaws and establish goals; and

“(7) Perform all other powers and functions necessary to fulfill its duties.

“(c) The Commission shall be subject to audit by the Division of Legislative Audit.

“The provisions of this section shall be in effect only from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.”

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2020, No. 2, § 68, provided: “ARKADELPHIA 2025 COMMISSION.

“(a) There is hereby created the Arkadelphia 2025 Commission to be composed of the Mayor, City Manager, and Chairman of the City Planning Commission of Arkadelphia, the Superintendent of the Arkadelphia Public School District, the member of the Arkansas House of Representatives representing the Arkadelphia area, the member of the Arkansas Senate representing the Arkadelphia area, the County Judge of Clark County, the Presidents of Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University, the President and Executive Secretary of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and at least an equal number of citizens of the Arkadelphia area to be appointed by the members just named. The Commission shall be as broadly based as possible to represent all the diverse interests and to represent every race, gender, income level, and geographic area.

“(b) The Commission shall have the following powers and duties:

“(1) Determine the immediate needs of Arkadelphia and its surrounding area;

“(2) Determine the long-range needs and opportunities of the Arkadelphia area;

“(3) Seek and expend funds from all sources, both public and private;

“(4) Coordinate the activities of the various federal, state, and local agencies as well as the private sector in providing for the economic, social, and physical needs of the area;

“(5) To serve as the lead agency in the rebuilding and revitalization of the Arkadelphia area;

“(6) Adopt bylaws and establish goals; and

“(7) Perform all other powers and functions necessary to fulfill its duties.

“(c) The Commission shall be subject to audit by the Division of Legislative Audit.

“The provisions of this section shall be in effect only from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021”.

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, No. 1076, § 1: effective by its own terms Jan. 1, 2020.

14-1-101. Sport shooting ranges and sports facilities.

  1. A sport shooting range or sports facility that is not in violation of a state law or an ordinance of a local unit of government prior to the enactment of a new ordinance of a local unit of government affecting the range or facility may continue to operate even if, at or after the time of enactment of the new ordinance affecting the range or facility, the operation is not in compliance with the new ordinance.
  2. No new ordinance of a local unit of government shall prohibit a sport shooting range or sports facility that is in existence on August 12, 2005, from doing any of the following within its existing geographic boundaries:
    1. Repairing, remodeling, or reinforcing any building or improvement as may be necessary in the interest of public safety or to secure the continued use of the building or improvement;
      1. Reconstructing, repairing, rebuilding, or resuming the use of a facility or building damaged by fire, collapse, explosion, act of nature, or act of war occurring after August 12, 2005.
      2. The reconstruction, repair, or rebuilding shall be completed within one (1) year following the date of the damage or settlement of any property damage claim. If reconstruction, repair, or rebuilding is not completed within one (1) year, the reconstruction, repair, or rebuilding may be terminated in the discretion of the local unit of government;
    2. Expanding or enhancing its membership or opportunities for public participation; or
    3. Reasonably expanding or increasing facilities or activities.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this section, this section shall not prohibit a local unit of government from regulating the location and construction of a sport shooting range or sports facility.
  4. As used in this section:
    1. “Local unit of government” means a county, city of the first class, city of the second class, or incorporated town;
    2. “New ordinance” also includes an ordinance or an amendment to an existing ordinance;
    3. “Sport shooting range” means an area designed and operated for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder, or any other similar sport shooting; and
      1. “Sports facility” means a baseball field, basketball court, gymnasium, golf course, soccer field, swimming pool, tennis court, or other facility for recreational sports.
      2. “Sports facility” does not include a facility for go-carts, motorcycles, motor vehicles, or other motorized conveyances.

History. Acts 2005, No. 1011, § 1.

14-1-102. Noncriminal fingerprinting — Fee.

A local law enforcement agency may charge a reasonable fee for noncriminal fingerprinting services to offset the cost of expenses associated with offering a noncriminal fingerprinting service.

History. Acts 2015, No. 163, § 1.

14-1-103. Sanctuary policies prohibited — Definition. [Effective January 1, 2020.]

    1. A municipality shall not enact or adopt a sanctuary policy.
    2. A municipality that enacts or adopts a sanctuary policy is ineligible for discretionary moneys provided through funds or grants administered by the state until the sanctuary policy is repealed or no longer in effect.
  1. As used in this section, “sanctuary policy” means an order, ordinance, or law enforcement policy, whether formally enacted or informally adopted by custom or practice, that:
    1. Limits or prohibits a municipal official or person employed by the municipality from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies or officials to verify or report the immigration status of a person within the municipality;
    2. Grants to illegal immigrants the right to lawful presence or status within the municipality in violation of federal law;
    3. Violates 8 U.S.C. § 1373, as in effect January 1, 2019;
    4. Restricts or imposes any conditions upon the municipality's cooperation or compliance with detainers or other requests from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain custody of an immigrant or to transfer an immigrant to the custody of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
    5. Requires United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain a warrant or demonstrate more than probable cause before complying with detainers or other legal and valid requests from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain custody of an immigrant or to transfer an immigrant to the custody of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; or
    6. Prevents law enforcement officers from asking a person about his or her citizenship or immigration status.
    1. Upon receiving a complaint from a resident of the state of a violation of this section by a municipality, the Attorney General shall issue an opinion stating whether the municipality is in violation of this section.
    2. If the Attorney General issues an opinion stating that the municipality has enacted or adopted a sanctuary policy that violates this section, the municipality is ineligible to receive discretionary moneys provided through funds or grants administered by the state until the Attorney General certifies that the sanctuary policy is repealed or no longer in effect.
    1. Before the provision of funds or the award of grants is made to a municipality, a member of the General Assembly may request that the Attorney General issue an opinion stating whether the municipality has current policies in violation of this section.
    2. A municipality deemed ineligible for discretionary moneys under this section is ineligible to receive discretionary moneys provided through funds or grants administered by the state until the Attorney General certifies that the municipality is in full compliance with this section.
  2. A municipality may appeal a decision of the Attorney General under this section to the Pulaski County Circuit Court.
  3. Records created in connection with administrative investigations related to this section are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq.

History. Acts 2019, No. 1076, § 1.

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, No. 1076, § 1: effective by its own terms Jan. 1, 2020.

Subchapter 2 — Flags

14-1-201. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

    1. “Flag of the United States” means the flag of the United States made of fabric, cloth, or paper suitable for display from a pole or staff, or in a window, and with dimensions not larger than ten feet (10') in length or eight feet (8') in width.
    2. “Flag of the United States” does not mean a depiction or emblem of the flag of the United States made in or of lights, paint, roofing, siding, paving materials, flora, balloons, or any other similar building, landscaping, or decorative components;
  1. “Legal right” means the freedom of use and enjoyment generally exercised by the owners and occupiers of land; and
  2. “Local government” means:
    1. A county;
    2. A city of the first class or city of the second class;
    3. An incorporated town; or
    4. Any other district or political subdivision or any board, commission, or agency of these political subdivisions.

History. Acts 2003, No. 1106, § 1.

14-1-202. Local government may not prohibit the flying of the flag of the United States.

  1. A local government shall not adopt any ordinance, regulation, or policy that prohibits or restricts a resident from properly displaying a flag of the United States on the resident's person, property, or motor vehicle unless the flag is used as, or in conjunction with, an advertising display.
    1. This section shall not prevent a local government from imposing reasonable restrictions as to the time, place, and manner of displaying the flag of the United States when necessary for the preservation of the public's health and safety or the public order.
    2. No restrictions solely to promote aesthetic considerations shall be imposed under subdivision (b)(1) of this section.

History. Acts 2003, No. 1106, § 2.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev.

Survey of Legislation, 2003 Arkansas General Assembly, Local Government, Flying United States Flag, 26 U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev. 434.

14-1-203. Private entity may not prohibit the flying of the flag of the United States.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person, homeowners' association, property owners' association, or other private entity shall adopt any rule, regulation, or policy or shall enter into any agreement or protective covenant that prevents any person or private entity that would otherwise have the legal right to properly display a flag of the United States on private property from exercising that right.
    1. Display of the flag may be restricted if the flag is used as, or in conjunction with, an advertising display.
    2. This section shall not apply to:
      1. Landlords of private rental property who operate fewer than twelve (12) rental units; and
      2. Property owned by churches or religious organizations.

History. Acts 2003, No. 1106, § 3.

14-1-204. Liability for costs and attorney's fees.

A prevailing party in an action to enforce the legal right to fly a flag of the United States shall be entitled to recover the court costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred.

History. Acts 2003, No. 1106, § 4.

Subchapter 3 — Adult-Oriented Businesses in Proximity to Locations Frequented by Children

14-1-301. Findings and legislative intent.

  1. The purpose of this subchapter is to establish requirements governing the location of adult-oriented businesses in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare and to prevent criminal activity.
  2. Based on evidence of the adverse secondary effects of adult-oriented businesses and on findings discussed in cases, including City of Los Angeles v. Alameda Books, Inc., 535 U.S. 425 (2002), Erie v. PAP's A.M., 529 U.S. 277 (2000), City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986), and Young v. American Mini Theatres, 427 U.S. 50 (1976), the General Assembly finds that:
    1. Adult-oriented businesses, as a category of commercial land uses, are associated with a wide variety of adverse secondary effects, including a negative impact on surrounding properties, personal and property crime, illicit drug use and trafficking, lewdness, prostitution, potential spread of disease, and sexual assault;
    2. Adult-oriented businesses should be separated from schools, playgrounds, places of worship, and other places frequented by children to minimize the impact of the secondary effects of the adult-oriented businesses on schools, playgrounds, places of worship, and other places frequented by children; and
      1. There is a substantial government interest in preventing each of the negative secondary effects described in subdivision (b)(1) of this section.
      2. The substantial government interest exists independently of any comparative analysis between adult-oriented businesses and nonadult-oriented businesses.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-302. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

  1. “Adult arcade” means any place where the public is permitted or invited and where a still or motion picture machine, projector, or other image-producing device is:
    1. Coin-operated or slug-operated or electronically, electrically, or mechanically controlled; and
    2. Maintained to show an image or images involving a specific sexual activity or a specific anatomical area to a person in a booth or viewing room;
  2. “Adult bookstore or video store” means a commercial establishment that offers for sale or rent any of the following as one (1) of its principal business purposes:
    1. A book, magazine, periodical or other printed matter, photograph, film, motion picture, videocassette, reproduction, slide, or other visual representation that depicts or describes a specific sexual activity; or
    2. An instrument, a device, or paraphernalia that is designed for use in connection with a specific sexual activity;
  3. “Adult cabaret” means any nightclub, bar, restaurant, or other similar commercial establishment that regularly features a:
    1. Person who appears in a state of nudity or who is seminude;
    2. Live performance that is characterized by the exposure of a specific anatomical area or a specific sexual activity; or
    3. Film, motion picture, videocassette, slide, or other photographic reproduction that is characterized by the depiction or description of a specific sexual activity or a specific anatomical area;
  4. “Adult live entertainment establishment” means an establishment that features either a:
    1. Person who appears in a state of nudity; or
    2. Live performance that is characterized by the exposure of a specific anatomical area or a specific sexual activity;
  5. “Adult motion picture theater” means a commercial establishment in which for any form of consideration a film, motion picture, videocassette, slide, or other similar photographic reproduction characterized by the depiction or description of a specific sexual activity or a specific anatomical area is predominantly shown;
  6. “Adult-oriented business” means an adult arcade, an adult bookstore or video store, an adult cabaret, an adult live entertainment establishment, an adult motion picture theater, an adult theater, a massage establishment that offers adult services, an escort agency, or a nude model studio;
  7. “Adult theater” means a theater, a concert hall, an auditorium, or a similar commercial establishment that predominantly features a person who appears in a state of nudity or who engages in a live performance that is characterized by the exposure of a specific anatomical area or a specific sexual activity;
  8. “Child care facility” means a facility that is licensed by the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education of the Department of Human Services to provide care or supervision for minor children;
  9. “Escort” means a person who:
    1. For consideration agrees or offers to act as a date for another person; or
    2. Agrees or offers to privately model lingerie or to privately perform a striptease for another person;
  10. “Escort agency” means a person or business association that furnishes, offers to furnish, or advertises the furnishing of an escort as one (1) of its primary business purposes for any fee, tip, or other consideration;
  11. “Local unit of government” means a city of the first class, a city of the second class, an incorporated town, or a county;
  12. “Massage establishment that offers adult services” means an establishment that offers massage services characterized by an emphasis on a specific sexual activity or a specific anatomical area;
  13. “Nude”, “nudity”, or “state of nudity” means any of the following:
    1. The appearance of a human anus, human genitals, or a female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola; or
    2. A state of dress that fails to opaquely cover a human anus, human genitals, or a female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola;
    1. “Nude model studio” means a place where a person who appears in a state of nudity or who displays a specific anatomical area is observed, sketched, drawn, painted, sculptured, photographed, or otherwise depicted by another person for money or other consideration.
    2. “Nude model studio” does not include a proprietary school that is licensed by this state, a college, community college, or university that is supported entirely or in part by taxation, a private college or university that maintains and operates educational programs in which credits are transferable to a college, community college, or university that is supported entirely or in part by taxation, or a structure containing an establishment to which the following apply:
      1. A sign is not visible from the exterior of the structure and no other advertising appears indicating that a nude person is available for viewing;
      2. A person must enroll at least three (3) days in advance of a class in order to participate; and
      3. No more than one (1) nude or seminude model is on the premises at a time;
  14. “Park” means any area primarily intended for recreational use that is dedicated or designated by any federal, state, or local unit of government, local agency or entity, or any private individual, business, or group including any land leased, reserved, or held open to the public for use as a park;
  15. “Place of worship” means a structure where persons regularly assemble for worship, ceremonies, rituals, and education relating to a particular form of religious belief and which a reasonable person would conclude is a place of worship by reason of design, signs, or architectural features;
  16. “Playground” means any:
    1. Public park or outdoor recreational area with play equipment installed and designed to be used by children; and
    2. Outdoor recreational area with play equipment installed that is owned and operated by a charitable organization or a business;
  17. “Public library” means:
    1. A city library established under § 13-2-501 et seq.;
    2. A county library established under § 13-2-401 et seq.;
    3. A joint city-county library established under § 13-2-401 et seq. or § 13-2-501 et seq.; and
    4. Any other library system established under § 13-2-401 et seq., § 13-2-501 et seq., or the Regional Library System Law, § 13-2-901 et seq.;
  18. “Recreational area or facility” means an area or facility open to the public for recreational purposes;
  19. “Residence” means a permanent dwelling place;
  20. “School” means a public or private elementary, secondary, charter, or postsecondary school;
  21. “Seminude” means a state of dress for which clothing covers no more than the genitals, the pubic region, and a female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola, as well as portions of the body that are covered by supporting straps or devices;
  22. “Specific anatomical area” means any of the following:
    1. A human anus, genitals, pubic region, or a female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola that is less than completely and opaquely covered; or
    2. Male genitals in a discernibly turgid state if less than completely and opaquely covered;
  23. “Specific sexual activity” means any of the following:
    1. A sex act, actual or simulated, including an act of human masturbation, sexual intercourse, oral copulation, or sodomy; or
    2. Fondling or other erotic touching of a human genital, a pubic region, a buttock, an anus, or a female breast; and
  24. “Walking trail” means a pedestrian trail or path primarily used for walking but also for cycling or other activities.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-303. Location of adult-oriented businesses.

  1. An adult-oriented business shall not be located within one thousand feet (1,000') of a child care facility, park, place of worship, playground, public library, recreational area or facility, residence, school, or walking trail.
  2. For the purposes of this section, the measurement required in subsection (a) of this section shall be made in a straight line in all directions, without regard to intervening structures or objects, from the nearest point on the property line of a parcel containing an adult-oriented business to the nearest point on the property line of a parcel containing a child care facility, park, place of worship, playground, public library, recreational area or facility, residence, school, or walking trail.
  3. An adult-oriented business lawfully operating in conformity with this section is not in violation of this section if a child care facility, park, place of worship, playground, public library, recreational area or facility, residence, school, or walking trail subsequently locates within one thousand feet (1,000') of the adult-oriented business.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-304. County and municipal ordinances.

This subchapter does not prohibit a local unit of government from enacting and enforcing ordinances that regulate the location of adult-oriented businesses in a manner that is at least as restrictive as § 14-1-303.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-305. Civil action.

If there is reason to believe that a violation of this subchapter is being committed in any local unit of government:

  1. The county attorney of the county where the adult-oriented business is located shall maintain an action to abate and prevent the violation and to enjoin perpetually any person who is committing the violation and the owner, lessee, or agent of the building or place in or where the violation is occurring from directly or indirectly committing or permitting the violation; or
  2. A citizen of this state who resides in the county, city, or town where the adult-oriented business is located may in the citizen's own name maintain an action to abate and prevent the violation and to enjoin perpetually any person who is committing the violation and the owner, lessee, or agent of the building or place in or where the violation is occurring from directly or indirectly committing or permitting the violation.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-306. Criminal penalties.

    1. A violation of § 14-1-303 is a Class A misdemeanor.
    2. Each day of violation constitutes a separate offense.
  1. A person violating § 14-1-303 is subject to a fine under § 5-4-201 et seq. and a sentence of imprisonment under § 5-4-401 et seq.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-307. Exceptions.

This subchapter shall not apply to an adult-oriented business that is lawfully operating on or before July 31, 2007.

History. Acts 2007, No. 387, § 1.

14-1-308. Posting information about National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.

An entity governed by this subchapter shall post information about the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline as required under § 12-19-102.

History. Acts 2013, No. 1157, § 6.

Subchapter 4 — Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act

Effective Dates. Acts 2015, No. 137, § 2: Emergency clause failed to pass. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that there are seventy-five (75) counties and five hundred (500) cities and towns in the state; that each county, city, and town can create its own local system for dealing with discrimination; and that this act is immediately necessary to create uniformity regarding discrimination laws across the state. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

14-1-401. Title.

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act”.

History. Acts 2015, No. 137, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 2015, No. 137 became law without the Governor's signature.

14-1-402. Purpose — Finding.

  1. The purpose of this subchapter is to improve intrastate commerce by ensuring that businesses, organizations, and employers doing business in the state are subject to uniform nondiscrimination laws and obligations, regardless of the counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions in which the businesses, organizations, and employers are located or engage in business or commercial activity.
  2. The General Assembly finds that uniformity of law benefits the businesses, organizations, and employers seeking to do business in the state and attracts new businesses, organizations, and employers to the state.

History. Acts 2015, No. 137, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 2015, No. 137 became law without the Governor's signature.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev.

John M. A. DiPippa, Bias in Disguise: The Constitutional Problems of Arkansas’s Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, 37 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 469 (2015).

Case Notes

Ordinance Invalid.

City of Fayetteville Ordinance 5781 violated the Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, § 14-1-401 et seq., by extending the city's discrimination laws to include two classifications not previously included under state law, i.e., sexual orientation and gender identity, thereby creating a nonuniform nondiscrimination law. Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville, 2017 Ark. 49, 510 S.W.3d 258 (2017).

Ark. Const., Art. 12, § 4, states that “[n]o municipal corporation shall be authorized to pass any laws contrary to the general laws of the state”, and case law has held that municipal corporations have only the power bestowed on them by statute or the state constitution; therefore, city ordinances that conflict with state statutes are void under the Arkansas Constitution. Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville, 2019 Ark. 30, 565 S.W.3d 477 (2019).

Supreme Court's prior opinion and mandate operated as a binding adjudication that a Fayetteville ordinance violated Acts 2015, No. 137, codified as § 14-1-401 et seq., which prohibits a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. Because the circuit court exceeded its jurisdiction on remand in denying appellants' motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of the ordinance, its actions following remand were void. Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville, 2019 Ark. 30, 565 S.W.3d 477 (2019).

14-1-403. Prohibited conduct.

  1. A county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law.
  2. This section does not apply to a rule or policy that pertains only to the employees of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision.

History. Acts 2015, No. 137, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 2015, No. 137 became law without the Governor's signature.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev.

John M. A. DiPippa, Essay: Bias in Disguise: The Constitutional Problems of Arkansas’s Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, 37 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 469 (2015).

Case Notes

Ordinance Invalid.

City of Fayetteville Ordinance 5781 violated the Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act, § 14-1-401 et seq., by extending the city's discrimination laws to include two classifications not previously included under state law, i.e., sexual orientation and gender identity, thereby creating a nonuniform nondiscrimination law. Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville, 2017 Ark. 49, 510 S.W.3d 258 (2017).

Ark. Const., Art. 12, § 4, states that “[n]o municipal corporation shall be authorized to pass any laws contrary to the general laws of the state”, and case law has held that municipal corporations have only the power bestowed on them by statute or the state constitution; therefore, city ordinances that conflict with state statutes are void under the Arkansas Constitution. Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville, 2019 Ark. 30, 565 S.W.3d 477 (2019).

Supreme Court's prior opinion and mandate operated as a binding adjudication that a Fayetteville ordinance violated Acts 2015, No. 137, codified as § 14-1-401 et seq., which prohibits a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy that creates a protected classification or prohibits discrimination on a basis not contained in state law. Because the circuit court exceeded its jurisdiction on remand in denying appellants' motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of the ordinance, its actions following remand were void. Protect Fayetteville v. City of Fayetteville, 2019 Ark. 30, 565 S.W.3d 477 (2019).

Chapter 2 Public Records Generally

Research References

Am. Jur. 37A Am. Jur. 2d, F.O.I. Acts, § 14.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

Effective Dates. Acts 1941, No. 277, § 2: approved Mar. 26, 1941. Emergency clause provided: “The legislature having found that this act is necessary for the benefit of the people of the State of Arkansas, and in order to save them much trouble and expense, it is further found that an emergency exists, and this act being necessary for the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared, and this act shall become in full force and effect from and after its passage.”

Acts 1943, No. 147, § 4: approved Mar. 4, 1943. Emergency clause provided: “This Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health, and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.”

Acts 2003, No. 275, § 3: Feb. 28, 2003. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that for many years, veterans were advised to file their military service discharge records or DD Form 214 with the court recorder; that these forms contain sensitive information that can be used by identity thieves to obtain credit in the veteran's name or otherwise defraud the veteran or his or her family; in recent years, the incident of identity theft has increased; that incidents of identity thieves using the military service discharge records or DD Form 214 to obtain credit in the veteran's name or otherwise defraud the veteran or his or her family has occurred; that the effects on the veteran and the veteran's family are devastating; and that this act is immediately necessary to protect veterans and their families from identity theft by making military service discharge records or DD Form 214 filed with the county recorder confidential and not subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2017, No. 788, § 2: July 1, 2018.

14-2-101. Recording personalty in only one district.

  1. In counties within the State of Arkansas which have two (2) or more districts with two (2) or more county sites, where it is necessary to record certain written instruments affecting personal property as provided by law, the recording shall be necessary in only one (1) district of the county.
  2. The written instruments affecting personal property shall be recorded or filed for record in the district where the person executing the instrument resides, and it shall not be necessary to make any additional record thereof in the same county.

History. Acts 1941, No. 277, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-304.

Cross References. Recorders, § 14-15-401 et seq.

Records in multiple judicial districts, § 14-15-901.

Case Notes

Sebastian County.

The two districts of Sebastian County are, in effect, separate counties, so far as the recording requirements of § 18-50-103 are involved. Henson v. Fleet Mtg. Co., 319 Ark. 491, 892 S.W.2d 250 (1995).

14-2-102. Records of military discharges.

  1. It shall be the duty of the quorum court in each county of the State of Arkansas to appropriate from any moneys in the general fund any sum as may be necessary, not exceeding in any county the sum of one hundred dollars ($100), for providing a suitable record book for the purpose of recording military certificates of discharge.
  2. The record shall contain a complete copy of discharges and shall contain an index of the names of the discharged soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, members of the United States Coast Guard, merchant marines, members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, Women's Reserve of the United States Naval Reserve, nurses, and members of all other branches of the United States Armed Forces with reference to page, alphabetically arranged.
    1. A military service discharge record or DD Form 214, the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty of the United States Department of Defense, filed with the county recorder for a veteran discharged from service less than seventy (70) years from the current date shall be confidential, kept in a secure location, and may be viewed or reproduced only by:
      1. The veteran;
      2. The veteran's spouse or child;
      3. A person with a signed and notarized authorization from the veteran;
      4. A funeral director who:
        1. Is licensed and regulated by the State Board of Embalmers, Funeral Directors, Cemeteries, and Burial Services under § 23-61-1101 et seq.;
        2. Is assisting with the veteran's funeral arrangements; and
        3. Presents a signed and notarized authorization from the veteran's spouse, child, or next of kin;
      5. A county or state veterans' service officer who is assisting the veteran or the veteran's family with a veteran's benefit application; or
      6. A person authorized by a court to view or copy the military service discharge record or DD Form 214 upon presentation of a court order.
    2. The county recorder shall record the names and addresses of all persons viewing or copying a military service discharge record or DD Form 214 under this subsection.
    3. No fee shall be charged for reproduction costs under this subsection.
    4. Upon petition by a veteran or other requestor eligible to view the records who has a notarized authorization from the veteran, the court may order the removal of the records from the county recorder's record book.
    1. A military service discharge record for a veteran discharged from service more than seventy (70) years from the current date and filed with the county recorder shall be a public record.
    2. No fee shall be charged for reproduction cost under this subsection.
    1. The county recorder may maintain a record book that contains any of the following information about veterans for public record:
      1. Name;
      2. Rank;
      3. Unit of military service;
      4. Dates of military service;
      5. Medals conferred upon veterans; and
      6. Awards conferred upon veterans.
    2. If the county recorder does not maintain a record book, then upon specific request for the information, the county recorder shall review a military service discharge record or DD Form 214 and provide only the information in subdivision (e)(1) of this section to the requestor, without allowing the requestor to review the military service discharge record or DD Form 214.

History. Acts 1943, No. 147, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 11-1707; Acts 2003, No. 275, § 1; 2005, No. 2208, § 1; 2005, No. 2249, § 1; 2017, No. 788, § 4.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment substituted “State Board of Embalmers, Funeral Directors, Cemeteries, and Burial Services under § 23-61-1101 et seq.” for “State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors under § 17-29-201 et seq.” in (c)(1)(D)(i).

Effective Dates. Acts 2017, No. 788, § 2: July 1, 2018.

Cross References. Recording certificate of discharge, § 12-62-411.

Military discharge records exempted from the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-105(b)(15).

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev.

Survey of Legislation, 2003 Arkansas General Assembly, Local Government, Protection for Veterans, 26 U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev. 433.

14-2-103. Book defined.

In all county offices, unless the context or definition requires otherwise, “book” means either paper, electronic files, or information maintained in a computer, computer system or network, or other electronic information storage and retrieval system.

History. Acts 1999, No. 1239, § 1.

Subchapter 2 — Reproduction of Records

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1947, No. 218, is also codified as § 25-18-101.

Effective Dates. Acts 1947, No. 218, § 6: Mar. 18, 1947. Emergency clause provided: “There being no provision of law whereby photostatic microfilm or photographic reproductions of writings, documents, or records may be admissible in evidence, and because facilities for storage of public records are now taxed to capacity; and because space must be provided for such public records and because it is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety of the inhabitants of the state; an emergency exists within the meaning of the Constitution and this Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

14-2-201. Authority — Requirements.

  1. The head of any county or municipal department, commission, bureau, or board may cause any or all records kept by the official, department, commission, or board to be photographed, microfilmed, photostated, or reproduced on or by film, microcard, miniature photographic recording, optical disc, digital compact disc, electronic imaging, or other process that accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for reproducing the original when provided with equipment necessary for such method of recording.
  2. At the time of reproduction, the agency head shall attach his or her certificate to the record certifying that it is the original record, and the certificate shall be reproduced with the original.
  3. The device used to reproduce the records shall be such as to accurately reproduce and perpetuate the original records in all details.

History. Acts 1947, No. 218, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-501; Acts 2001, No. 1630, § 1.

Cross References. Photographic recording authorized, § 16-46-101.

14-2-202. Copy of record — Admissibility.

  1. The reproduction made in accordance with § 14-2-201, when satisfactorily identified, shall be admissible into evidence as provided in § 16-46-101 or any other provision of law or court rules governing the admission of evidence.
  2. For all purposes recited in this section, a facsimile, exemplification, or certified copy thereof shall be deemed to be a transcript, exemplification, or certified copy of the original.

History. Acts 1947, No. 218, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-502; Acts 2001, No. 1630, § 2.

14-2-203. Disposal, etc., of copied records.

  1. Whenever reproductions of public records have been made in accordance with § 14-2-201 and have been placed in conveniently accessible files or other suitable format and provision has been made for preserving, examining, and using them, the head of a county office or department or city office or department may certify those facts to the county court or to the mayor of a municipality, respectively, who shall have the power to authorize the disposal, archival storage, or destruction of the records.
  2. Cities of the first class, cities of the second class, and incorporated towns may by ordinance declare a policy of record retention and disposal, provided that:
    1. The city or town complies with any specific statute regarding municipal records; and
    2. The following records are maintained permanently in either the original or electronic format as required by law:
      1. Ordinances;
      2. City council minutes;
      3. Resolutions;
      4. Annual financial audits; and
      5. Year-end financial statements.

History. Acts 1947, No. 218, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-504; Acts 2001, No. 1630, § 3; 2005, No. 1252, § 1.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev.

Survey of Legislation, 2005 Arkansas General Assembly, Local Government, 28 U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev. 373.

14-2-204. Municipal police department records.

  1. All municipalities of the State of Arkansas shall maintain records for the city or town police department or marshal's office, if the records are currently being maintained, as follows:
    1. Maintain for seven (7) years after closure of the case file or permanently, as the municipality shall determine, provided that §§ 12-12-104 and 14-2-203(b)(1) are complied with and that records related to crimes of violence as defined by § 5-42-203 are maintained permanently:
      1. Closed municipal police case files for felony and Class A misdemeanor offenses; and
      2. Expungement orders of municipal police cases; and
    2. Maintain for three (3) years:
      1. Accident reports;
      2. Incident reports;
      3. Offense reports;
      4. Fine and bond records;
      5. Parking meter records;
      6. Radio logs and complaint cards; and
      7. Employment records, payroll sheets, time cards, and leave requests.
    1. If maintained for more than ten (10) years after the date the record was created, records under subdivision (a)(1) of this section may be copied and maintained in accordance with § 14-2-203.
    2. Records under subdivision (a)(2) of this section may be copied in accordance with § 14-2-203 or are subject to disposal after the specified time period has passed.

History. Acts 2003, No. 1187, § 1; 2005, No. 1252, § 2.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev.

Survey of Legislation, 2005 Arkansas General Assembly, Local Government, 28 U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev. 373.

Subchapter 3 — Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act

Effective Dates. Identical Acts 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), Nos. 2 and 3, § 129: May 23, 2016. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the membership and duties of certain agencies, task forces, committees, and commissions and repeals other governmental entities; that these revisions and repeals of governmental entities impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the provisions of this act should become effective as soon as possible to allow for implementation of the new provisions in advance of the upcoming fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

14-2-301. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the “Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act”.

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1.

14-2-302. Definitions.

In this subchapter:

  1. “Document” means information that is:
    1. inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form; and
    2. eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the county recorder.
  2. “Electronic” means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
  3. “Electronic document” means a document that is received by the county recorder in an electronic form.
  4. “Electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document.
  5. “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.
  6. “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1.

14-2-303. Validity of electronic documents.

  1. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be an original, be on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic document satisfying this subchapter.
  2. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be signed, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic signature.
  3. A requirement that a document or a signature associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal need not accompany an electronic signature.

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1.

14-2-304. Recording of documents.

  1. In this section, “paper document” means a document that is received by the county recorder in a form that is not electronic.
  2. A county recorder:
    1. who implements any of the functions listed in this section shall do so in compliance with standards established by the Electronic Recording Commission.
    2. may receive, index, store, archive, and transmit electronic documents.
    3. may provide for access to, and for search and retrieval of, documents and information by electronic means.
    4. who accepts electronic documents for recording shall continue to accept paper documents as authorized by state law and shall place entries for both types of documents in the same index.
    5. may convert paper documents accepted for recording into electronic form.
    6. may convert into electronic form information recorded before the county recorder began to record electronic documents.
    7. may accept electronically any fee, tax, or revenue stamp that the county recorder is authorized to collect.
    8. may agree with other officials of a state or a political subdivision thereof, or of the United States, on procedures or processes to facilitate the electronic satisfaction of prior approvals and conditions precedent to recording and the electronic payment of fees, taxes, or revenue stamps.
      1. may enter into an agreement with a private entity to perform the duties under this section, including without limitation receiving, reviewing, scanning, and transmitting documents for electronic recording.
      2. An agreement under subdivision (b)(9)(A) of this section shall be a uniform agreement reviewed and formally approved by the commission.

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1; 2017, No. 140, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The 2017 amendment to this section was not based upon an official revision of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment added (b)(9).

14-2-305. Administration and standards.

    1. An Electronic Recording Commission consisting of eleven (11) members appointed by the Governor is created to adopt standards to implement this subchapter.
    2. A majority of the members of the commission must be county recorders.
    3. A member of the commission must be an active state legislator.
    4. A member of the commission shall serve a term of two (2) years.
    5. The terms of the current commission members on July 31, 2009, shall expire on September 1, 2009.
    6. Each member of the commission may receive expense reimbursement in accordance with § 25-16-901 et seq.
  1. To keep the standards and practices of county recorders in this state in harmony with the standards and practices of recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact substantially this subchapter and to keep the technology used by county recorders in this state compatible with technology used by recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact substantially this subchapter, the Electronic Recording Commission, so far as is consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this subchapter, in adopting, amending, and repealing standards shall consider:
    1. Standards and practices of other jurisdictions;
    2. The most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry Association;
    3. The views of interested persons and governmental officials and entities;
    4. The needs of counties of varying size, population, and resources; and
    5. Standards requiring adequate information security protection to ensure that electronic documents are accurate, authentic, adequately preserved, and resistant to tampering.
    1. A staff member of the Association of Arkansas Counties shall be assigned to assist the Electronic Recording Commission.
    2. The staff member shall coordinate meetings, accumulate information, and provide general support to the commission.

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1; 2009, No. 725, § 1; 2011, No. 1157, §§ 1, 2; 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 2, § 27; 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 3, § 27.

A.C.R.C. Notes. The 2009, 2011, and 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.) amendments to this section were not based upon an official revision of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Identical Acts 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), Nos. 2 and 3, § 1, provided:

“(a) The General Assembly finds:

“(1) State government provides vital functions that impact the lives of Arkansas citizens on a daily basis;

“(2) While these functions are important, it is equally important to ensure that state government operates efficiently and effectively to eliminate unnecessary spending of tax dollars and provide timely and quality services to Arkansas citizens; and

“(3) Issues such as the administrative organization of a governmental entity, the appointment structure of a governmental entity's governing board, and extraneous duties assigned to governmental entities hamper the operation of state government and result in unnecessary expenses and delays in the provision of state services.

“(b) It is the intent of this act to amend provisions of law applicable to certain agencies, task forces, committees, and commission to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of state government as a whole.”

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted (a)(2) through (a)(5) and redesignated the remaining text of (a) accordingly.

The 2011 amendment substituted “eleven (11) members” for “nine (9) members” in (a)(1); inserted present (a)(3) and redesignated the remaining subdivisions accordingly; and added (c).

The 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.) amendment by identical acts Nos. 2 and 3 redesignated former (c) as (c)(1) and (2); substituted “Association of Arkansas Counties” for “Bureau of Legislative Research” in (c)(1); substituted “shall” for “will” in (c)(1) and (2); and made stylistic changes.

14-2-306. Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this Uniform Act, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1.

14-2-307. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

This subchapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 7001 et seq., but does not modify, limit, or supersede 15 U.S.C.S. § 7001(c) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in 15 U.S.C.S. § 7003(b).

History. Acts 2007, No. 734, § 1.

14-2-308. [Reserved.]

Publisher's Notes. Section 8 of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, the effective date clause, was not adopted in Arkansas.

Chapters 3-12 [Reserved.]

[Reserved]

Subtitle 2. County Government

Chapter 13 General Provisions

[Reserved]

Chapter 14 County Government Code

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp. & Coun., § 1 et seq.

Case Notes

In General.

The enabling legislation for Ark. Const. Amend. 55 was Acts 1977, No. 742, now codified as this chapter. Venhaus v. Adams, 295 Ark. 606, 752 S.W.2d 20 (1988).

Elections.

The amount allowed for voting machine preparation is not fixed by state law, and there is nothing in Ark. Const. Amend. 55, the revision of county government amendment, and nothing in this chapter, to prohibit or curtail the power of the quorum court from exercising its discretion on the amount to be allowed, so long as it is reasonable. Union County v. Union County Election Comm'n, 274 Ark. 286, 623 S.W.2d 827 (1981).

Cited: Kreutzer v. Clark, 271 Ark. 243, 607 S.W.2d 670 (1980).

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

Cross References. Arkansas Governmental Compliance Act, § 10-4-301 et seq.

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2009, No. 569, § 2: Mar. 24, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that some counties and county officials that have public records stored in an electronic record may not have complete access and control of the records and that this act is necessary because the lack of control has led or will lead to lawsuits of which the basis is the county officeholder's inability to access the county's own records. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2017, No. 751, § 9: Mar. 30, 2017. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that several uncodified acts involving the allocation of revenue within counties composed of dual judicial districts have been subject to misinterpretation by the courts; that to prevent litigation arising from varying interpretations of the uncodified acts, certain sections of these uncodified acts need to be repealed; and that this act is immediately necessary to ensure that the standard operating procedures of the affected counties and the Department of Finance and Administration are lawful. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

14-14-101. Title.

This chapter constitutes the Arkansas “County Government Code”.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3101.

Case Notes

Cited: Ark. County v. Burris, 308 Ark. 490, 825 S.W.2d 590 (1992).

14-14-102. County defined.

A county is a political subdivision of the state for the more convenient administration of justice and the exercise of local legislative authority related to county affairs and is defined as a body politic and corporate operating within specified geographic limitations established by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3201.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

Case Notes

Cited: Mosier v. Robinson, 722 F. Supp. 555 (W.D. Ark. 1989).

14-14-103. Construction.

  1. Except when a specific definition is given or a technical interpretation is required, words and phrases used in this chapter shall be construed according to their ordinary usage in the English language.
  2. Words in the present tense include the future tense.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3102.

14-14-104. Publication requirements.

  1. Unless otherwise specifically provided, when a county government is required to publish, publication shall be by a one-time insertion in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
  2. Where no newspaper of general circulation exists in a county, publication may be made by posting in three (3) public places which have been designated by ordinance.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3103.

14-14-105. Notice by publication.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, when notice of a hearing or other official act is required by a county government, the following provisions shall apply:

  1. The notice shall be published two (2) times with at least six (6) days separating each publication. The first publication shall be no more than thirty (30) days prior to the action, and the last publication shall be no less than three (3) days prior to the action;
  2. The published notice shall contain:
    1. The date, time, and place at which the hearing or other action will occur;
    2. A brief statement of the action to be taken; and
    3. Any other information which may be required by the specific provision of law requiring notice.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3104.

14-14-106. Notice by mailing.

    1. Notice by mailing shall be as provided by law or the ordinance of the county quorum court providing for notice by mailing.
    2. In those instances where a county government requires that notice of hearing or other official act be given by mail and the procedures therefor are not set forth by law or ordinance, the notice by mailing shall be made not less than seven (7) days nor more than thirty (30) days prior to the action to be taken, and the requirements of the notice shall be met by:
      1. Deposit of the notice properly addressed in the United States mail, with postage paid at the first-class rate;
      2. Sending the notice by registered or certified mail rather than first class; or
      3. Mailing the notice at the bulk rate instead of first class when notice is to be given by mail to all electors or residents of a county government.
  1. All notices by mailing shall contain:
    1. The date, time, and place at which the hearing or other action will be taken;
    2. A brief statement of the action to be taken; and
    3. Any other information required by the specific section requiring mail notice.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 5; 1979, No. 413, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3105.

14-14-107. Petitions.

  1. Requirements. Whenever a petition is authorized in the conduct of county affairs, except initiative and referendum petitions as provided in §§ 14-14-914 — 14-14-918, unless the statute authorizing the petition establishes different criteria, the petition shall be valid if it is signed by fifteen percent (15%) of the qualified electors of the county or portion of the county affected by the petition, with the number of electors of the county or portion of the county to be determined in the manner set forth in subdivision (a)(6) of this section, and if the petition meets the following requirements:
    1. Qualified Electors. Petitions shall be signed only by qualified electors of the county in which the measure of local application is sought by petition. A qualified elector shall be defined as any person duly registered and qualified to vote pursuant to the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 51;
    2. Signatures.
      1. The signatures on all petitions shall be the signatures evidenced by voter registration. A signature which is in substantial compliance with these requirements and which is readily identifiable from the additional information required from the signer on the petition shall be counted as sufficient.
      2. Penalty for Fraudulent Signature. Any person who shall sign any name other than his or her own to a petition, who shall knowingly sign his or her name more than once for the same measure, or who shall sign the petition when he or she is not a legal voter of the county when the measure is of local application to the county only shall be guilty of a felony and may be imprisoned in the state penitentiary for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years;
    3. Statement of Purpose. The petition shall contain a statement of the purpose for which it is circulated sufficient to meet the specific criteria set out in the statute authorizing the petition;
    4. Filing of Petitions. All petitions relating to county affairs shall be directed to the judge of the county court and filed with the county clerk. All petitions, upon verification of sufficiency by the county clerk, shall be referred to the county quorum court during the next regular meeting of that body for consideration and disposition. However, a special meeting of the quorum court may be called as provided by law for the consideration and disposition of petitions;
    5. Verification of Petitions.
      1. Only legal voters shall be counted upon petitions.
        1. Petitions may be circulated and presented in parts, but each part of any petition shall have attached to it the affidavit of the persons circulating the petition affirming that:
          1. All signatures on the petition were made in the presence of the affiant; and
          2. To the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief, each signature is genuine and the person signing is a legal voter.
        2. No other affidavit or verification shall be required to establish the genuineness of signatures under subdivision (a)(5)(B)(i) of this section;
    6. Sufficiency of Petitions. The sufficiency of all county petitions shall be decided in the first instance by the county clerk, subject to review by the circuit court. The number of signatures required in a county petition shall be based on the total number of votes cast in the last general election for the office of circuit clerk, or the Office of Governor in cases where the office of circuit clerk may have been abolished;
    7. Challenge of Petition. If the sufficiency of any petition is challenged, that cause shall be a preference cause and shall be tried at once. However, the failure of the courts to reach a decision prior to the election, if an election is required, as to the sufficiency of any petition shall not prevent the question from being placed upon the ballot at the election named in the petition, nor militate against the validity of the measure if it shall have been approved by a vote of the people; and
    8. Amendment of Petitions. If the county clerk shall decide any petition to be insufficient, without delay he or she shall notify the sponsors of the petition and permit at least thirty (30) days from the date of the notification for correction. In the event of legal proceedings to prevent giving legal effect to any petition upon any grounds, the burden of proof shall be upon the person attacking the validity of the petition.
  2. Unwarranted Restrictions Prohibited.
    1. No law shall be passed to prohibit any person from giving or receiving compensation for circulating petitions, nor to prohibit the circulation of petitions, nor in any manner to interfere with the freedom of the people in procuring petitions.
    2. Laws shall be enacted prohibiting and penalizing perjury, forgery, and all other felonies or other fraudulent practices in the securing of signatures or filing of petitions.
  3. Declaration of Sufficiency. Within ten (10) calendar days from the date a petition was filed with the county clerk, the clerk shall determine the adequacy of the petition.
  4. Withdrawal of Signatures. Any person may in writing withdraw his or her signature from a petition at any time prior to the time of filing the petition with the county clerk. Unless otherwise specifically provided by law, no elector shall be permitted to withdraw his or her signature from a petition after it has been filed.
  5. Publication — Costs. All petitions under the provisions of this section shall be published as provided by law. All costs of any petition shall be borne by the petitioners.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 6; 1979, No. 413, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3106; Acts 2019, No. 383, § 1.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment added the (a)(5)(A) through (a)(5)(B) designations; in (a)(5)(B)(i), substituted “to it” for “thereto” and substituted “the petition” for “them”; substituted “on the petition” for “thereon” in (a)(5)(B)(i) (a) ; and added “under subdivision (a)(5)(B)(i) of this section” in (a)(5)(B)(ii).

14-14-108. Public hearings.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, when a county court or county quorum court is required to conduct a public hearing for the purpose of providing reasonable opportunity for citizen participation prior to any final decision by either court, the hearing shall meet the following requirements:

  1. At a minimum, a public hearing shall provide for submission of both oral and written testimony for and against the action or matter at issue. If the hearing is not held before the ultimate decisionmakers, provision shall be made for the transmittal of a summary or transcript of the testimony received to the ultimate decisionmakers prior to their determination;
  2. Public hearings may be held at regular or special meetings of each of the courts;
  3. The person or authority holding the public hearing may include in the notice calling the hearing any special procedures or guidelines to be followed at the hearing;
  4. Petitions and letters received by the respective body conducting a public hearing prior to the hearing shall be entered into the minutes of the hearing and considered as other testimony received at the hearing; and
  5. Except for budget and appropriation hearings, the quorum court may designate a subcommittee to conduct any public hearings on county legislative affairs.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 7; 1979, No. 413, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3107.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-109. Public meetings.

    1. All meetings of a county government governing body, board, committee, or any other entity created by, or subordinate to, a county government shall be open to the public except as provided in subdivision (a)(2) of this section.
    2. A meeting, or part of a meeting, which involves or affects the employment, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining, dismissal, or resignation of a county government official or employee need not be open to the public unless the local government officer or employee requests a public meeting.
  1. In any meeting required to be open to the public, the county quorum court, committee, board, or other entity shall adopt rules for conducting the meeting which afford citizens a reasonable opportunity to participate prior to the final decision.
  2. Appropriate minutes shall be kept of all public meetings and shall be made available to the public for inspection and copying.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 8, 9; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-3108, 17-3109.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Watkins, Open Meetings Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, 38 Ark. L. Rev. 268.

Case Notes

Cited: Baxter County Newspapers, Inc. v. Medical Staff of Baxter Gen. Hosp., 273 Ark. 511, 622 S.W.2d 495 (1981).

14-14-110. Public records.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, all records and other written materials in the possession of a local government shall be available for inspection and copying by any person during normal office hours.
  2. Personal records, medical records, and other records which relate to matters in which the right to individual privacy exceeds the merits of public disclosure shall not be available to the public unless the person they concern requests they be made public.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 10; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3110.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-111. Electronic records.

    1. County governments in Arkansas are the repository for vast numbers of public records necessary for the regulation of commerce and vital to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the state.
    2. These records are routinely kept in electronic format by the county officials who are the custodians of the records.
    3. It is the intent of this section to:
      1. Ensure that all public records kept by county officials are under the complete care, custody, and control of the county officials responsible for the records; and
      2. Prevent a computer or software provider doing business with a county from obtaining complete care and control of county records and from becoming the de facto custodian of the records.
  1. As used in this section:
    1. “Administrative rights” means permissions and powers, including without limitation the permissions and powers to access, alter, copy, download, read, record, upload, write, or otherwise manipulate and maintain records kept by a county official;
    2. “Electronic record” means a record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means; and
        1. “Public records” means writings, recorded sounds, films, tapes, electronic or computer-based information, or data compilations in any medium required by law to be kept or otherwise kept and that constitute a record of the performance or lack of performance of official functions that are or should be carried out by a public official or employee, a governmental agency, or other agency wholly or partially supported by public funds or expending public funds.
        2. All records maintained in county offices or by county employees within the scope of employment are public records.
      1. “Public records” does not mean software acquired by purchase, lease, or license.
    1. A county official required by law to maintain public records and who in the normal performance of official duties chooses to keep and maintain the records in an electronic record retains administrative rights and complete access to all the records.
    2. A contract between a county and an electronic record provider shall include the information under subdivision (c)(1) of this section.

History. Acts 2009, No. 569, § 1.

Case Notes

Freedom of Information Act.

Circuit court abused its discretion in issuing a permanent injunction in favor of plaintiff competitor under the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq., because the plaintiff failed to sue an entity covered under FOIA; the competitor could not sue a private corporation alone under FOIA and direct it to produce public records it possessed by virtue of its contracts with counties because the private corporation was not the custodian of the public records. The circuit court's conclusion that county officials were unnecessary parties to a dispute over access to their public records was clearly erroneous. Apprentice Info. Sys. v. DataScout, LLC, 2018 Ark. 146, 544 S.W.3d 39 (2018).

14-14-112. Bulk copying of public records.

  1. In the absence of an existing agreement or county ordinance, a county official may negotiate with a commercial, nonpress entity regarding a reasonable fee for mass duplication, copying, or bulk electronic access of public records.
  2. A negotiated agreement authorized by this section is not to the exclusion of any right to a public record a person has under this subchapter or § 25-19-109.
  3. As used in this section, “existing agreement” means a contract, custom, practice, or dealings that were in use as of January 1, 2011.

History. Acts 2011, No. 870, § 1.

14-14-113. Review of audit report by quorum court.

  1. Audit reports and accompanying comments and recommendations under § 10-4-418 relating to a county shall be reviewed by the quorum court.
    1. The audit report and accompanying comments and recommendations shall be reviewed at the first regularly scheduled meeting following receipt of the audit report if the audit report is received by the quorum court at least ten (10) days before the regularly scheduled meeting.
    2. If the audit report is received by the quorum court less than ten (10) days before a regularly scheduled meeting, the audit report shall be reviewed at the regularly scheduled meeting falling within the ten-day period or the next regularly scheduled meeting subsequent to the ten-day period.
  2. The appropriate official shall advise the quorum court concerning each finding and recommendation contained in the audit report.
  3. The minutes of the quorum court shall document the review of the findings and recommendations of the appropriate official.

History. Acts 2011, No. 837, § 2.

14-14-114. Allocation of revenue.

Revenues received by a county that contains within its boundary a circuit court composed of more than one (1) judicial district that was created by an uncodified act shall be allocated as determined by the quorum court and shall not be divided by the judicial district in which the revenues were collected.

History. Acts 2011, No. 1171, § 3; 2017, No. 751, § 8.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2011, No. 1171, § 5, provided: “The provisions of this act are not severable, and if any provision of this act is declared invalid for any reason, then all provisions of this act shall also be invalid.”

Amendments. The 2017 amendment substituted “Revenues received by a” for “A” at the beginning and substituted “more than one (1) judicial district that was created by an uncodified act shall be allocated as determined by the quorum court” for “both an east and a west judicial district that were created in 1883 shall enact an ordinance to establish that revenues received by the county shall be allocated for the entire county”.

14-14-115. Civil office-holding — Definition.

    1. A person elected or appointed to any of the following county offices shall not be elected or appointed to another civil office during the term for which he or she has been elected:
      1. County judge;
      2. Justice of the peace;
      3. Sheriff;
      4. Circuit clerk;
      5. County clerk;
      6. Assessor;
      7. Coroner;
      8. Treasurer;
      9. County surveyor; or
      10. Collector.
    2. An elected county official under subdivision (a)(1) of this section may run for a civil office during the term for which he or she has been elected.
    1. As used in this section, “civil office” means any one (1) of the following elected or appointed positions, including without limitation:
      1. County election commissioner;
      2. Member of the Parole Board;
      3. Member of a school board;
      4. Prosecuting attorney or deputy prosecuting attorney;
      5. Constable;
      6. Sheriff or deputy sheriff;
      7. Chief of police or city police officer;
      8. City attorney;
      9. City council member;
      10. Member of a drainage improvement district board;
      11. Member of a public facilities board;
      12. Member of a soil conservation district board;
      13. Member of a county library board;
      14. Member of a rural development authority;
      15. Member of a rural waterworks facilities board or regional water distribution board;
      16. Member of an airport commission;
      17. Member of a county or district board of health;
      18. Member of a levee board or levee improvement district board; and
      19. Member of the Career Education and Workforce Development Board.
    2. As used in this section, “civil office” does not include a position that a county official may be appointed to on an advisory board or task force established to assist:
      1. The Governor;
      2. The General Assembly;
      3. A state agency;
      4. A state department;
      5. A county office;
      6. A county department; or
      7. A subordinate service district.
    3. As used in this section, “civil office” does not include a position in which a county official is required to serve by law and that is related to the county official's duties, including without limitation:
      1. A member of an intergovernmental cooperation council;
      2. A member of a county equalization board;
      3. A member of a regional solid waste management district board;
      4. A member of a planning and development district board;
      5. A member of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training;
      6. A member of the Electronic Recording Commission;
      7. A member of a county hospital board;
      8. A member of the Arkansas Workforce Development Board;
      9. A member of the State Board of Election Commissioners;
      10. A member of the Criminal Justice Institute Advisory Board for Law Enforcement Management Training and Education;
      11. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System;
      12. A special judge appointment under Arkansas Constitution, Article 7, § 36;
      13. A member of the Arkansas 911 Board or any successor board; and
      14. A member of the Professional Bail Bond Company and Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board.
  1. This section does not prevent a person:
    1. From being elected or appointed to an office under subdivision (a)(1) of this section if he or she held a civil office before January 1, 2017; or
    2. From continuing to hold a civil office the person held before appointment or election to an office under subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

History. Acts 2019, No. 639, § 1.

Subchapter 2 — Boundaries

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2013, No. 1067, § 1, provided:

“Legislative findings.

“The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas finds that:

“(1) Areas of Boone County and Carroll County are cut off from public and emergency services by the waters of Table Rock Lake;

“(2) The areas are commonly known as the Backbone Bluff and the Cricket Creek Public Use Area;

“(3) Problems associated with the provision of services in these areas have existed for several years, but the number of calls for service were minimal due to the sparse population of the areas; and

“(4) Changing the boundaries of Boone County and Carroll County will address these problems.”

Acts 2013, No. 1067, § 2, provided:

“The boundaries of Carroll County and Boone County are changed as follows:

“(a) Effective January 1, 2014, the western boundary of Boone County, Arkansas, is identified as follows: Beginning at the intersection center of channel of Table Rock Lake in the North East Quarter of Section 15, Township 21 North Range 22 West with the Eastern boundary of said Section; thence meandering West following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 15 Township 21 North Range 22 West past the Cricket Creek Public Use Area, thence meandering northeasterly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 10 Township 21 North Range 22 West, thence meandering northerly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 11 Township 21 North Range 22 West, thence meandering northwesterly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 10 Township 21 North Range 22 West to a point due south of the center of channel of the strait between Backbone Bluff and the island lying to the west, thence north through the strait to a point in the center of channel of Table Rock Lake, thence meandering easterly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 11 Township 21 North Range 22 West to the point of intersection with the Arkansas state and Missouri state boundary.

“(b) Effective January 1, 2014, the eastern boundary of Carroll County, Arkansas, is identified as follows: Beginning at the intersection center of channel of Table Rock Lake in the North East Quarter of Section 15, Township 21 North Range 22 West with the Eastern boundary of said Section; thence meandering West following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 15 Township 21 North Range 22 West past the Cricket Creek Public Use Area, thence meandering northeasterly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 10 Township 21 North Range 22 West, thence meandering northerly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 11 Township 21 North Range 22 West, thence meandering northwesterly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 10 Township 21 North Range 22 West to a point due south of the center of channel of the strait between Backbone Bluff and the island lying to the west, thence north through the strait to a point in the center of channel of the Table Rock Lake, thence meandering easterly following the center of channel of Table Rock Lake through Section 11 Township 21 North Range 22 West to the point of intersection with the Arkansas state and Missouri state boundary.”

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., § 39 et seq.

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, § 14 et seq.

14-14-201. Power to change.

  1. The power to change county boundaries is inherent in the General Assembly, subject to express constitutional restrictions.
    1. No county now established shall be reduced to an area of less than six hundred square miles (600 sq. mi.) nor to less than five thousand (5,000) inhabitants; nor shall any new county be established with less than six hundred square miles (600 sq. mi.) and five thousand (5,000) inhabitants.
    2. This section shall not apply to the counties of Lafayette, Pope, and Johnson nor be so construed as to prevent the General Assembly from changing the line between the counties of Pope and Johnson.
  2. No part of a county shall be taken off to form a new county, or a part thereof, without the consent of a majority of voters in the part to be taken off.
  3. In the formation of new counties, no line thereof shall run within ten (10) miles of the county seat of the county proposed to be divided, except the county seat of Lafayette County.
    1. Sebastian County may have two (2) districts and two (2) county seats, at which county and circuit courts shall be held as may be provided by law, each district paying its own expenses.
    2. However, nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring Sebastian County to maintain two (2) districts or two (2) county seats, nor construed as authorizing the establishment of two (2) county quorum courts and two (2) county courts.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 12-16; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3202.

Case Notes

In General.

The power to change county lines is inherent in the General Assembly, subject to express constitutional restrictions and the essential requisites of the state that are implied in our form of government. Reynolds v. Holland, 35 Ark. 56 (1879); Pulaski County v. County Judge, 37 Ark. 339 (1881) (decisions under prior law).

Area.

An act of the General Assembly reducing a county below 600 square miles is unconstitutional. Bittle v. Stuart, 34 Ark. 224 (1879) (decision under prior law).

New Counties.

Consent of a majority of voters in part taken off is only required in the case of new counties to be formed out of portions of old ones. Reynolds v. Holland, 35 Ark. 56 (1879); Pulaski County v. County Judge, 37 Ark. 339 (1881) (decisions under prior law).

Sebastian County.

The two districts of Sebastian County are, in effect, separate counties, so far as the recording requirements of § 18-50-103 are involved. Henson v. Fleet Mtg. Co., 319 Ark. 491, 892 S.W.2d 250 (1995).

Cited: In re Wallace, 61 B.R. 54 (Bankr. W.D. Ark. 1986); In re Henson, 157 B.R. 867 (Bankr. W.D. Ark. 1993).

14-14-202. Initiation of alteration.

Alteration of county boundaries may be initiated by the General Assembly or by a petition to the General Assembly by persons whose rights and interests would be affected by the boundary change.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 17; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3203.

Case Notes

Boundary Disputes.

Disputes as to county line boundaries may be decided by a court in suit between individuals, though counties are not parties to the action. Pruitt v. Sebastian County Coal & Mining Co., 215 Ark. 673, 222 S.W.2d 50 (1949) (decision under prior law).

14-14-203. Petition to General Assembly.

      1. A petition signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the legal voters residing in the areas to be affected by a proposed county boundary change may be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration.
      2. A petition to form a new county shall be preceded by an election on the issue and consent by the majority of the voters in the part proposed to be taken off.
    1. The number of signatures required upon any petition shall be computed pursuant to subdivision (a)(1)(A) of this section as a percentage of the total vote cast for the Office of Governor at the preceding general election in the various townships affected by the petition.
  1. All petitions under the provisions of this section shall be published as provided by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 18, 19; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-3204, 17-3205.

14-14-204. Accompanying documentation.

Petitions for the alteration of county boundaries shall be accompanied by the following documentation:

    1. A survey of the proposed boundary alterations, except where common boundaries are being dissolved.
    2. The survey shall be performed by a professional surveyor as defined in § 17-48-101; and
  1. A map drawn to scale of the area affected by the petition.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 20; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3206; Acts 2005, No. 1178, § 1; 2011, No. 898, § 7.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment substituted “a professional surveyor as defined in § 17-48-101” for “a registered professional surveyor of the State of Arkansas” in (1)(B).

14-14-205. Costs.

All costs of petitions, surveys, and mapping shall be borne by the petitioners.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 21; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3207.

14-14-206. Apportionment of property and indebtedness.

All property, bonded indebtedness, and outstanding indebtedness of counties affected by a change in boundaries shall be apportioned by the General Assembly.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 22; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3208.

Case Notes

In General.

When a county was divided, the old county would, without statutory provision, retain the property and remain liable for the debts of the county, and the severed part or new county would be released; however, it was competent for the General Assembly to apportion the property and the burden between the old and the new counties, as it deemed proper, and compel taxation for that purpose. Eagle v. Beard, 33 Ark. 497 (1878); Lee County v. State ex rel. Phillips County, 36 Ark. 276 (1880); Pulaski County v. County Judge, 37 Ark. 339 (1881) (decisions under prior law).

Apportionment may be done by a subsequent General Assembly. Perry County v. Conway County, 52 Ark. 430, 12 S.W. 877 (1890) (decision under prior law).

Bonded Indebtedness.

In apportioning the bonded indebtedness between a new county and an old county, under the act creating the former, the date of the negotiation of the bonds was held to be the time of the creation of the county's debt, and the new county was held to be only liable for its proportion of the bonds negotiated before its formation, although all may have been issued. Hempstead County v. Howard County, 51 Ark. 344, 11 S.W. 478 (1888) (decision under prior law).

The apportionment of interest goes with the bond. Hempstead County v. Howard County, 51 Ark. 344, 11 S.W. 478 (1888) (decision under prior law).

Outstanding Indebtedness.

Claims of a county for proportioned indebtedness under a special act do not have to be authenticated and presented to a county court as others claim. Perry County v. Conway County, 52 Ark. 430, 12 S.W. 877 (1890) (decision under prior law).

Judgment against parent county, rendered subsequent to division on obligations existing prior to division, is proportionately binding on new county. Garland County v. Hot Spring County, 68 Ark. 83, 56 S.W. 636 (1900) (decision under prior law).

Subchapter 3 — County Seats

Cross References. Change of county seat, Ark. Const., Art. 13, § 3.

County buildings, § 14-19-101 et seq.

Effective Dates. Acts 1875, No. 86, § 13, p. 201: in force from and after its passage. Approved March 2, 1875.

Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2019, No. 193, § 2: Feb. 26, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that there are meeting places of governing bodies across the state that are in disrepair; that often a meeting place needs to be closed and relocated temporarily; and that this act is immediately necessary because under current law a meeting place cannot be set up temporarily unless an emergency arises due to an enemy attack. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto”.

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., § 44 et seq.

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, § 53 et seq.

14-14-301. Definition.

  1. A “county seat” shall be defined as the principal site for the conducting of county affairs and maintaining records of the various courts.
  2. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed as a limitation on a county to maintain several sites throughout the county for the conducting of county affairs.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 23; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3301.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-302. Establishment or change.

  1. Unless for the purpose of the temporary location of county seats in the formation of new counties, it shall be unlawful to establish or change any county seat in this state without the consent of a majority of the qualified voters of the county to be affected by the change; nor will a county seat be located until the place at which it is proposed to establish or change any county seat shall be fully designated, with the designation embracing a complete and intelligible description of the proposed locations, together with an abstract of the title thereto, and the terms and conditions upon which it can be purchased or donated by or to the county.
  2. The county court shall not order the election provided in this subchapter unless it shall be satisfied that a good and valid title can and will be made to the proposed new locations or one (1) of them.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 24; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3302.

Case Notes

Change.

Since the judgment of a county court directing the removal of the county seat is self-executing, and therefore cannot be stayed by a supersedeas bond, a circuit court, or the judge thereof in vacation, has power, upon proper showing, to stay proceedings during the pendency of an appeal therefrom. Reese v. Steel, 73 Ark. 66, 83 S.W. 335 (1904) (decision under prior law).

Former similar statute referred to removal of county seat from one town to another, and not from one lot to another in the same town. Graham v. Nix, 102 Ark. 277, 144 S.W. 214 (1912) (decision under prior law).

Where, in an action to stay an election on removal of a county seat, a question of law was raised whether the election petition had been brought under the proper statutory method and a question of fact was raised whether the petition was signed by the required number of qualified voters of the county, the contestants were entitled to trial on the merits prior to the election. Bruce v. Nicholas, 226 Ark. 890, 294 S.W.2d 772 (1956) (decision under prior law).

Title.

A county court has jurisdiction to pass upon the sufficiency of the abstract of title. Walsh v. Hampton, 96 Ark. 427, 132 S.W. 214 (1910) (decision under prior law).

14-14-303. Petition for change.

  1. Whenever fifteen percent (15%) of the legal voters of any county in this state shall join in a petition to the county court of the county for the change or removal of the county seat, the county court shall order an election to be held at the voting places in the county directing that the proposition of the petitioners for the change or removal shall be submitted to the qualified electors.
  2. The number of signatures required upon a petition for change of a county seat shall be computed upon the total vote cast for the Office of Governor at the preceding general election in the county affected by the petition.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 26; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3304.

Case Notes

Change of Courthouse.

When a county seat has been removed, until the courthouse has been erected, the court can lawfully sit in a building on other property than that to be used as a court when the courthouse is erected. Hudspeth v. State, 55 Ark. 323, 18 S.W. 183 (1892) (decision under prior law).

Where voters elected to abolish two districts and establish county seat at one new location, but nothing was done to facilitate the new county seat at the location, courts had jurisdiction to sit in old districts until new courthouse was certified as ready for use. Warren v. State, 241 Ark. 264, 407 S.W.2d 724 (1966) (decision under prior law).

Elections.

An offer, by interested persons, to build a courthouse and jail and donate them to the county, in case the county seat is changed to the desired point, is not an offer to bribe electors and will not invalidate an election at which such a change is made. Neal v. Shinn, 49 Ark. 227, 4 S.W. 771 (1887) (decision under prior law).

The general election law applies to a county seat election. Walsh v. Hampton, 96 Ark. 427, 132 S.W. 214 (1910) (decision under prior law).

In an election regarding the removal of a county seat, the canvassing board should not go behind the returns and purge the returns of illegal votes, as the board has no discretionary power. Pitts v. Stuckert, 111 Ark. 388, 163 S.W. 1173 (1914) (decision under prior law).

Where, in a given precinct, it was shown that fraud was promiscuously committed by the election officials that affected the result to an extent, the exact limits of which it was impossible to ascertain from the testimony and which fairly drew into question the integrity of the whole return, the same should have been thrown out entirely and omitted from the count, leaving each party the opportunity to prove, by other evidence, the number of legal ballots actually cast. Sailor v. Rankin, 125 Ark. 557, 189 S.W. 357 (1916) (decision under prior law).

14-14-304. Form of ballots.

The ballots of the voters shall have written or printed upon them the words “FOR CHANGE”, or “AGAINST CHANGE”, meaning for or against change from the existing county seat location, and the words “FOR ….” (one of the localities allowed by the act to be voted for, naming and describing the place to which the change or removal is proposed).

History. Acts 1875, No. 86, § 5, p. 201; C. & M. Dig., § 1874; Pope's Dig., § 2393; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-205.

14-14-305. Designation of new site.

  1. Where a majority of the qualified voters of the county have voted in favor of the change from the existing location and are in a majority agreement as to the location in cases where more than one (1) location is proposed, the county court shall proceed to carry into effect the will of the majority.
  2. Where a majority agreement is rendered in favor of a change but is not rendered on a specific location, where more than one (1) location is proposed, the court shall immediately order an election to decide which of the two (2) locations receiving the highest number of votes in the initial election on the issue shall be designated as the new site for the county seat.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 28; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3306.

Case Notes

Authority of County Courts.

The removal of a county seat is a matter of local concern over which the county court has exclusive original jurisdiction; the circuit court has no authority to determine the result of an election for removal in the first instance and before the county court has acted in the premises, and where it assumes to do so, a writ of prohibition will lie from the Supreme Court. Russell v. Jacoway, 33 Ark. 191 (1878) (decision under prior law).

As the power of a county court over the location of public buildings is a continuing one, the court, after ordering a courthouse to be built on a certain lot, may, at a subsequent term, order the courthouse to be built on another lot in the same town. Graham v. Nix, 102 Ark. 277, 144 S.W. 214 (1912) (decision under prior law).

Proceedings and Appeals.

Where the contest is heard in the circuit court on appeal from an order of the county court and it is adjudged there that a majority of the votes were for removal, but not for either place proposed, the circuit court has jurisdiction to order an election to determine the place to which the removal shall be made. Neal v. Shinn, 49 Ark. 227, 4 S.W. 771 (1887); Sailor v. Rankin, 125 Ark. 557, 189 S.W. 357 (1916) (decisions under prior law).

Voters have a right to make themselves parties to designation proceedings and appeal from an order of the county court. Rucks v. Renfrow, 54 Ark. 409, 16 S.W. 6 (1891); Butler v. Mills, 61 Ark. 477, 33 S.W. 632 (1896) (decisions under prior law).

14-14-306. Deed to county required.

Before proceeding to carry into effect the will of a majority voting on the issue of changing a county seat, the county court shall require the vendor or donor of the new location to deliver a good and sufficient deed, conveying to the county the land or location so sold or donated in fee simple, without reservation or condition, and also an abstract of the title, papers, deeds, and conveyances, and assurances by or through which the title thereof is derived, who shall file the deed for record in the recorder's office of the county, to be recorded as other title deeds and papers. The place so deeded shall then be the permanent county seat, and the title shall be vested in the county.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 27; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3305.

Case Notes

Deeds.

Where a person, knowing that a contest over the location of the county seat was pending, conveyed certain property to the county to be used for courthouse purposes and the county seat was finally located elsewhere, the deed to the county was not executed under a mistake and would not be canceled. Schuman v. George, 110 Ark. 486, 161 S.W. 1039 (1913) (decision under prior law).

14-14-307. Temporary location of county seat for new county.

  1. The temporary location for the county seat of any new county shall be fixed by the act of the General Assembly authorizing the formation and organization of the new county.
  2. The temporary location shall be considered the permanent and established location unless changed as provided in this subchapter for the change of county seats.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 25; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3303.

14-14-308. Emergency temporary location for political subdivision — Definition.

      1. Whenever, due to an emergency, it becomes imprudent, inexpedient, or impossible to conduct the affairs of local government at the regular or usual place, the governing body of each political subdivision of this state may meet at any place in the county whether within or without the territorial limits of the political subdivisions on the call of the presiding officer or any two (2) members of the governing body.
      2. The governing body shall proceed to establish and designate by ordinance, resolution, or other manner alternate or substitute sites or places as the emergency temporary location of government where all or any part of the public business may be transacted and conducted during the emergency situation.
    1. The sites or places may be in the county whether within or without the territorial limits of the political subdivisions.
    1. During the period when the public business is being conducted at an emergency temporary location, the governing body and other officers of a political subdivision of this state shall have and possess and shall exercise at the location all of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers and functions conferred upon the governing body and officers by or under the laws of this state.
    2. All acts of the governing body and officers shall be as valid and binding as if performed within the territorial limits of their political subdivision.
  1. As used in this section, “political subdivisions” means all duly formed and constituted governing bodies created and established under authority of the Arkansas Constitution and laws of this state.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 29-31; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-3307 — 17-3309; Acts 2019, No. 193, § 1.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment, in (a)(1)(A), deleted “resulting from the effects of enemy attack, or the anticipated effects of a threatened enemy attack” following “emergency”, and deleted “thereof” following “usual place”; inserted “in the county whether” in (a)(1)(A) and in (a)(2); deleted “and may be within or without this state” from the end of (a)(2); inserted the second occurrence of “governing” in (b)(1); in (b)(2), deleted the former first sentence, and inserted “governing”; added “As used in this section” in (c); and made stylistic changes.

Subchapter 4 — Quorum Court Districts

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

14-14-401. Establishment — Townships continued.

  1. Each county of the state shall divide its land area into convenient county quorum court districts in a manner and at times prescribed by the General Assembly.
  2. The county court of each county in this state shall have the authority to divide the county into convenient townships, subdivide those already established, and alter township lines.
  3. It shall be the duty of the clerk of the county court to enter on the minutes of the court a description of each township established by the court containing the name and boundaries of the township and the place appointed for holding elections and shall also note in the minutes every alteration that is made in any township lines.
  4. The clerk of the county court shall within thirty (30) days after establishing any new township or altering any existing township line, provide the Secretary of State a certified copy of the record made.
  5. If any county clerk in this state has not furnished the Secretary of State with a description of the several townships in the county, it shall be the duty of the county court to direct the clerk of that court to provide the Secretary of State with the description.
  6. Whenever the county court of any county in this state orders the formation of one (1) or more new townships or changes the boundary lines of any of the townships in the county, which formation or change shall require additional township officers, the additional township officer or officers shall be filled in accordance with Arkansas Constitution, Article 7, § 50 [repealed].

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 32; 1979, No. 413, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3401; Acts 1997, No. 1090, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Sections 1 and 4 of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution set forth specific powers assigned to the quorum court. One of these, as provided in Ark. Const. Amend. 55, § 4, is the power to fill vacancies in elective county offices. Arkansas Ark. Const. Amend. 55, § 7 provides that §§ 1 and 4 of the amendment shall be effective on January 1, 1977. Arkansas Ark. Const. Amend. 55 was adopted at the general election on November 5, 1974.

Cross References. Elective offices, Ark. Const., Amend. 29, § 1.

Case Notes

Appeals.

On appeal from the action of the circuit court in considering action of county court in alteration of townships (now quorum court districts), Supreme Court would not consider the preponderance of the evidence, but only the question of whether there was substantial evidence to support the judgment of the trial court. Caldwell v. Board of Election Comm'rs, 236 Ark. 719, 368 S.W.2d 85 (1963) (decision under prior law).

Power of County Courts.

It was unnecessary to determine whether board of election commissioners had power to file petition in county court for change of township (now quorum court districts) boundaries, since county court would have had such power on its own initiative. Garland County Bd. of Election Comm'rs v. Ennis, 227 Ark. 880, 302 S.W.2d 76 (1957) (decision under prior law).

County courts have full power over the formation of townships (now quorum court districts) in their respective counties, including the power to abolish townships already formed. Caldwell v. Board of Election Comm'rs, 236 Ark. 719, 368 S.W.2d 85 (1963) (decision under prior law).

Cited: Farnsworth v. White County, 39 Ark. App. 98, 839 S.W.2d 229 (1992); Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992); Gravett v. Villines, 314 Ark. 320, 862 S.W.2d 260 (1993).

14-14-402. Number of districts.

The number of convenient quorum court districts to be established in each county shall be determined according to the following population categories:

Quorum Court Districts Population 9 0 to 19,999 11 20,000 to 49,999 13 50,000 to 199,999 15 200,000 and above

Click to view table.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 33; 1979, No. 413, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3402.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

Case Notes

Cited: Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

14-14-403. Apportionment of districts.

  1. The county board of election commissioners in each county shall be responsible for the apportionment of the county into quorum court districts. Until otherwise changed in the method set forth in this subchapter, the districts of each county shall consist of the territory of the township established by the county board of election commissioners on or before November 3, 1975, pursuant to the provisions of Acts 1975, No. 128 [repealed]. Thereafter, districts shall be apportioned on or before the first Monday after January 1, 1982, and each ten (10) years thereafter.
  2. All apportionments shall be based on the population of the county as of the last federal decennial census, and the number of districts apportioned shall be equal to the number to which the county is entitled by law.
  3. The provisions of this subchapter shall not be construed to affect the composition of the county committees of the political parties, and the county committee of each political party shall designate the geographic area within the county from which county committee members shall be selected.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 34; 1979, No. 413, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3403.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1975, No. 128, was repealed by Acts 1977, No. 742, § 117.

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

Unit voting systems which contain varying populations are unconstitutional per se because they deny residents equal representation ensured by U.S. Const. Amend. 14. Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

Purpose.

The overriding objective of apportionment must be substantial equality of population among the various districts. Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

The primary consideration of reapportionment is the numerical equality of the districts, or fair and effective representation for all citizens. Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

Burden of Proof.

Population variation among districts greater than 10% is a prima facie violation of the equal protection clause, and after such a prima facie case is established, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to justify the variances. Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

Trial court did not err in finding that county election commission overcame prima facie case of discrimination, where 10.149% variance in quorum court districts was only slightly over the acceptable 10% variation, and the systematic approach taken by the commission revealed a rational policy of redistricting which justified the end result that two of 11 districts were over the 10% acceptable variance by four and three voters, respectively. Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

14-14-404. Federal decennial census data.

The Board of Apportionment shall provide each of the respective county boards of election commissioners with the appropriate and necessary federal decennial census information, not less than ninety (90) days prior to the date established for apportionment of county quorum court districts.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 35; 1979, No. 413, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3404.

Case Notes

Cited: Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

14-14-405. Filing and publishing of plan.

  1. Not later than the date set for the apportionment of county quorum court districts, the county board of election commissioners shall file its report with the clerk of the county court, setting forth the district boundaries and the number of inhabitants within them.
  2. Within fifteen (15) days of the filing of an apportionment plan, the clerk of the county court shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county the district boundaries apportioned and the number of inhabitants within them.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 36; 1979, No. 413, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3405.

Case Notes

Cited: Goldsby v. Brick, 281 Ark. 58, 661 S.W.2d 368 (1983); Riley v. Baxter County Election Comm'n, 311 Ark. 273, 843 S.W.2d 831 (1992).

14-14-406. Contest of apportionment.

Original jurisdiction of any suit to contest the apportionment made for county quorum court districts by a county board of election commissioners is vested in the circuit court of the affected county. Any such contest shall be filed with the circuit court within thirty (30) days following the date publication appears in a newspaper of general circulation.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 37; 1979, No. 413, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3406.

Case Notes

Suits to Contest.

To seek to set aside an apportionment plan filed and published in accordance with statutorily approved procedures is a contest in the sense contemplated by this section, which imposes a 30-day time limit on such suits. Goldsby v. Brick, 281 Ark. 58, 661 S.W.2d 368 (1983).

14-14-407. Certification of plan.

The clerk of the county court, within seven (7) calendar days following the expiration of the time period provided for the filing of contest of an apportionment plan, shall transmit to the Secretary of State a certified copy of the record made of an apportionment plan.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 38; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3407.

Subchapter 5 — Organization Generally

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2001, No. 997, § 2: July 1, 2001.

Acts 2001, No. 997, § 3: Mar. 21, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that portions of Amendment 80 to the Constitution of the State of Arkansas which merge courts of law and equity become effective July 1, 2001, and it is unclear what effect that will have on the county clerks' role as probate clerk; that this act should be effective July 1, 2001 to coincide with the related provisions of Amendment 80. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Research References

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, § 42 et seq.

14-14-501. Body politic and corporate.

A county government is a body politic and corporate created by the General Assembly and subject to its exercise of power. However, county governments shall possess legislative powers not denied by the Arkansas Constitution or by law. As a corporate body, county governments shall have corporate and governmental powers, a corporate name, and perpetual succession subject to limitations imposed by the General Assembly.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 39; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3501.

14-14-502. Distribution of powers.

  1. Division. The powers of the county governments of the State of Arkansas shall be divided into three (3) distinct departments, each of them to be confined to a separate body, to wit: Those that are legislative to one, those that are executive to a second, and those that are judicial to a third.
    1. Legislative. All legislative powers of the county governments are vested in the quorum court. The people reserve to themselves the power to propose county legislative measures and to enact or reject them at the polls independent of the quorum court. The people also reserve to themselves the power, at their option, to approve or reject at the polls any entire ordinance enacted by a quorum court.
    2. Executive.
      1. The executive divisions of a county government shall consist of:
        1. The county judge, who shall perform the duties of the chief executive officer of the county as provided in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 3, and as implemented in this chapter and who shall preside over the quorum court without a vote but with the power of veto;
        2. One (1) sheriff, who shall be ex officio collector of taxes unless otherwise provided by law;
        3. One (1) assessor;
        4. One (1) coroner;
        5. One (1) treasurer, who shall be ex officio treasurer of the common school fund of the county;
        6. One (1) surveyor; and
        7. One (1) clerk of the circuit court, who shall be clerk of the probate division of circuit court and ex officio clerk of the county court and recorder.
      2. There may be elected a county clerk in like manner as a circuit clerk, and in such cases, the county clerk may be ex officio clerk of the probate division of circuit court, if such division exists, of the county until otherwise provided by the General Assembly.
    3. Judicial. The judicial divisions of a county government are vested in the county court, except with respect to those powers formerly vested in the county court which, by the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, are to be performed by the county judge, and in the respective courts of this state as provided by law.
  2. Limitations. No person or collection of persons being one of these departments, legislative, executive, or judicial, shall exercise any power belonging to either of the others, except in the instances expressly directed or permitted.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 40; 1979, No. 413, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3502; Acts 2001, No. 997, § 1.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

Case Notes

In General.

The clear division and separation of powers among the branches of county government provided by subsections (a) and (b) of this section makes it apparent that the government is no longer controlled and operated by only a single entity. Pulaski County v. Jacuzzi Bros., 317 Ark. 10, 875 S.W.2d 496 (1994).

Because terminated county employee's actions of reporting alleged misdeeds to quorum court members, sitting as a grievance committee, was reporting to the “appropriate authorities,” under § 21-1-602(2)(A)(ii), evidence supporting terminated employee's claim under the Whistle-Blower Act created a question of fact and it was thus an error for the trial court to have granted the county's motion for a directed verdict. Crawford County v. Jones, 365 Ark. 585, 232 S.W.3d 433 (2006).

Cited: Walker v. County of Washington, 263 Ark. 317, 564 S.W.2d 513 (1978); Davis v. Fulton County, 884 F. Supp. 1245 (E.D. Ark. 1995).

Subchapter 6 — Alternative Organizations

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, § 42 et seq.

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

Case Notes

Authority Generally.

No county is authorized to pass an ordinance reorganizing its government in a manner contrary to the general law of the state. Clark County v. Miller, 291 Ark. 203, 723 S.W.2d 820 (1987).

14-14-601. Legislative determination — Purpose.

  1. It is determined by the General Assembly that:
    1. The present structure of county government does not meet the needs of every county in the state;
    2. County government can be made more responsive to the wishes of the people through selected structural changes and consolidation; and
    3. Greater economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in providing governmental services can be achieved through modernization of county government.
  2. It is the purpose of this subchapter to:
    1. Establish the basic procedures for the adoption and implementation of alternative county government organization pursuant to Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 2(b), which provides: “The Quorum Court may create, consolidate, separate, revise, or abandon any elective county office or offices except during the term thereof; provided, however, that a majority of those voting on the question at a general election have approved said action.”; and
    2. Provide the citizens of each county the opportunity to select the form of county government organization which best serves their needs and desires.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 54, 55; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-3701, 17-3702.

Case Notes

Cited: Clark County v. Miller, 291 Ark. 203, 723 S.W.2d 820 (1987).

14-14-602. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Abandon” means to desert, surrender, forsake, or to give up absolutely;
  2. “Consolidate” means to unite offices into one (1) office;
  3. “Create” means to bring into being, to cause to exist, to produce;
  4. “Revise” means to review, reexamine for correction or for the purpose of amending, correcting, rearranging, or otherwise improving; and
  5. “Separate” means to disunite, divide, disconnect, or sever.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 58; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3705.

14-14-603. Offices included.

  1. Within the purposes of this chapter, the term “elective county office” shall mean any office created under the provisions of Arkansas Constitution Article 7, § 19, as amended by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 24, § 3, and Arkansas Constitution, Article 7, § 46.
  2. The elective county offices established by these constitutional provisions are:
    1. One (1) sheriff, who shall be ex officio collector of taxes, unless otherwise provided by law;
    2. One (1) collector of taxes, where established by law;
    3. One (1) assessor;
    4. One (1) coroner;
    5. One (1) treasurer, who shall be ex officio treasurer of the common school fund;
    6. One (1) surveyor;
    7. One (1) clerk of the circuit court, who shall be clerk of the probate division of circuit court and ex officio clerk of the county court and recorder, unless otherwise provided by law; and
    8. One (1) county clerk, where established by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 56; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3703.

14-14-604. Offices excluded.

Offices expressly excluded from the provisions of this subchapter are:

  1. The judge of the county court created pursuant to Arkansas Constitution, Article 7, § 28, such office being an “elective county office” but not deemed separable from the county court which serves as a principal element of county government and constitutional organization;
  2. Justices of the peace who are deemed district offices; and
  3. Constables who are deemed township offices and who are not within the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 2(b).

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 57; 1979, No. 413, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3704.

Case Notes

Constables.

While the plain language of § 14-14-1207 authorized reimbursement for district officials, a constable was not a district official, but a township officer under constitutional and statutory law, and thus, the statute did not authorize the reimbursement of expenses for constables, and the circuit court did not err in denying the constable's claim for expenses. Graves v. Greene County, 2013 Ark. 493, 430 S.W.3d 722 (2013).

Limitation on Powers.

County ordinance failed because of the power it granted to the county judge to prepare payroll warrants. This section provides expressly that the offices of county judge, justice of the peace, and constable are excluded from the provisions of this subchapter, and those offices may not be revised pursuant to Ark. Const. Amend. 55. Clark County v. Miller, 291 Ark. 203, 723 S.W.2d 820 (1987).

14-14-605. Authority to adopt alternative provisions — Options.

  1. Each county quorum court may adopt, by ordinance, any one (1) or more of the alternative county government organizational provisions established in this subchapter if the electors have approved the adoption of the proposed provisions by majority vote at a general election.
  2. Alternative organizational proposals may include any one (1) or all of the following options. The principal officer of the office to be affected by the alternate organizational proposal shall be:
    1. Elected;
    2. Appointed in a manner prescribed by ordinance;
    3. Appointed by a county government board in a manner prescribed by ordinance;
    4. Selected as provided by ordinance; or
    5. Not included in the proposed alternative county organization as a separate office.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 59; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3706.

14-14-606. Analysis of each office required.

  1. All proposals for alternative county government organization adopted by a county quorum court through ordinance for referral to the electors, or an initiative petition referring an alternative organization proposal to the electors, shall be based on a comprehensive analysis of each office or department included in the ordinance or proposal.
  2. The analysis of each office or department shall consist of the following requirements:
    1. A comprehensive analysis of the existing office or department organization included in the proposal and the procedures established for providing governmental services;
    2. A comprehensive comparative analysis of the proposed alternative organization with regard to improved efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, and accountability to the people;
    3. The preparation of a proposed plan of organization embodying the selected characteristics to be referred to the electors. The plan shall:
      1. Establish the procedures for the election or appointment of any new officers. However, any appointive officer shall be deemed a part of the executive branch and, as such, shall be appointed by, and be responsible to, the county judge;
      2. Provide for the scheduling of any necessary transfer of powers, records, documents, properties, assets, funds, liabilities, and bonding which result from the changes in a proposed county organization;
      3. Provide for the continuity, where necessary, of existing officers and offices, the abolition of offices or their change from elective to appointive status, and the making of interim and temporary appointments; and
      4. Provide that the plan may be prepared in narrative form but shall be finally embodied in a single or series of ordinances styled in a manner provided by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 60; 1979, No. 413, § 12; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3707.

14-14-607. Initiation and conduct of analysis.

  1. Initiation. Any justice of the peace of each county may propose the initiation of an analysis for alternative county organization through the introduction and passage of an ordinance, or the initiation may be accomplished by an initiative petition of the electors.
  2. Conduct of Analysis. An ordinance adopted for conduct of an analysis of alternative county organizations shall provide for:
    1. The final date of completion of the analysis;
    2. The employment of any staff or other financial support where deemed necessary;
    3. The conduct of the analysis; and
    4. The selection of any one (1), or any combinations, of the following methods of conduct:
      1. Directly by the county quorum court through the establishment of an office or department;
      2. By interlocal agreement;
      3. By purchasing the analysis services from a private or public vendor; or
      4. By establishing a county board in a manner prescribed by the ordinance.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 61; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3708.

14-14-608. Limitations on adoption of alternatives.

  1. Services to be Maintained. A county government serving as a political subdivision of the state for the more convenient administration of justice is compelled by law to provide certain services relating to judicial administration, law enforcement, and other matters. No county ordinance adopted by the electors for the establishment of alternative county organizations shall serve to repeal or diminish any general law of the state directing or requiring a county government or any officer or employee of a county government to carry out any function or provide any service. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or prevent counties from adopting alternative county organizations nor the reassignment of statutorily delegated functions or services where such alternative organization or reassignment shall not alter the obligation of the county to continue providing the services or functions which are or may be established by state law.
  2. Transfer of Duties. To encourage that a minimum level of consistency shall be maintained in county governments throughout the state, the following organizational limitations may apply where any one (1) or all elective county offices are abolished and consolidated, however, nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the consolidation of any nonelected county office or department by two (2) or more adjoining counties through interlocal agreement:
    1. All duties prescribed by law for the clerk of the circuit court may be assigned to a county department of records and court services;
    2. All duties prescribed by law for a county clerk exclusive of county financial management duties may be assigned to a county department of records and court services;
    3. All duties prescribed by law for a county clerk relating to county financial management may be assigned to a county department of financial management;
    4. All duties prescribed by law for the sheriff serving as an officer of the courts and law enforcement may be assigned to a county department of public safety;
    5. All duties prescribed by law for a sheriff serving as the collector of taxes may be assigned to a county department of financial management;
    6. All duties prescribed by law for a collector of taxes may be assigned to a county department of financial management;
    7. All duties prescribed by law for an assessor may be assigned to a county department of records and court services;
    8. All duties prescribed by law for a surveyor may be assigned to a county department of records and court services;
    9. All duties prescribed by law for a coroner may be assigned to a county department of records and court services; and
    10. All duties prescribed by law for a treasurer may be assigned to a county department of financial management. However, any plan for alternative county organization adopted by the electors which includes the abolishment of the treasurer as an elective office shall provide in that plan for the establishment of financial controls. The plan of financial controls shall not vest sole financial administration in a single elected official or in a department which is administratively controlled by the elected official.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 62; 1979, No. 413, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3709.

Case Notes

Reassignment of Duties.

While the general law of the state requires the office of sheriff to be maintained and includes as a duty of the office of sheriff the running of the county jail, this section allows a county to reassign statutorily imposed duties so long as the reassignment does not “alter the obligation of the county to continue providing the services.” Gravett v. Villines, 314 Ark. 320, 862 S.W.2d 260 (1993).

Sole Financial Administration.

Regarding the provisions of this section prohibiting the placement of “sole financial administration” in a single official or department, the court rejected the contention that “sole financial administration” meant all the subparts of administration including account, budgeting, and auditing, and not just the collecting and accounting revenues. Clark County v. Miller, 291 Ark. 203, 723 S.W.2d 820 (1987).

County ordinance which vested sole financial administration in a newly created office of tax and revenue was in violation of this section. Clark County v. Miller, 291 Ark. 203, 723 S.W.2d 820 (1987).

14-14-609. Referendum on proposed plan.

  1. All questions on alternative county organization as proposed by ordinance of the county quorum court, or as proposed by initiated petitions filed by electors of the county pursuant to Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, shall be submitted to the electors of a county only at the general election following the adoption of the ordinance or filing of the petitions.
    1. Any ordinance or initiative petition submitting an alternative organization proposal to the voters shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county no later than the first day of filing for the preferential primary immediately preceding the general election at which the alternative county government proposal shall be decided.
    2. If approved by a majority of those voting on the question, the proposed plan for alternative county organization shall become effective on January 1 following the general election at which the plan was approved by the electors, or two (2) years following the general election at which the plan was approved by the electors.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 63; 1979, No. 413, § 14; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3710.

14-14-610. Election results.

  1. An affirmative majority vote by the electors voting on the adoption of an alternative county organization plan shall be deemed the will of the people.
  2. The election of any candidate during the same general election for any office consolidated, abandoned, or established as an appointive office by an adopted plan of alternative county organization shall be considered null and void.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 64; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3711.

14-14-611. Appointment of interim officers.

Where a proposed plan approved by the electors for alternative county organization provides for the creation of any elective office by consolidation of two (2) or more offices, the proposed plan shall establish procedures for the appointment of an interim officer, who shall serve in the office so created from the effective date of the plan and until the next general election, or until a successor is elected and qualified. The appointee shall meet all requirements prescribed by law for appointment to an elective office.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 65; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3712.

14-14-612. Abandonment of alternative plan.

  1. A county quorum court may abandon any alternative county organization plan, or any part or section thereof, adopted by the electors pursuant to this subchapter, by referral and adoption of a revised organizational plan at a general election. However, no revised alternative county organization plan shall be considered by the electors until four (4) years have elapsed after the date of the referendum at which the original plan was adopted.
  2. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed as a limitation on a quorum court to submit a proposal to the electors at a general election for multicounty consolidation of an elective office.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 66; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3713.

14-14-613. Multicounty consolidations of offices and departments.

  1. Any two (2) or more adjoining counties may consolidate functionally similar county offices or departments, either elective or appointive, pursuant to the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, §§ 1(c) and 2(b).
    1. Consolidation of Elective Offices.
      1. Initiation. Proposals for the consolidation of elective county offices may be initiated by the county quorum courts of each affected county by entering into an interlocal agreement and adoption of an ordinance for referral to the electors of each respective county, or by the filing of an initiative petition signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the qualified voters as provided by law.
      2. Plan of Proposed Alternative Organization Required. All proposals for multicounty consolidation of elective offices referred to the electors shall be prepared in the manner prescribed by law for alternative county government organization proposals affecting a single county. Where applicable and possible, multicounty elective office consolidation proposals should be planned, combined, and referred to the electors jointly with proposals referring alternative single county organizations.
      3. Multicounty Consolidation Agreements Required. All interlocal agreements for consolidation of any elective office shall specify the offices to be consolidated, the duties and responsibilities of the consolidated offices, procedures for the selection and reassignment of personnel, procedures for the transfer of powers, records, documents, properties, assets, funds, and liabilities, and for the possible termination of the agreement. The agreement shall also provide for apportionment of the cost of the consolidated office, based on the equalized taxable valuation or the population, or a combination thereof, of the counties involved. The agreement may contain other provisions pertaining to the consolidated office that the participating counties deem necessary or advisable. Each interlocal agreement shall be adopted through ordinance by the quorum court of each county affected prior to submission to the electors.
      4. Referendum on Elective Office Consolidation. The question of multicounty consolidation of elective county offices shall be submitted to the electors in the affected counties at the next general election following the adoption of the agreements by the quorum courts. If approved by a majority of those voting on the question in each county, the proposed consolidation shall become effective on January 1 following the general election at which the consolidation was approved by the electors.
      5. Appointment of Interim Officer. All proposed multicounty consolidation agreements for a county elective office referred to the electors shall establish procedures for the appointment of an interim officer who shall serve in the consolidated office from the effective date of the agreement until the next general election or until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Such an appointee to an elective office shall meet all requirements prescribed by law for appointment to an office. The appointee to a multicounty elective office shall be deemed to be a district officer and shall be appointed by the Governor.
      6. Precedence of Election. An affirmative majority vote by the electors voting on the issue of multicounty consolidation of elective offices in each respective county shall be deemed the will of the people. The election of a candidate in each respective county for the offices affected by the adopted consolidation proposals shall be considered null and void.
      7. Elections for Multicounty Consolidated Offices. Election for multicounty consolidated offices shall be conducted at the next general election following the establishment of the consolidated office. Elections of persons for consolidated county offices shall be held in the same manner as prescribed for the election of district officers. A candidate for a consolidated county office shall possess the same qualifications for election as required of a candidate for the same office in a single county. The candidate for a consolidated county office receiving a majority of votes cast for the office in the affected counties, taken together, shall be elected. If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast for the office, a runoff election between the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes cast shall be held in the same manner as a runoff election for district officers.
      8. Abandonment of a Multicounty Consolidated Elective Office Plan. A quorum court may abandon any multicounty consolidated elective office plan, or any part or section thereof, adopted by the electors in their respective county by referring the revised plan to the electors at a general election. However, no revised plan for multicounty elective office consolidation shall be considered by the electors until four (4) years have elapsed after the date of the referendum at which the original plan for consolidation was adopted.
    2. Consolidation of Nonelective County Offices or Departments.
      1. Authority to Adopt Consolidation Plans. Proposals for multicounty consolidation of nonelective county offices or departments may be introduced and adopted by the quorum court of each respective county by entering into an interlocal agreement by ordinance in each affected county. The consolidation of nonelective county offices or departments need not be referred to the electors for approval. However, any such ordinance shall be subject to the provisions of initiative and referendum in each respective county entering into such agreements.
      2. Multicounty Consolidation Agreements Required. All interlocal agreements for consolidation of nonelective county offices shall conform to the requirements of interlocal agreements prescribed by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 67; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3714.

14-14-614. Severability of ballot titles.

  1. Ballot Title.
    1. Upon receipt of an alternative county organization proposal for either a single county or multicounty which is to be referred to the electors, it shall be the duty of the members of the county board of election commissioners to take due cognizance and to certify the results of the vote cast thereon.
    2. Where the proposed measure is referred through more than one (1) or a series of ordinances, the board shall cause the ballot title of each separate ordinance to be placed on the ballot to be used in the election. The ballot shall state plainly and separately the title of each ordinance referred to the electors.
  2. Severability. If a single ordinance relating to a proposal for alternative county organization is rejected by the electors, the rejection shall not affect any other ordinance so adopted by the electors; or if any provision of an ordinance adopted by the electors for alternative county organization or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application. The provisions of any single ordinance and the validity of each voted upon by separate ballot titles are declared to be severable.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 68; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3715.

Subchapter 7 — Service Organizations

Cross References. City-county tourist meeting and entertainment facilities, § 14-171-201 et seq.

County museums, § 13-5-501 et seq.

Fire protection districts outside cities and towns, § 14-284-201 et seq.

Preambles. Acts 1981, No. 874 contained a preamble which read:

“Whereas, Section 106, of Chapter 6 of Act 742 of 1977 authorized the counties of this State to establish county subordinate service districts, providing for the purposes of creating such districts as well as financing, establishment and administrative procedures; and

“Whereas, Act 919 of 1979 repealed Section 106 of Chapter 6 of Act 742 of 1977 but did provide for the establishment of county subordinate service districts created for particular purposes but did not provide for financing, establishment or administrative procedures; and

“Whereas, there presently exists a state of confusion as to the legality of future subordinate service districts; and

“Whereas, this Act is necessary to clarify the present state of confusion;

“Now, therefore….”

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 13, § 13: Aug. 15, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is essential to the well being of the residents of the various counties that the county hospitals in the respective counties be under the management, control and operation of a separate Board of Governors selected and functioning in substantially the same manner as was provided for in Act 481 of 1949 and acts amendatory and supplemental thereto; that this Act is designed to substantially reenact the laws relating to County Hospital Boards of Governors which were repealed by Act 742 and to amend Section 107 of Act 742 to exempt County Hospital Boards of Governors from the reorganization provided for therein, and to thereby insure the continued effective and efficient operation of the various county hospitals under the supervision and direction of the respective County Boards of Governors in substantially the same manner as was provided for in the laws repealed by Act 742 and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-701. Legislative determination — Purpose.

  1. It is determined by the General Assembly that:
    1. The present service organization of county government does not meet the needs of every county in this state; and
    2. County governments can be made more responsive to the service needs of the people through the reorganization of county government into departments, boards, and subordinate service districts which are consistent in their organization and assignment of duties, responsibilities, and authorities.
  2. It is therefore the purpose of this subchapter to:
    1. Establish the basic procedures for the establishment of service organizations in county government; and
    2. Establish the authorities and limitations of these service organizations.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 98, 99; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-4101, 17-4102.

Case Notes

Cited: Eaton v. McCuen, 273 Ark. 154, 617 S.W.2d 341 (1981); Freeman v. Curry, 299 Ark. 263, 772 S.W.2d 586 (1989); Gravett v. Villines, 314 Ark. 320, 862 S.W.2d 260 (1993).

14-14-702. Authority to establish — Restrictions.

The county quorum court of each county may prescribe, by ordinance, the department, board structure, and organization of their respective county governments and may prescribe the functions of all offices, departments, and boards. However, no ordinance shall be enacted by a quorum court which:

  1. Divests the county court of any of its original jurisdictions granted by the Arkansas Constitution. However, where any county ordinance establishing a department or board and the assignment of functions thereof interferes with the jurisdictions of the county court, it shall be implied that the functions and acts may be performed on order of the county court or proper order of superior courts on appeal;
  2. Alters the organization of elected county officials established by the Arkansas Constitution, except through the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 2(b). However, any function or duty assigned by statute may be reassigned by ordinance; or
  3. Limits any provision of state law directing or requiring a county government or any officer or employee of a county government to carry out any function or provide any service. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the reassignment of functions or services assigned by statute where Arkansas reassignment does not alter the obligation of the county to continue providing the function or service.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 100; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4103.

Case Notes

Government Reorganization.

Notwithstanding the power of quorum courts under Ark. Const. Amend. 55, § 2(b) and subdivision (2) of this section, no county is authorized to pass an ordinance reorganizing its government in a manner contrary to the general law of the state. Gravett v. Villines, 314 Ark. 320, 862 S.W.2d 260 (1993).

Cited: Roberts v. Watts, 263 Ark. 822, 568 S.W.2d 1 (1978).

14-14-703. Office organization of county government.

  1. Unless otherwise provided or permitted by the Arkansas Constitution, county governments shall maintain the following organization of elected county offices:
    1. Office of the County Judge. The judge of the county court serves as the principal executive officer of the county and may establish divisions of his or her office to carry out any jurisdiction of the county court or duties assigned by county ordinance. No such delegation of administrative functions among departments of the office shall be construed as limiting or delegating any jurisdiction of the county court. Further, the county court may appoint advisory committees to assist in the formulation of policy for any department of the office. However, confirmation by the county quorum court of advisory committees so appointed or the oath of office is not required; and
    2. Other Executive Offices of the County. As established by the Arkansas Constitution, the organization of county offices shall include:
      1. The office of treasurer;
      2. The office of county clerk, as may be provided by law;
      3. The office of assessor;
      4. The office of clerk of the circuit court;
      5. The office of sheriff;
      6. The office of collector of taxes, as may be provided by law;
      7. The office of surveyor; and
      8. The office of coroner.
  2. Any executive officer of the county may establish divisions of the office to conduct any function or duty assigned by the Arkansas Constitution or by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 101; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4104.

Case Notes

Cited: Gravett v. Villines, 314 Ark. 320, 862 S.W.2d 260 (1993).

14-14-704. Establishment of county departments.

  1. The county quorum court of each county, by ordinance, may establish any number of departments for the conduct of county affairs and may prescribe the functions and duties of each department. This authority of a quorum court to establish county departments shall be conclusive and shall supersede any department organizations established by any elected county officer.
    1. Direction of Departments. All departments established by ordinance of the quorum court shall be under the direction and supervision of county judge except departments assigned to other elected officers of the county. Departments established and assigned to an elected officer other than the county judge shall be under the direction and supervision of the respective county officer.
    2. Joint Departments. Two (2) or more county governments may provide for the establishment of joint departments for the conduct of county affairs. Joint departments so created shall be established by interlocal agreements. The direction and supervision of joint departments shall be under the combined authorities of the county judge of each respective county in a manner to be prescribed by ordinance.
    3. Employment of Department Administrator. An ordinance establishing a department of county government may provide for the employment of a department administrator. The ordinance may prescribe minimum qualifications for the person so employed as administrator. However, the county judge alone shall employ all county personnel, except employees of other elected county officers. Where a department is established by the quorum court and the responsibility for direction and supervision of the department is assigned to an elected county officer other than the county judge, the elected county officer so designated shall employ all personnel authorized to be employed by the ordinance.
    4. Management Reports. A quorum court may require, by ordinance, reports for any purpose from any elective county office, department, board, or subordinate service district, or any administrator or employee of them.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 102; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4105.

14-14-705. County advisory or administrative boards.

  1. A county quorum court, by ordinance, may establish county advisory or administrative boards for the conduct of county affairs.
    1. Advisory Boards.
      1. An advisory board may be established to assist a county office, department, or subordinate service district. The advisory board may furnish advice, gather information, make recommendations, and perform other activities as may be prescribed by ordinance. A county advisory board shall not have the power to administer programs or set policy.
      2. All advisory board members shall be appointed by the county judge. Confirmation of advisory board members by a quorum court shall not be required.
      3. An advisory board may contain any number of members as may be provided by the ordinance creating the advisory board.
      4. The term of all advisory board members shall not exceed three (3) years.
    2. Administrative Boards.
      1. Administrative boards may be established to exercise administrative powers granted by county ordinance, except that the board may not be authorized to pledge the credit of the county. The administrative board shall be a body politic and corporate, with power to contract and be contracted with and sue and be sued. As to actions of tort, the board shall be considered as an agency of the county government and occupy the same status as a county. No board member shall be liable in court individually for an act performed by him or her as a board member unless the damages caused thereby were the results of the board member's malicious acts.
      2. No member of any administrative board shall be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any contract made with the administrative board. A violation of subdivision (2)(B) of this section shall be deemed a felony.
      3. An administrative board may be assigned responsibility for a county department or a subordinate service district.
      4. All administrative board members shall be appointed by the county judge. These appointments shall require confirmation by a quorum court.
      5. An administrative board shall contain five (5) members. Provided, a county library board created after August 1, 1997, shall consist of not less than five (5) members nor more than seven (7) members and shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified.
      6. The term of any administrative board member shall be for a period of five (5) years. However, the initial appointment of any administrative board shall provide for the appointment of one (1) member for a one-year term, one (1) member for a two-year term, one (1) member for a three-year term, one (1) member for a four-year term, and the remaining member or members for a five-year term, thereby providing, except for county library boards with more than five (5) members, for the appointment of one (1) member annually thereafter.
    3. Boards Generally.
      1. No board member, either advisory or administrative, shall be appointed for more than two (2) consecutive terms.
      2. All persons appointed to an advisory or administrative board shall be qualified electors of the county. A quorum court may prescribe by ordinance additional qualifications for appointment to a county administrative board.
      3. All board members appointed to either an advisory or administrative board shall subscribe to the oath of office within ten (10) days from the date of appointment. Evidence of oath of office shall be filed with the county clerk. Failure to do so shall be deemed to constitute rejection of the office, and the county judge shall appoint a board member to fill the vacancy.
      4. No member of a quorum court shall serve as a member of a county advisory or administrative board.
      5. A person may be removed from a county board for cause by the county judge with confirmation by resolution of the quorum court. Written notification stating the causes for removal shall be provided to the board member prior to the date established for quorum court consideration of removal, and the board member shall be afforded the opportunity to meet with the quorum court in their deliberation of removal.
      6. Appeals from removal of a county board member shall be directed to the circuit court of the respective county within thirty (30) days after the removal is confirmed by the quorum court.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 103; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4106; Acts 1997, No. 359, § 1.

14-14-706. Register of board appointment.

The clerk of the county court shall maintain a register of county advisory and administrative board appointments established by a county quorum court, including:

  1. The name of the board;
  2. The ordinance reference number establishing the board;
  3. The name of the board member;
  4. The date of appointment; and
  5. The expiration date of the appointments.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 104; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4107.

14-14-707. Conduct of affairs of county boards.

  1. Initial Meeting. The time and place for the initial meeting of a county board shall be established by the county judge through written notification of each board member.
  2. Meeting Dates and Notification. All boards shall by rule provide for the date, time, and place of regular monthly meetings or other regularly scheduled meetings. This information shall be filed with the county court, and notification of all meetings shall be conducted as established by law for public meetings.
  3. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by two (2) or more board members upon written notification of all members not less than two (2) calendar days prior to the calendar day fixed for the time of the meeting.
  4. Quorum. A majority of board members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business and exercising powers and responsibilities. Board action may be taken by a majority vote of those present and voting unless the ordinance creating the board requires otherwise.
  5. Organization and Voting. At its initial meeting of a quorum of members, each county board shall elect one (1) of their members to serve as chair of the board for a term of one (1) year. The chair shall thereafter preside over the board throughout his or her term as chair. In the absence of the chair, a quorum of the board may select one (1) of its members to preside and conduct the affairs of the board.
  6. Minutes. All boards shall provide for the keeping of written minutes which include the final vote on all board actions indicating the vote of each individual member on the question.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 105; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4108.

14-14-708. Subordinate service districts generally.

  1. Authority to Establish. Subordinate service districts to provide one (1) or more of the services authorized to be provided by county governments may be established, operated, altered, combined, enlarged, reduced, or abolished by the county quorum court by ordinance.
  2. Area Served. A subordinate service district may include all, or any part, of the jurisdictional areas of county government. Two (2) or more county governments may create a joint subordinate service district by interlocal agreement.
  3. Purposes of District. A subordinate service district is defined as a county service organization established to provide one (1) or more county services or additions to county services and financed from revenues secured from within the designated service area through the levy and collection of service charges. These districts may be created for the following purposes:
    1. Emergency services, including ambulance services, civil defense services, and fire prevention and protection services;
    2. Solid waste services, including recycling services, and solid waste collection and disposal services;
    3. Water, sewer, and other utility services, including sanitary and storm sewers and sewage treatment services, water supply and distribution services, water course, drainage, irrigation, and flood control services; and
    4. Transportation services, including roads, bridges, airports and aviation services, ferries, wharves, docks, and other marine services, parking services, and public transportation services.
  4. Financing. Notwithstanding any provisions of law requiring uniform taxation within a county, a quorum court, by ordinance, may establish subordinate service districts and levy service charges to provide and finance any county service or function which a county is otherwise authorized to undertake.

History. Acts 1981, No. 874, § 1; 1983, No. 233, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4109.

Case Notes

Creation.

As to ordinances creating a subordinate service district under repealed statute, see Eaton v. McCuen, 273 Ark. 154, 617 S.W.2d 341 (1981).

Mandatory Fees.

Before mandatory fees, and tax liens for those mandatory fees, can be imposed, there must be notice and a public hearing. Freeman v. Curry, 299 Ark. 263, 772 S.W.2d 586 (1989).

14-14-709. Establishment of subordinate service districts.

  1. Procedure Generally. A subordinate service district may be established by ordinance of the quorum court in the following manner:
    1. Upon petition to the quorum court by twenty-five percent (25%) of the number of realty owners within the proposed subordinate service district, the owners of twenty-five percent (25%) of the realty in the area of the proposed subordinate service district, and the owners of twenty-five percent (25%) of the assessed value of the realty within the proposed subordinate service district, the quorum court shall set a date for a public hearing and shall give notice of the hearing on the petition to form the proposed subordinate service district. Following the public hearing, the court may either adopt an ordinance creating the subordinate service district or refuse to act further on the matter;
    2. If hearings indicate that a geographic area desires exclusion from the proposed subordinate service district, the quorum court may amend the boundaries of the proposed subordinate service district to exclude the property in that area; and
    3. Where an ordinance is adopted establishing a subordinate service district, the quorum court, in addition to all other requirements, shall publish notice of the adoption of the ordinance. The notice shall include a statement setting out the elector's right to protest. If within thirty (30) days of the notice, twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the number of realty owners within the proposed subordinate service district, the owners of twenty-five percent (25%) of the realty in the area of the proposed subordinate service district, and the owners of twenty-five percent (25%) of the assessed value of the realty within the proposed subordinate service district file a written protest, by individual letter or petition, then the ordinance creating the subordinate service district shall be void.
  2. Ordinance Requirements. An ordinance to establish a subordinate service district shall include:
    1. The name of the proposed district;
    2. A map containing the boundaries of the proposed district;
    3. The convenience or necessity of the proposed district;
    4. The services to be provided by the proposed district;
    5. The estimated cost of services to be provided and methods of financing the proposed services. Service charges adopted by a quorum court shall be equally administered on a per capita, per household, per unit of service, or a combination of these methods. Service charges adopted by the court on a per capita or per household method shall be administered equally without regard to an individual or household availing themselves of the service; and
    6. The method for administering the proposed district.
  3. Initiative and Referendum. All provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, shall apply to the establishment of county subordinate service areas.

History. Acts 1981, No. 874, § 1; 1983, No. 233, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4109; Acts 1993, No. 317, § 1.

Case Notes

Interference with Property Ownership.

The General Assembly intended for taxpayers to have notice and an opportunity for a special referendum before a substantial interference with property ownership, such as a tax lien, is imposed. Freeman v. Curry, 299 Ark. 263, 772 S.W.2d 586 (1989).

14-14-710. Modification or dissolution of subordinate service districts.

  1. Modification. A quorum court may, after adoption of an ordinance, with notice and public hearing:
    1. Increase, decrease, or terminate the type of services that the subordinate service district is authorized to provide unless fifty percent (50%) of the electors residing in the district protest;
    2. Enlarge the district to include adjacent land if fifty percent (50%) or more of the electors residing in the proposed addition do not protest;
    3. Combine the subordinate service district with another subordinate service district unless fifty percent (50%) of the electors in either district protest;
    4. Abolish the subordinate service district unless fifty percent (50%) of the electors in the district protest;
    5. Reduce the area of a district by removing property from the district unless fifty percent (50%) of the electors residing in the territory to be removed from the district protest;
    6. Change the method for administering the subordinate service district unless fifty percent (50%) of the electors in the district protest;
    7. All changes in subordinate service districts may be submitted to the electors of the existing or proposed district, whichever is larger, by initiative or referendum.
  2. Dissolution. As provided in this section, a quorum court may abolish or combine subordinate service districts by ordinance. Dissolution or any combination of service districts shall provide for the following considerations:
    1. The transfer or other disposition of property and other rights, claims, and assets of the district;
    2. The payment of all obligations from the resources of the district;
    3. The payment of all costs of abolishing or combining a district from the resources of the districts involved;
    4. The honoring of any bond, debt, contract, obligation, or cause of action accrued or established under the subordinate district;
    5. The provision for the equitable disposition of the assets of the district, for adequate protection of the legal rights of employees of the district, and for adequate protection of legal rights of creditors; and
    6. The transfer of all property and assets to the jurisdiction of the county court.

History. Acts 1981, No. 874, § 1; 1983, No. 233, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4109.

14-14-711. Administration of subordinate service districts.

  1. Generally. A subordinate service district may be administered directly as a part of the office of the county judge, as a part of a department with or without an advisory or administrative board, or as a separate department with or without an advisory or administrative board.
  2. Budget. The budget for each subordinate service district shall be appropriated as other funds of the county.
  3. Tax Lists. Upon request, the county assessor shall provide the quorum court with the assessed or taxable value of all property in a proposed established subordinate service district and a list of property owners and residential structures based on the last completed assessment roll of the county.
  4. Service Charges.
      1. Service charges for subordinate service districts shall be entered on tax statements by the county sheriff or county collector pursuant to § 26-35-705 and shall be collected with the real and personal property taxes of the county.
      2. No collector of taxes shall accept payment of any property taxes if the taxpayer has been billed for services authorized by a subordinate service district unless the service charge is also receipted.
      3. If a property owner fails to pay the service charge, the service charge shall become a lien on the property.
    1. A subordinate service district may choose to forgo county collection of its annual service charges and instead collect its service charges on a suitable periodic basis if the subordinate service district provides its own billing and collection service.
  5. Use of Funds. Funds raised through service charges for a subordinate service district may be used only for subordinate service district purposes. These public funds shall be maintained in the county treasury and accounted for as an enterprise fund. Disbursements of all subordinate service district funds shall be made only upon voucher or claim presented to and approved by the county judge, acting in his or her capacity as the chief executive officer of the county, unless otherwise provided by ordinance establishing the district.

History. Acts 1981, No. 874, § 1; 1983, No. 233, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4109; Acts 1995, No. 552, § 1; 2013, No. 537, § 1.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment rewrote (d)(1).

Case Notes

Mandatory Fees.

Before mandatory fees, and tax liens for those mandatory fees, can be imposed, there must be notice and a public hearing. Freeman v. Curry, 299 Ark. 263, 772 S.W.2d 586 (1989).

14-14-712. Reorganization of existing county boards and commissions.

  1. All laws providing for the organization, jurisdiction, and operation of county boards and commissions, except the laws relating to county hospital boards of governors and except laws relating to county nursing home boards, shall be given the status of county ordinance until June 30, 1978. These organizations shall continue to function under those respective laws until reorganized by county ordinance. The organizations subject to reorganization by county ordinance are, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. County library boards;
    2. County planning boards;
    3. County park commissions; and
    4. County welfare boards.
  2. Advisory board members appointed as a result of a reorganizational ordinance shall have a term of appointment as specified in this subchapter.
  3. Ordinances enacted by a county quorum court for the reorganization of county government into county departments, with or without advisory or administrative boards or subordinate service districts, may be adopted in a single reading of the court.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 107; 1977 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 13, § 6; 1979, No. 741, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4110.

Cross References. County hospitals board of governors, § 14-263-101 et seq.

Subchapter 8 — Legislative Powers

Cross References. Local government reserve funds, § 14-73-101.

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., §§ 193-230, 423-578.

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, §§ 49, 50 and § 165 et seq.

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

Derden, Survey of Arkansas Law: Constitutional Law, 2 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 188.

Goldner, A Call for Reform of Arkansas Municipal Law, 15 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 175.

14-14-801. Powers generally.

  1. As provided by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 1, Part (a), a county government, acting through its county quorum court, may exercise local legislative authority not expressly prohibited by the Arkansas Constitution or by law for the affairs of the county.
  2. These powers include, but are not limited to, the power to:
    1. Levy taxes in a manner prescribed by law;
    2. Appropriate public funds for the expenses of the county in a manner prescribed by ordinance;
    3. Preserve peace and order and secure freedom from dangerous or noxious activities. However, no act may be declared a felony;
    4. For any public purpose, contract or join with any other county, with any political subdivision, or with the federal government;
    5. Create, consolidate, separate, revise, or abandon any elected office, except during the term thereof, if a majority of those voting on the question at a general election have approved the action;
    6. Fix the number and compensation of deputies and county employees;
    7. Fix the compensation of each county officer within a minimum and maximum to be determined by law;
    8. Fill vacancies in elected county offices;
    9. Have the power to override the veto of the county judge by a vote of three-fifths (3/5) of the total membership of the quorum court;
    10. Provide for any service or performance of any function relating to county affairs;
    11. Impose a special assessment reasonably related to the cost of any special service or special benefit provided by county government or impose a fee for the provisions of a service;
    12. Provide for its own organization and management of its affairs; and
    13. Exercise other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for effective administration of authorized services and functions.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 69; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3801.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Jonathan L. Marshfield, Improving Amendment, 69 Ark. L. Rev. 477 (2016).

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

County quorum court ordinance that required all county constitutional offices to be open during certain hours related to the performance of person in providing necessary services as a tax collector and, as such, was within the express powers granted the quorum court by Ark. Const. Amend. 55 and this section, and not in violation of the separation of powers provisions of the Arkansas Constitution. Walker v. County of Washington, 263 Ark. 317, 564 S.W.2d 513 (1978).

Compensation.

While it is clear that a county sheriff has the authority to appoint his deputies, it is equally clear that the compensation for these individuals is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the quorum court. Venhaus v. Adams, 295 Ark. 606, 752 S.W.2d 20 (1988).

County Employees.

A county ordinance that expressly required that a county employee be given two weeks notice prior to involuntary termination, that the reasons for such action had to be filed in writing, and that the employee had a right to appeal such action to a grievance board, did not, on its face, or as applied to sheriff's deputies, violate the separation of powers doctrine under Arkansas law by encroaching upon the executive branch of county government. Wilson v. Robinson, 668 F.2d 380 (8th Cir. 1981).

Elected Officials.

Ordinance by county quorum court prohibiting nepotism by elected county officials is a valid and properly adopted ordinance. Henderson v. Russell, 267 Ark. 140, 589 S.W.2d 565 (1979).

Fees.

Where ordinances of county quorum court levying additional local recording fees on deeds and other instruments were inconsistent and in conflict with § 21-6-306, which established a uniform standard amount of recording fee to be charged throughout the state, such ordinances exceeded the local legislative authority granted to the counties by Ark. Const. Amend. 55 and this section and were, therefore, void, and the moneys collected thereunder had to be refunded. Kollmeyer v. Greer, 267 Ark. 632, 593 S.W.2d 29 (1980).

Medical Services.

Section 14-14-801 et seq. and § 20-13-301 et seq. were not intended to provide alternative procedures for the establishment of emergency medical services by a county, since to hold that these provisions were intended to provide alternative methods would effectively render § 20-13-301 et seq. a nullity, as there would be no reason for a quorum court to choose the more arduous route required by § 20-13-301 et seq. when it could accomplish the same result more easily under § 14-14-801 et seq.Vandiver v. Washington County, 274 Ark. 561, 628 S.W.2d 1 (1982).

Section 14-14-801 et seq. gives the quorum court of any county the authority to provide for emergency medical services; however, the authority created under these provisions is governed and limited by the procedural requirements of § 20-13-301 et seq.Vandiver v. Washington County, 274 Ark. 561, 628 S.W.2d 1 (1982).

The general county powers law found in this section is circumscribed by § 20-13-303 when the method of financing a county emergency medical service is by service charge. West Wash. County Emergency Medical Servs. v. Washington County, 313 Ark. 76, 852 S.W.2d 137 (1993).

The term “as provided by law” in this section does not refer to § 20-13-303 in cases in which a service charge is to be imposed. West Wash. County Emergency Medical Servs. v. Washington County, 313 Ark. 76, 852 S.W.2d 137 (1993).

14-14-802. Providing of services generally.

  1. A county government, acting through the county quorum court, shall provide, through ordinance, for the following necessary services for its citizens:
    1. The administration of justice through the several courts of record of the county;
    2. Law enforcement protection services and the custody of persons accused or convicted of crimes;
    3. Real and personal property tax administration, including assessments, collection, and custody of tax proceeds;
    4. Court and public records management, as provided by law, including registration, recording, and custody of public records; and
    5. All other services prescribed by state law for performance by each of the elected county officers or departments of county government.
    1. A county government, acting through the quorum court, may provide through ordinance for the establishment of any service or performance of any function not expressly prohibited by the Arkansas Constitution or by law.
    2. These legislative services and functions include, but are not limited to, the following services and facilities:
      1. Agricultural services, including:
        1. Extension services, including agricultural, home economic, and community development;
        2. Fairs and livestock shows and sales services;
        3. Livestock inspection and protection services;
        4. Market and marketing services;
        5. Rodent, predator, and vertebrate control services; and
        6. Weed and insect control services;
      2. Community and rural development services, including:
        1. Economic development services;
        2. Housing services;
        3. Open spaces;
        4. Planning, zoning, and subdivision control services;
        5. Urban and rural development, rehabilitation, and redevelopment services; and
        6. Watercourse, drainage, irrigation, and flood control services;
      3. Community services, including:
        1. Animal control services;
        2. Cemetery, burial, and memorial services;
        3. Consumer education and protection services;
        4. Exhibition and show services;
        5. Libraries, museums, civic center auditoriums, and historical, cultural, or natural site services;
        6. Park and recreation services; and
        7. Public camping services;
      4. Emergency services, including:
        1. Ambulance services;
        2. Civil defense services;
        3. Fire prevention and protection services; and
        4. Juvenile attention services;
      5. Human services, including:
        1. Air and water pollution control services;
        2. Child care, youth, and senior citizen services;
        3. Public health and hospital services;
        4. Public nursing and extended care services; and
        5. Social and rehabilitative services;
      6. Solid waste services, including:
        1. Recycling services; and
        2. Solid waste collection and disposal services;
      7. Transportation services, including:
        1. Roads, bridges, airports, and aviation services;
        2. Ferries, wharves, docks, and other marine services;
        3. Parking services; and
        4. Public transportation services;
      8. Water, sewer, and other utility services, including:
        1. Sanitary and storm sewers and sewage treatment services; and
        2. Water supply and distribution services;
      9. Job training services and facilities; and
      10. Other services related to county affairs.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 70; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3802; Acts 2017, No. 452, § 1.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment added (b)(2)(J) [now (b)(2)(I)].

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

Constitutionality of this section was upheld. Thruston v. Little River County, 310 Ark. 188, 832 S.W.2d 851 (1992).

This section does not violate the uniformity requirement of Ark. Const. Amend. 14. Villines v. Tucker, 324 Ark. 13, 918 S.W.2d 153 (1996).

This statute is not unconstitutional and in contravention Ark. Const. Amend. 55, § 1(a). Villines v. Tucker, 324 Ark. 13, 918 S.W.2d 153 (1996).

Construction.

Providing for the administration of justice under subdivision (a)(1) is a mandatory service; providing a museum under subdivision (b)(2)(C)(v) is a discretionary service the county is authorized to offer. Haynes v. Faulkner County, 326 Ark. 557, 932 S.W.2d 328 (1996).

Designation of county building as a museum was not an illegal exaction since § 14-14-1102(b)(3) and Ark. Const. Amend. 55, § 3, provide that the County Judge is the custodian of county property and is therefore authorized to determine how county property shall be used; moreover, subdivision (b)(2)(C)(v) of this section and § 13-5-501 et seq. authorize the County to provide for a county museum. Haynes v. Faulkner County, 326 Ark. 557, 932 S.W.2d 328 (1996).

Emergency Services.

Section 14-14-801 et seq. and § 20-13-301 et seq. were not intended to provide alternative procedures for the establishment of emergency medical services by a county, since to hold that these provisions were intended to provide alternative methods would effectively render § 20-13-301 et seq. a nullity, as there would be no reason for a quorum court to choose the more arduous route required by § 20-13-301 et seq. when it could accomplish the same result more easily under § 14-14-801 et seq.Vandiver v. Washington County, 274 Ark. 561, 628 S.W.2d 1 (1982).

Section 14-14-801 et seq. gives the quorum court of any county the authority to provide for emergency medical services; however, the authority created under these provisions is governed and limited by the procedural requirements of § 20-13-301 et seq.Vandiver v. Washington County, 274 Ark. 561, 628 S.W.2d 1 (1982).

Gravedigging.

Although gravedigging services can be provided when this section is complied with, where there was no indication from the record that the quorum court knew of the county's free gravedigging services other than testimony from a county judge, and even if the quorum court had known of the gravedigging services, it took no action by ordinance or otherwise to authorize such services; the provision of these services was invalid. Dudley v. Little River County, 305 Ark. 102, 805 S.W.2d 645 (1991).

Cited: Kollmeyer v. Greer, 267 Ark. 632, 593 S.W.2d 29 (1980); Wilson v. Robinson, 506 F. Supp. 1236 (E.D. Ark. 1981); Hall v. Fisher, 285 Ark. 222, 685 S.W.2d 803 (1985); Venhaus v. Adams, 295 Ark. 606, 752 S.W.2d 20 (1988); West Wash. County Emergency Medical Servs. v. Washington County, 313 Ark. 76, 852 S.W.2d 137 (1993).

14-14-803. Providing of facilities.

The power of county government to provide services includes the power to provide necessary and convenient facilities to support the services.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 71; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3803.

Case Notes

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978).

14-14-804. Regulatory powers.

The power of a county government to provide services includes the power to exercise regulatory powers in conjunction with the services.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 72; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3804.

14-14-805. Powers denied.

Each county quorum court in the State of Arkansas exercising local legislative authority is prohibited the exercise of the following:

  1. Any legislative act that applies to or affects any private or civil relationship, except as an incident to the exercise of local legislative authority;
  2. Any legislative act that applies to or affects the provision of collective bargaining, retirement, workers' compensation, or unemployment compensation. However, subject to the limitations imposed by the Arkansas Constitution and state law regarding these subject areas, a quorum court may exercise any legislative authority with regard to employee policy and practices of a general nature, including, but not limited to, establishment of general vacation and sick leave policies, general office hour policies, general policies with reference to nepotism, or general policies to be applicable in the hiring of county employees. Legislation promulgated by a quorum court dealing with matters of employee policy and practices shall be applicable only to employees of the county and shall not apply to the elected county officers of the county. Legislation applying to employee policy practices shall be only of a general nature and shall be uniform in application to all employees of the county. The day-to-day administrative responsibility of each county office shall continue to rest within the discretion of the elected county officials;
  3. Any legislative act that applies to or affects the public school system, except that a county government may impose an assessment, where established by the General Assembly, reasonably related to the cost of any service or specific benefit provided by county government and shall exercise any legislative authority which it is required by law to exercise regarding the public school system;
  4. Any legislative act which prohibits the grant or denial of a certificate of public convenience and necessity;
  5. Any legislative act that establishes a rate or price otherwise determined by a state agency;
  6. Any legislative act that defines as an offense conduct made criminal by state law, that defines an offense as a felony, or that fixes the penalty or sentence for a misdemeanor in excess of a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any one (1) specified offense or violation, or double that sum for repetition of the offense or violation. If an act prohibited or rendered unlawful is, in its nature, continuous in respect to time, the fine or penalty for allowing the continuance of the prohibited or unlawful act, in violation of the ordinance, shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each day that it is unlawfully continued;
  7. Any legislative act that applies to or affects the standards of professional or occupational competence as prerequisites to the carrying on of a profession or occupation;
  8. Any legislative act of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contract shall not be enacted, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate;
  9. Any legislative act which grants to any citizen or class of citizens privileges or immunities which upon the terms shall not equally belong to all citizens;
  10. Any legislative act which denies the individual right of property without just compensation;
  11. Any legislative act which lends the credit of the county for any purpose whatsoever or upon any interest-bearing evidence of indebtedness, except bonds as may be provided for by the Arkansas Constitution. This subdivision (11) does not apply to revenue bonds which are deemed not to be a general obligation of the county;
  12. Any legislative act that conflicts with the exercise by municipalities of any expressed, implied, or essential powers of municipal government; and
  13. Any legislative act contrary to the general laws of the state.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 73; 1979, No. 413, § 15; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3805; Acts 2013, No. 127, § 1.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment, in (6), substituted “fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000)” for “fine of five hundred dollars ($500)” in the first sentence, and substituted “of the prohibited or unlawful act” for “thereof,” “five hundred dollars ($500)” for “two hundred fifty dollars ($250),” and ”is unlawfully” for “may be unlawfully” in the last sentence.

Cross References. Ordinances declaring agricultural operations nuisances void, § 2-4-105.

Research References

ALR.

Construction and Application of U.S. Const. Art. I, § 10, cl. 1, and State Constitutional Provisions Proscribing State Bills of Attainder. 63 A.L.R.6th 1.

Case Notes

Acts of Attainder.

All regulations, zoning or otherwise, which affect landowners are not acts of attainder. Johnson v. Sunray Servs., Inc., 306 Ark. 497, 816 S.W.2d 582 (1991).

County Employees.

A county ordinance that provided a comprehensive scheme of employment policies for county employees including procedural steps to be followed in terminating their employment was clearly authorized by subdivision (2), and where a sheriff failed to establish the existence of any state decisional or positive law that contradicted the presumption that the ordinance and statute were constitutionally valid, the sheriff was required to comply with the ordinance's notice and grievance procedures in order to terminate the employment of his deputy sheriffs. Wilson v. Robinson, 668 F.2d 380 (8th Cir. 1981).

A county ordinance that expressly required that a county employee be given two weeks notice prior to involuntary termination, that the reasons for such action had to be filed in writing, and that the employee had a right to appeal such action to a grievance board, did not, on its face, or as applied to sheriff's deputies, violate the separation of powers doctrine under Arkansas law by encroaching upon the executive branch of county government. Wilson v. Robinson, 668 F.2d 380 (8th Cir. 1981).

Defendants did not violate this section as the county quorum court did not pass any ordinance that prohibited the practice of collective bargaining, nor did it prescribe the manner in which collective bargaining should be utilized; the quorum court merely expressed its intent not to renew the collective bargaining agreement with the union and the county employees. AFSCME, Local 380 v. Hot Spring County, 362 F. Supp. 2d 1035 (W.D. Ark. 2004).

Former deputy's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 official capacity claim against a sheriff failed because the sheriff did not act as the final policymaker in terminating the deputy, as the sheriff's employment decisions were subject to review by the quorum court under this section. Thompson v. Shock, 852 F.3d 786 (8th Cir. 2017).

Public School Systems.

Where the General Assembly has not otherwise provided, the interest earned on school taxes collected belongs to the schools; therefore, a county quorum court ordinance that authorized the county collector to deposit into the county general fund all interest earned on school tax moneys held by the collector prior to transfer of those funds to the county treasurer was invalid, since the ordinance permitted the county to use the school tax money to earn money for the county without passing on any of the interest earned to the school districts, and also since the county was prohibited from passing any legislation “affecting public school systems,” which this ordinance surely did affect. Mears v. Little Rock School Dist., 268 Ark. 30, 593 S.W.2d 42 (1980).

Where the General Assembly had not passed any legislation establishing an “assessment” reasonably related to the cost of any service or specific benefit provided by the county government, the county quorum court was without the authority to order the school districts to pay a pro rata share of the salaries and expenses incurred in the collection of taxes by the county officers, other than the assessor's office. Mears v. Little Rock School Dist., 268 Ark. 30, 593 S.W.2d 42 (1980).

Cited: Wilson v. Robinson, 506 F. Supp. 1236 (E.D. Ark. 1981).

14-14-806. Powers requiring state delegation.

Each county quorum court in the State of Arkansas exercising local legislative authority is prohibited the exercise of the following powers, unless the power is specifically delegated by the General Assembly:

  1. The legislative power to authorize a tax on income or the sale of goods or services. This subdivision (1) shall not be construed to limit the authority of county government to levy any other tax or establish the rate of any other tax which is not inconsistent with the Arkansas Constitution or law;
  2. The legislative power to regulate private activities beyond its geographic limits;
  3. The legislative power to impose a duty on or regulate another unit of local government. However, nothing in this limitation shall affect the right of a county to enter into and enforce an agreement of intergovernmental cooperation; and
  4. The legislative power to regulate any form of gambling, lotteries, or gift enterprises.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 74; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3806.

Cross References. County gross receipts tax on hotels, motels and resturants, § 14-20-112.

Rural community projects, § 14-270-101 et seq.

Taxation generally, § 26-73-101 et seq.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Kindt, Legalized Gambling Activities as Subsidized by Taxpayers, 48 Ark. L. Rev. 889.

14-14-807. Restrictive provisions.

A county exercising local legislative power is subject to the following provisions. These provisions are a prohibition on the legislative power of a county acting other than as provided:

  1. All state laws providing for the:
    1. Corporation or disincorporation of cities and towns;
    2. Annexation, disannexation, or exclusion of territory from a city or town; and
    3. Creation, abandonment, or boundary alteration of counties;
  2. All state laws establishing legislative procedures or requirements for county government;
  3. All laws requiring elections;
  4. All laws which regulate planning or zoning. However, a county quorum court, in the exercise of its local legislative power, may either accept, modify, or reject recommendations of the county planning board. Modifications of the recommendations shall be made by the procedures provided in § 14-17-201 et seq. The quorum court is empowered to initiate its own planning and zoning laws;
  5. All laws directing or requiring a county government, or any officer or employee of a county government, to carry out any function or provide any service. However, nothing in this subdivision (5) shall be construed to prevent counties from abolishing or consolidating an office under the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 2(b), nor the reassignment of statutory delegated functions or services which the reassignment is permitted by law if the abolition, consolidation, or reassignment shall not alter the obligation of the county to continue providing the services previously provided by the abolished or consolidated office;
  6. All laws regulating finance or borrowing procedures and powers of local government;
  7. All laws governing eminent domain;
  8. All laws governing public information and open meetings; and
  9. All laws governing the vacation of roads, streets, or alleys.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 75; 1981, No. 278, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3807.

Cross References. County planning boards, § 14-17-201 et seq.

Case Notes

Elections.

An election commissioner is not given the sole authority under subdivision (3) to determine the amount of money necessary to conduct an election, since it is not intended by the General Assembly that the quorum courts be deprived of their fiscal authority over the funding of elections. Union County v. Union County Election Comm'n, 274 Ark. 286, 623 S.W.2d 827 (1981).

Cited: Walker v. County of Washington, 263 Ark. 317, 564 S.W.2d 513 (1978).

14-14-808. Consistency with state rules or regulations required.

  1. A county government exercising local legislative authority is prohibited the exercise of any power in any manner inconsistent with state law or administrative rule or regulation in any area affirmatively subjected by law to state regulation or control.
  2. The exercise of legislative authority is inconsistent with state law, rule, or regulation if it establishes standards or requirements which are lower or less stringent than those imposed by state law, rule, or regulation.
  3. An area is affirmatively subjected to state control if a state agency or officer is directed to establish administrative rules governing the matter or if enforcement of standards or requirements established by statute is vested in a state officer or agency.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 76; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3808; Acts 2019, No. 315, § 984.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “rules or regulations” for “regulation” in the section heading; inserted “rule or” and made similar changes in (a) and twice in (b); and deleted “and regulations” following “rules” in (c).

Case Notes

Cited: Kollmeyer v. Greer, 267 Ark. 632, 593 S.W.2d 29 (1980).

14-14-809. Concurrent powers.

  1. If a county government is authorized to regulate an area which the state by statute or administrative rule also regulates, the local government may regulate the area only by enacting ordinances which are consistent with state law or administrative rule.
  2. If a state statute or administrative rule prescribes a single standard of conduct, an ordinance is consistent if it is identical to the state statute or administrative rule.
  3. If a state statute or administrative rule prescribes a minimal standard of conduct, an ordinance is consistent if it establishes a standard which is the same as, or higher or more stringent than, the state standard.
  4. A county government may adopt ordinances which incorporate by reference state statutes and administrative rules in areas in which a local government is authorized to act.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 77; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3809; Acts 2019, No. 315, § 985.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment substituted “rule” for “regulation” and “rules” for “regulations” throughout the section.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Case Note, Johnson v. Sunray Services, Inc.: Possible Solutions to the NIMBY Syndrome, 45 Ark. L. Rev. 657.

Case Notes

Cited: Johnson v. Sunray Servs., Inc., 306 Ark. 497, 816 S.W.2d 582 (1991).

14-14-810. Improvements to roadways serving private property.

    1. In the passage of this section, the General Assembly is cognizant of the responsibilities of the county judge and of the county quorum court with respect to the establishment and operation of public roads and for the construction, maintenance, repair, and upkeep of county roads. The General Assembly is also mindful of the importance of providing reasonable access to the public roads system for the procurement of emergency medical services; the education of school-age children transported by school buses; the obtaining of mail and the goods of commerce; the marketing of the agricultural, livestock, and poultry products produced on Arkansas farms; and access to numerous other services essential to the health, safety, and welfare of thousands of rural families in this state.
      1. It is, therefore, the purpose and intent of this section to authorize the quorum courts of counties having a population of no less than seven thousand (7,000) nor more than seven thousand five hundred (7,500), according to the 1980 Federal Decennial Census, to enact ordinances authorizing the county judge to provide for the use of county road machinery and equipment, materials, supplies, and labor to make improvements to the roadways serving private property that are deemed essential, under standards and procedures established by the court, to provide access to the public roads of the county in cases of bad weather or the occurrence of other events which may impair citizens of this state from obtaining reasonable and necessary access to the public roads of this state.
        1. The ordinance enacted by the quorum court shall prescribe the conditions, circumstances, and limitations under which the county judge is authorized to make improvements or to perform work upon roads used for access from private property to the public roads.
        2. In addition, the court may request the county judge to file reports from time to time, outlining the work performed in providing access of private property to the public roads, in such detail and at such frequencies as may be requested by the court.
    1. All work performed by the county judge on improvements necessary to make private property accessible to the public roads, as authorized in this section, and which is performed in compliance with the ordinance adopted by the county quorum court authorizing the work, shall be deemed to be public work for which public funds may be expended.
    2. All expenditures of county funds made by the county judge in compliance with this section are determined to be for a public purpose, as defined in this section.

History. Acts 1981, No. 268, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-3810, 17-3811.

14-14-811. Salary of county judge and emergency management personnel.

  1. The quorum court of each county is authorized to pay a portion of the salary and related matching benefits of the county judge from the county road fund and the county solid waste fund.
    1. The portion of the county judge's salary paid from the county road fund shall not exceed fifty percent (50%).
    2. The portion paid from the county solid waste fund shall not exceed thirty-four percent (34%).
  2. However, the portion to be paid from the county general fund shall be at least one-third (1/3) of the total salary and matching benefits.
    1. At the discretion of the county judge, a county may pay a portion of the salary and related matching benefits of personnel of the local emergency management jurisdiction from the county road fund.
    2. The portion paid from the county road fund shall not exceed fifty percent (50%).

History. Acts 1987, No. 675, § 2; 1999, No. 725, § 1; 2011, No. 345, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 1987, No. 675, § 1, provided:

“It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Section 78 of Chapter 4 of Act 742 of 1977, as amended, and various other laws charge the county judge with the responsibility of constructing, maintaining, and operating a system of county roads, bridges, and ferries and gives the county judge broad administrative authority and responsibility with respect to the construction, maintenance, and operation of county roads; that as a result of this responsibility, a substantial portion of each county judge's time must be dedicated to the administration of the county road system; that under current interpretation of the present law, there is no clear authority to pay any portion of the salary of the county judge out of county road funds; that fairness and equity dictate that the county road system bear a fair share of the salary of the county judge since a substantial part of his time is dedicated to his responsibilities as administrator of the county road system. Therefore, it is the intent and purpose of this act to authorize the payment of up to one-half (½) of the salary of each county judge from the county road fund.”

Amendments. The 2011 amendment rewrote the section heading and added (d).

Cross References. Compensation of elected county officers, § 14-14-1204.

14-14-812. Cemetery access roads.

  1. A “cemetery”, as used in this section, means any burying place for the dead, a burial plot, a graveyard, or any land, public or private, dedicated and used for the interment of human remains which includes at least six (6) grave markers.
    1. The county judges of the several county governments in Arkansas shall be authorized to improve and maintain any roads across public or private lands used or to be used for access to a cemetery.
    2. The cemetery access roads shall be constructed to a standard and nature to permit their use by automobiles.

History. Acts 1995, No. 1317, § 2; 1997, No. 1286, § 2.

Cross References. Cemeteries — Access — Debris — Disturbance, § 5-39-212.

Cemeteries generally, § 20-17-901 et seq.

Cemetery Act for Perpetually Maintained Cemeteries, § 20-17-1001 et seq.

Cemetery improvement districts, § 20-17-1101 et seq.

14-14-813. Authority to regulate unsanitary conditions.

  1. To the extent that it is not inconsistent with the powers exercised by incorporated towns and cities of the first class and cities of the second class under § 14-54-901 et seq., counties are empowered to order the owner of real property within the county to:
    1. Abate, remove, or eliminate garbage, rubbish, and junk as defined in § 27-74-402, and other unsightly and unsanitary articles upon property situated in the county; and
    2. Abate, eliminate, or remove stagnant pools of water or any other unsanitary thing, place, or condition that might become a breeding place for mosquitoes and germs harmful to the health of the community.
  2. A copy of the order issued under subsection (a) of this section shall be posted upon the property and:
    1. Mailed to the last known address of the property owner by the county clerk or other person designated by the quorum court; or
    2. Published in accordance with § 14-14-104 if there is no last known address for the property owner.
    1. If the property owner has not complied with the order within thirty (30) days after notice is given in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the county may:
      1. Do either of the following:
        1. Take any necessary corrective actions, including repairs, to bring the property into compliance with the order; or
        2. Remove or raze any structure ordered by the county to be removed or razed; and
      2. Charge the cost of any actions under subdivision (c)(1)(A) of this section to the owner of the real property.
    2. The county shall have a lien against the property for any unpaid cost incurred under subdivision (c)(1) of this section in addition to interest at the maximum legal rate.
  3. In all successful suits brought to enforce liens granted under this section, the county shall be reimbursed its costs, including title search fees and a reasonable attorney's fee.
  4. This section does not apply to:
    1. Land valued as agricultural property that is being farmed or otherwise used for agricultural purposes; or
    2. A parcel of land larger than ten (10) acres if the unsanitary condition on the parcel is not visible from a public road or highway.

History. Acts 2005, No. 1984, § 1; 2007, No. 126, § 1; 2007, No. 250, § 1; 2019, No. 383, § 2.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment rewrote the introductory paragraph of (b); deleted former (b)(1); redesignated former (b)(2)(A) and (b)(2)(B) as (b)(1) and (b)(2); and added the introductory language of (c)(1)(A).

14-14-814. Authority to regulate private communities.

  1. Upon the written request of a property owners' association of a private community that is located outside the boundaries of a municipality, a county may by ordinance regulate the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the private community within all or any part of the area included in the private community.
  2. The quorum court may by ordinance regulate animals upon petition by a majority of landowners or a property owners' association within the private community, including without limitation leash or harness requirements for domestic animals when the animals are outside the animal owner's property.
  3. As used in this section, “private community” means a community outside the corporate limits of a municipality but within a platted subdivision or a condominium complex.
  4. The quorum court may enforce this section under § 14-14-906.

History. Acts 2007, No. 144, § 1; 2013, No. 567, § 1.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment rewrote (a); and added (b) through (d).

Subchapter 9 — Legislative Procedures

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 717, § 3: Apr. 3, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and declared that a referendum period of longer than 30 days on measures pertaining to County bond issues requires an unreasonable waiting period between the adoption of a measure authorizing the bonds and actual issuance; that bond purchasers are reluctant to guarantee interest rates for longer than 30 days; and that counties are severally handicapped under present law in marketing bonds upon the most favorable terms. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 220, § 3: Feb. 26, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that there is confusion regarding the right of the people to exercise the initiative and referendum with respect to county and municipal measures; that this Act is designed to clarify this confusion and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 406, § 6: Mar. 8, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the law provides that the county tax is to be levied in November of each year; that the law is unclear on what county tax rate is to apply, if any, if the ordinance levying the tax is repealed by referendum; and that this act is immediately necessary to avoid severe financial hardship on county governments. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1997, No. 1300, § 29: Apr. 10, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that Amendment No. 74 to the Arkansas Constitution was adopted by the electors of this state on November 5, 1996; that Amendment No. 74 became effective on adoption and applies to ad valorem property taxes due in 1997; that the tax books of each county will open for collection of taxes in the near future and that local officials and school districts must have direction on procedures and effects of the various actions required. The General Assembly further finds that Amendment No. 74 requires enactment of legislation to implement the provisions thereof and that this act provides such implementation and should be given effect immediately to accomplish the purposes of Amendment No. 74 in an orderly, effective and efficient manner. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 901, § 2: Mar. 19, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that mistakes may occur in the levying of millage rates and court ordered millage rollback corrections are necessary in order to ensure that citizens are being taxed at the correct rate. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2001, No. 981, § 3: Mar. 20, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that a referendum period of longer than 30 days on measures pertaining to short-term financing obligations of counties requires an unreasonable waiting period between the adoption of a measure authorizing the obligation and the actual funding and that counties should be able to enter into such obligations upon the most favorable terms and that immediate passage of this act is necessary to enable counties to incur such short-term financing obligations in a timely manner. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2003 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 105, § 12: Feb. 10, 2004. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the Arkansas Supreme Court has declared that the current method that the state uses to determine compliance with Amendment 74 to be unconstitutional and has instructed the General Assembly to take action before the termination of the court's stay of its mandate. It has also found that the people must be informed as early as possible of the impact of the court's ruling on the property taxes that they pay for education. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2005, No. 543, § 2: Mar. 3, 2005. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the current law is unclear and confusing; that due to the confusing nature of the current law there have been delays in passing emergency legislation in the quorum courts of the State of Arkansas; and that this act is immediately necessary to clarify the current voting procedure and provide for more efficient county government. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2009, No. 1480, § 117: July 31, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act makes various revisions to Arkansas election laws that are designed to improve the administration of elections and special elections and that these revisions should be implemented as soon as possible so that the citizens of this state may benefit from improved election procedures. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Identical Acts 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), Nos. 14 and 15, § 8: May 23, 2016. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that school districts that have chosen to hold their annual school election in November of this year are currently required to print separate ballots from the general election ballots at an extraordinary and unnecessary expense to taxpayers; that some voters in the annual school election this November will have to vote at a separate location for the general election and for the annual school election even though the elections are held on the same day which may decrease voter turnout and infringe upon the suffrage rights of those voters; and that this act is immediately necessary to ensure the voting rights of all citizens of Arkansas and to eliminate unnecessary election costs. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 564, § 3: Jan. 1, 2020.

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-901. Legislative authority.

The legislative power of county government is vested in the quorum court of each county of the state, subject to the limitations imposed by the Arkansas Constitution and by state law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 84; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4001.

Case Notes

County Employees.

Since county judge has power to hire and fire road department employees, a quorum court cannot provide by resolution a procedure for dismissal of such employees. Horton v. Taylor, 767 F.2d 471 (8th Cir. 1985).

Cited: Wilson v. Robinson, 506 F. Supp. 1236 (E.D. Ark. 1981).

14-14-902. Quorum court administration.

  1. Secretariat.
    1. The secretariat of the county quorum court shall be the clerk of the county court of each county unless otherwise provided by county ordinance.
    2. Alternative Designation. A quorum court may provide by ordinance for the establishment of minimum qualifications and an appropriation for the employment of a secretariat of the court. The employee so designated shall be a staff member of the county clerk or the county judge as may be specified by the ordinance. Where the separate position of secretariat is created by ordinance, all legislative duties prescribed in this chapter for a county clerk shall thereafter become the duties of the secretariat.
    3. Duties of the County Clerk. Unless otherwise provided for by county ordinance, the clerk or the deputy clerk shall:
      1. Attend all regular and special meetings of the court;
      2. Perform all administrative and recordkeeping duties prescribed in this chapter; and
      3. Perform all other duties as may be required by the quorum court through county ordinance.
  2. Counsel.
    1. Legal Counsel. The prosecuting attorney or his or her deputy serving each county shall serve as legal counsel of the quorum court unless otherwise provided by county ordinance.
    2. Alternative Designation of Legal Counsel. A quorum court may provide by ordinance for the appropriation of county funds for the employment of legal counsel to serve the court.
    3. Duties of Legal Counsel. The legal counsel of a quorum court shall:
      1. Attend all regular and special meetings of the court;
      2. Perform all duties prescribed in this chapter; and
      3. Perform all other duties as may be required by a quorum court.
  3. Other Administrative Services. A quorum court may authorize and provide through ordinance, for the employment of any additional staff or the purchase of technical services in support of legislative affairs.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 97; 1979, No. 413, §§ 25-27; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4014.

Case Notes

Legal Counsel.

Where county prosecuting attorney was asked to serve as legal counsel to the quorum court under subsection (b) in suit filed by county officials against the county judge and the quorum court, he should be relieved of his responsibility to represent the quorum court under Disciplinary Rules 5-101, 5-105, 5-107 and Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, since he would otherwise be placed in the untenable position of representing county officials who have competing interests with respect to other county officials. McCuen v. Harris, 271 Ark. 863, 611 S.W.2d 503 (1981).

14-14-903. Record of proceedings.

  1. Minutes. The quorum court of each county shall provide for the keeping of written minutes which include the final vote on each ordinance or resolution indicating the vote of each individual member on the question.
  2. County Ordinance and Resolution Register.
    1. There shall be maintained by each quorum court a county ordinance and resolution register for all ordinances, resolutions, and amendments to each, adopted and approved by the court.
      1. Entries in this register shall be sequentially numbered in the order adopted and approved and shall be further designated by the year of adoption and approval.
      2. A separate sequential numbering system shall be maintained for both ordinances and resolutions.
    2. The register number shall be the official reference number designating an enactment.
    3. The register shall be maintained as a permanent record of the court and shall contain, in addition to the sequential register number, the following items of information:
      1. An index number which shall be the originating legislative agenda number of the enactment;
      2. The comprehensive title of the enactment;
      3. The type of ordinance or amendment: general, emergency, appropriation, initiative, or referendum;
      4. The date adopted by the quorum court;
      5. The date approved by the county judge, date of veto override, or date enacted by the electors;
      6. The effective date of the enactment;
      7. The expiration date of the enactment; and
      8. A recording index number designating the location of the enactments.
  3. Permanent Record of Ordinances and Resolutions.
      1. There shall be maintained a permanent record of all ordinances and resolutions in which each enactment is entered in full after passage and approval, except when a code or budget is adopted by reference.
      2. When a code or budget is adopted by reference, the date and source of the code shall be entered.
      1. The permanent record shall be so indexed to provide for efficient identification, location, and retrieval of all ordinances and resolutions by subject, register number, and date enacted.
      2. The permanent record indexing may be by book and page.
  4. Codification of Ordinances.
    1. At five-year intervals, county ordinances of a general and permanent nature enacted in each of the several counties shall be compiled into a uniform code and published.
      1. A quorum court may codify county ordinances and revise the codification of county ordinances at other periodic times as it considers necessary.
      2. The county ordinance adopting the codification or revision:
        1. Shall be enacted and published in accordance with the requirements for the passage of county ordinances under this subchapter; and
        2. May provide for the repeal of certain county ordinances and parts of county ordinances by the deletion or omission of them from the codification or revision.
    2. A quorum court shall file a code of county ordinances and subsequent revisions to the code of county ordinances with the county clerk under § 14-14-909(b).
    3. A code of county ordinances is prima facie evidence of the law contained within it.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 96; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4013; Acts 2015, No. 280, § 1.

Amendments. The 2015 amendment redesignated (d) as (d)(1); added (d)(2) through (4); and substituted “At five-year intervals, county ordinances of a general and permanent nature” for “No later than 1980 and at five-year intervals thereafter, all county ordinances” in (d)(1).

14-14-904. Procedures generally. [Effective until January 1, 2020.]

  1. Time and Place of Quorum Court Assembly.
        1. The justices of the peace elected in each county shall assemble and organize as a county quorum court body on the first regular meeting date after the beginning of the justices' term in office, or the county judge may schedule the biennial meeting date of the quorum court on a date in January other than the first regular meeting date of the quorum court after the beginning of the justices' term.
        2. At the first regular meeting, the quorum court shall establish the date, time, and location of meetings of the quorum court.
        3. The organizational ordinance adopted at the first regular meeting of the quorum court shall be effective upon adoption.
      1. Thereafter, the justices shall assemble each calendar month at a regular time and place as established by ordinance and in their respective counties to perform the duties of a quorum court, except that more frequent meetings may be required by ordinance.
    1. By declaration of emergency or determination that an emergency exists and the safety of the general public is at risk, the county judge may change the date, place, or time of the regular meeting of the quorum court upon twenty-four-hour notice.
  2. Levy of Taxes and Making of Appropriations.
        1. The quorum court at its regular meeting in November or December of each year shall levy the county taxes, municipal taxes, and school taxes for the current year.
        2. Before the end of each fiscal year, the quorum court shall make appropriations for the expenses of county government for the following year.
      1. The Director of the Assessment Coordination Division may authorize an extension of up to sixty (60) days of the date for levy of taxes upon application by the county judge and county clerk of any county for good cause shown resulting from reappraisal or rollback of taxes.
    1. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the quorum court from making appropriation amendments at any time during the current fiscal year.
    2. If the levy of taxes is repealed by referendum, the county may adopt a new ordinance levying taxes within thirty (30) days after the referendum vote is certified.
    3. If a county court determines that the levy of taxes by the quorum court is incorrect due to clerical errors, scrivener's errors, or failure of a taxing entity to report the correct millage rate to the quorum court, the county court shall issue an order directing the county clerk to correct the error in order to correct the millage levy.
    4. If a determination is made under this subchapter or § 26-80-101 et seq. that the taxes levied by the quorum court are out of compliance with Arkansas Constitution, Article 14, § 3, as amended by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 11, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 40, and Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 74, then upon notice from the Director of the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, the county court shall immediately issue an order directing the county clerk to change the millage levy to bring the taxes levied into compliance with Arkansas Constitution, Article 14, § 3, as amended by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 11, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 40, and Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 74.
  3. Special Meetings of Quorum Court.
    1. The county judge or a majority of the elected justices may call a special meeting of the quorum court upon at least twenty-four (24) hours' notice in such manner as may be prescribed by local ordinance.
    2. In the absence of procedural rules, the county judge or a majority of the elected justices may call a special meeting of the quorum court upon written notification of all members not less than two (2) calendar days prior to the calendar day fixed for the time of the meeting. The notice of special meeting shall specify the subjects, date, time, and designated location of the special meeting.
      1. Notice of assembly of a county grievance committee or assembly of less than a quorum of the body, referred to under this section as a “regular committee” or “special committee”, may be provided upon oral notice to the members of at least forty-eight (48) hours unless an emergency exists.
      2. If an emergency exists, written notice of at least twenty-four (24) hours stating the basis of the emergency shall be provided.
  4. Presiding Officer.
      1. The county judge shall preside over the quorum court without a vote but with the power of veto.
      2. In the absence of the county judge, a quorum of the justices by majority vote shall elect one (1) of their number to preside but without the power to veto.
      1. The presiding officer shall appoint all regular and special committees of a quorum court, subject to any procedural rules that may be adopted by ordinance.
      2. A regular committee or special committee of the quorum court shall not consist of more than a quorum of the whole body without the consent of the county judge.
  5. Procedural Rules and Attendance at Meetings.
    1. Except as otherwise provided by law, the quorum court of each county shall determine at the first regular meeting its rules of procedure, whether by Robert's Rules of Order or otherwise, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance.
    2. The determination of rules of procedure under subdivision (e)(1) of this section shall be made at the first regular meeting of the quorum court in its organizational ordinance.
  6. Quorum. A majority of the whole number of justices composing a quorum court shall constitute a quorum and is necessary to conduct any legislative affairs of the county.
  7. Legislative Affairs. All legislative affairs of a quorum court shall be conducted through the passage of ordinances, resolutions, or motions.
  8. Majority Vote Required. All legislative actions of a quorum court, excluding the adoption of a motion, shall require a majority vote of the whole number of justices composing a quorum court unless otherwise provided by the Arkansas Constitution or by law. A motion shall require a majority vote of the whole number of justices composing a quorum for passage.
  9. County Ordinance. A county ordinance is defined as an enactment of compulsory law for a quorum court that defines and establishes the permanent or temporary organization and system of principles of a county government for the control and conduct of county affairs.
  10. County Resolution. A county resolution is defined as the adoption of a formal statement of policy by a quorum court, the subject matter of which would not properly constitute an ordinance. A resolution may be used whenever the quorum court wishes merely to express an opinion as to some matter of county affairs, and a resolution shall not serve to compel any executive action.
  11. Motion. A motion is defined as a proposal to take certain action or an expression of views held by the quorum court body. As such, a motion is merely a parliamentary procedure that precedes the adoption of resolutions or ordinances. Motions shall not serve to compel any executive action unless such action is provided for by a previously adopted ordinance or state law.
  12. Ordinances. Ordinances may be amended and repealed only by ordinances.
  13. Resolutions. Resolutions may be amended and repealed only by resolutions.
  14. Initiative and Referendum. All ordinances shall be subject to initiative and referendum as provided for through Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 85; 1979, No. 413, § 21; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4002; Acts 1991, No. 406, § 1; 1997, No. 1300, § 24; 2001, No. 901, § 1; 2003 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 105, § 5; 2005, No. 252, § 1; 2011, No. 837, § 3; 2013, No. 127, § 2; 2013, No. 985, §§ 1, 2; 2015, No. 1174, §§ 1, 2; 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 14, § 7; 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 15, § 7; 2019, No. 910, §§ 2236, 2237.

Publisher's Notes. For text of section effective January 1, 2020, see the following version.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment inserted (a)(2).

The 2013 amendment by No. 127 rewrote (a)(1).

The 2013 amendment by No. 985, in (c), designated paragraphs as (c)(1) and (c)(2) and inserted (c)(3); and, in (d), designated paragraphs as (d)(1)(A), (d)(1)(B), and (d)(2)(A) and inserted (d)(2)(B).

The 2015 amendment redesignated former (a)(1)(A)(ii) as part of (a)(1)(A)(i); substituted “or” for “Alternatively” following “term in office” in (a)(1)(A)(i); added (a)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii); redesignated (e) as (e)(1); in (e)(1), inserted “at the first regular meeting” and inserted “whether by Robert's Rules of Order or otherwise”; and added (e)(2).

The 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.) amendment by identical acts Nos. 14 and 15 inserted “or December” in (b)(1)(A)(i).

The 2019 amendment substituted “Division” for “Department” in (b)(1)(B); and substituted “Division of Elementary and Secondary Education” for “Department of Education” in (b)(5).

Cross References. Limitation on counties — Tax levies, § 26-25-101.

Taxation generally, § 26-73-101 et seq.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Watkins, Open Meetings Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, 38 Ark. L. Rev. 268.

Case Notes

Ratification.

Even if the county judge had merely acted as the agent of the county in making an order laying out the highway right-of-way and fixing the width of the right-of-way on each side of the centerline, still the county court adopted and ratified the order by paying out county money arising for right-of-way claims because of the order. Bollinger v. Arkansas State Hwy. Comm'n, 229 Ark. 53, 315 S.W.2d 889 (1958), aff'd, 230 Ark. 877, 327 S.W.2d 381 (Ark. 1959) (decision under prior law).

Special Meetings.

Where a county's lease on a building used as a courthouse had expired and the rentals to be paid for a building used as a courthouse would in a few years amount to enough to build a courthouse, an emergency existed justifying a special session of the quorum court for the purpose of considering and voting an appropriation for the construction of a courthouse. Kleiner v. Parker, 177 Ark. 671, 8 S.W.2d 434 (1928) (decision under prior law).

Taxes and Appropriations.

Taxes must have been appropriated to the purpose for which collected. Lee County v. Phillips County, 46 Ark. 156 (1885) (decision under prior law).

Taxation for county purposes has to be uniform throughout the county; the levying court cannot provide for a dual system. Hutchinson v. Ozark Land Co., 57 Ark. 554, 22 S.W. 173 (1893) (decision under prior law).

A county tax levy will not be invalid on collateral attack because the levying court appropriated an amount in excess of the limits set in § 14-20-103, in the absence of any affirmative showing that the county had no funds derived from any other sources. Fussell v. Mallory, 97 Ark. 465, 134 S.W. 631 (1911) (decision under prior law).

Whether the county levying court levied a school tax in a certain district had to be determined by the records of that court and not by the depositions of the officers who composed the court. Alexander v. Capps, 100 Ark. 488, 140 S.W. 722 (1911) (decision under prior law).

Where quorum court failed to show a designation of the amount of the school levy in any school district by figures alone or otherwise, and it was impossible to determine from an examination of the record the amount of the millage sought to be levied, the levy made was void. Tyer v. Hazel, 212 Ark. 140, 205 S.W.2d 18 (1947) (decision under prior law).

There is no provision in law allowing a quorum court to turn over to the county judge a sum of money “to use as he sees fit and deems necessary,” and such an appropriation is invalid. Martin v. Bratton, 223 Ark. 159, 264 S.W.2d 635 (1954) (decision under prior law).

Quorum court has power and duty to determine and levy millages for county purposes only. Layne v. Strode, 229 Ark. 513, 317 S.W.2d 6 (1958) (decision under prior law).

In action involving the ad valorem assessment of real property where assessor, after making up his assessment books and an abstract of the assessed property, filed claim with the county clerk, who made out his report in accordance with the assessor's abstract, forwarding the report to the state, during which time the county board of equalization was in session, the action of the quorum court directing taxes be collected from the value established by the assessor was void, since the court was without authority to levy millages on any basis other than the assessment of the assessor, as were equalized and adjusted by the equalization board. Layne v. Strode, 229 Ark. 513, 317 S.W.2d 6 (1958) (decision under prior law).

There is no provision in the Arkansas Constitution or the statutes which gives a county court the specific authority to pay dues to a county judges association. Ark. Ass'n of County Judges v. Green, 232 Ark. 438, 338 S.W.2d 672 (1960) (decision under prior law).

Trial court did not err in denying a writ of mandamus brought by pension and retirement board to require county clerk and county collector to collect a four-tenths millage ad valorem tax as the city council did not approve the resolution for the tax prior to the county quorum court's meeting, as required by subdivision (b)(1) of this section. Russellville Police Pension Ret. Bd. v. Johnson, 365 Ark. 99, 225 S.W.3d 357 (2006).

Circuit court judge did not have statutory or constitutional authority to retroactively apply a millage-rate increase to 2007 library taxes after the special election because once a city issued an ordinance authorizing the ad valorem tax rates for 2007, a quorum court had authority pursuant to subdivision (b)(1)(A)(i) of this section to levy taxes for the current year in its November meeting. Robinson v. Villines, 2009 Ark. 632, 362 S.W.3d 870 (2009), appeal dismissed, 2012 Ark. 211 (2012).

Time and Place.

A quorum court was lawfully in session on giving notice of the session in any manner to justices of the peace affected. Cleveland County v. Pearce, 171 Ark. 1145, 287 S.W. 593 (1926) (decision under prior law).

Cited: Horton v. Taylor, 585 F. Supp. 224 (W.D. Ark. 1984).

14-14-904. Procedures generally. [Effective January 1, 2020.]

  1. Time and Place of Quorum Court Assembly.
        1. The justices of the peace elected in each county shall assemble and organize as a county quorum court body on the first regular meeting date after the beginning of the justices' term in office, or the county judge may schedule the biennial meeting date of the quorum court on a date in January other than the first regular meeting date of the quorum court after the beginning of the justices' term.
        2. At the first regular meeting, the quorum court shall establish the date, time, and location of meetings of the quorum court.
        3. The organizational ordinance adopted at the first regular meeting of the quorum court shall be effective upon adoption.
      1. Thereafter, the justices shall assemble each calendar month at a regular time and place as established by ordinance and in their respective counties to perform the duties of a quorum court, except that more frequent meetings may be required by ordinance.
    1. By declaration of emergency or determination that an emergency exists and the safety of the general public is at risk, the county judge may change the date, place, or time of the regular meeting of the quorum court upon twenty-four-hour notice.
  2. Levy of Taxes and Making of Appropriations.
        1. The quorum court at its regular meeting in November or December of each year shall levy the county taxes, municipal taxes, and school taxes for the current year.
          1. Before the end of each fiscal year, the quorum court shall make appropriations for the expenses of county government for the following year.
          2. Upon the final passage of the annual appropriations ordinance under subdivision (b)(1)(A)(ii)(a) of this section, the county clerk shall publish the ordinance and annual budget on a website owned or maintained by the county, the state, or the Association of Arkansas Counties.
      1. The Director of the Assessment Coordination Division may authorize an extension of up to sixty (60) days of the date for levy of taxes upon application by the county judge and county clerk of any county for good cause shown resulting from reappraisal or rollback of taxes.
    1. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the quorum court from making appropriation amendments at any time during the current fiscal year.
    2. If the levy of taxes is repealed by referendum, the county may adopt a new ordinance levying taxes within thirty (30) days after the referendum vote is certified.
    3. If a county court determines that the levy of taxes by the quorum court is incorrect due to clerical errors, scrivener's errors, or failure of a taxing entity to report the correct millage rate to the quorum court, the county court shall issue an order directing the county clerk to correct the error in order to correct the millage levy.
    4. If a determination is made under this subchapter or § 26-80-101 et seq. that the taxes levied by the quorum court are out of compliance with Arkansas Constitution, Article 14, § 3, as amended by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 11, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 40, and Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 74, then upon notice from the Director of the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, the county court shall immediately issue an order directing the county clerk to change the millage levy to bring the taxes levied into compliance with Arkansas Constitution, Article 14, § 3, as amended by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 11, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 40, and Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 74.
  3. Special Meetings of Quorum Court.
    1. The county judge or a majority of the elected justices may call a special meeting of the quorum court upon at least twenty-four (24) hours' notice in such manner as may be prescribed by local ordinance.
    2. In the absence of procedural rules, the county judge or a majority of the elected justices may call a special meeting of the quorum court upon written notification of all members not less than two (2) calendar days prior to the calendar day fixed for the time of the meeting. The notice of special meeting shall specify the subjects, date, time, and designated location of the special meeting.
      1. Notice of assembly of a county grievance committee or assembly of less than a quorum of the body, referred to under this section as a “regular committee” or “special committee”, may be provided upon oral notice to the members of at least forty-eight (48) hours unless an emergency exists.
      2. If an emergency exists, written notice of at least twenty-four (24) hours stating the basis of the emergency shall be provided.
  4. Presiding Officer.
      1. The county judge shall preside over the quorum court without a vote but with the power of veto.
      2. In the absence of the county judge, a quorum of the justices by majority vote shall elect one (1) of their number to preside but without the power to veto.
      1. The presiding officer shall appoint all regular and special committees of a quorum court, subject to any procedural rules that may be adopted by ordinance.
      2. A regular committee or special committee of the quorum court shall not consist of more than a quorum of the whole body without the consent of the county judge.
  5. Procedural Rules and Attendance at Meetings.
    1. Except as otherwise provided by law, the quorum court of each county shall determine at the first regular meeting its rules of procedure, whether by Robert's Rules of Order or otherwise, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance.
    2. The determination of rules of procedure under subdivision (e)(1) of this section shall be made at the first regular meeting of the quorum court in its organizational ordinance.
  6. Quorum. A majority of the whole number of justices composing a quorum court shall constitute a quorum and is necessary to conduct any legislative affairs of the county.
  7. Legislative Affairs. All legislative affairs of a quorum court shall be conducted through the passage of ordinances, resolutions, or motions.
  8. Majority Vote Required. All legislative actions of a quorum court, excluding the adoption of a motion, shall require a majority vote of the whole number of justices composing a quorum court unless otherwise provided by the Arkansas Constitution or by law. A motion shall require a majority vote of the whole number of justices composing a quorum for passage.
  9. County Ordinance. A county ordinance is defined as an enactment of compulsory law for a quorum court that defines and establishes the permanent or temporary organization and system of principles of a county government for the control and conduct of county affairs.
  10. County Resolution. A county resolution is defined as the adoption of a formal statement of policy by a quorum court, the subject matter of which would not properly constitute an ordinance. A resolution may be used whenever the quorum court wishes merely to express an opinion as to some matter of county affairs, and a resolution shall not serve to compel any executive action.
  11. Motion. A motion is defined as a proposal to take certain action or an expression of views held by the quorum court body. As such, a motion is merely a parliamentary procedure that precedes the adoption of resolutions or ordinances. Motions shall not serve to compel any executive action unless such action is provided for by a previously adopted ordinance or state law.
  12. Ordinances. Ordinances may be amended and repealed only by ordinances.
  13. Resolutions. Resolutions may be amended and repealed only by resolutions.
  14. Initiative and Referendum. All ordinances shall be subject to initiative and referendum as provided for through Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 85; 1979, No. 413, § 21; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4002; Acts 1991, No. 406, § 1; 1997, No. 1300, § 24; 2001, No. 901, § 1; 2003 (2nd Ex. Sess.), No. 105, § 5; 2005, No. 252, § 1; 2011, No. 837, § 3; 2013, No. 127, § 2; 2013, No. 985, §§ 1, 2; 2015, No. 1174, §§ 1, 2; 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 14, § 7; 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 15, § 7; 2019, No. 564, § 1; 2019, No. 910, §§ 2236, 2237.

Publisher's Notes. For text of section effective until January 1, 2020, see the preceding version.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment inserted (a)(2).

The 2013 amendment by No. 127 rewrote (a)(1).

The 2013 amendment by No. 985, in (c), designated paragraphs as (c)(1) and (c)(2) and inserted (c)(3); and, in (d), designated paragraphs as (d)(1)(A), (d)(1)(B), and (d)(2)(A) and inserted (d)(2)(B).

The 2015 amendment redesignated former (a)(1)(A)(ii) as part of (a)(1)(A)(i); substituted “or” for “Alternatively” following “term in office” in (a)(1)(A)(i); added (a)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii); redesignated (e) as (e)(1); in (e)(1), inserted “at the first regular meeting” and inserted “whether by Robert's Rules of Order or otherwise”; and added (e)(2).

The 2016 (3rd Ex. Sess.) amendment by identical acts Nos. 14 and 15 inserted “or December” in (b)(1)(A)(i).

The 2019 amendment by No. 564 added the (b)(1)(A)(ii) (a) designation; and added (b)(1)(A)(ii) (b)

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 substituted “Division” for “Department” in (b)(1)(B); and substituted “Division of Elementary and Secondary Education” for “Department of Education” in (b)(5).

Cross References. Limitation on counties — Tax levies, § 26-25-101.

Taxation generally, § 26-73-101 et seq.

Effective Dates. Acts 2019, No. 564, § 3: Jan. 1, 2020.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Watkins, Open Meetings Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, 38 Ark. L. Rev. 268.

Case Notes

Ratification.

Even if the county judge had merely acted as the agent of the county in making an order laying out the highway right-of-way and fixing the width of the right-of-way on each side of the centerline, still the county court adopted and ratified the order by paying out county money arising for right-of-way claims because of the order. Bollinger v. Arkansas State Hwy. Comm'n, 229 Ark. 53, 315 S.W.2d 889 (1958), aff'd, 230 Ark. 877, 327 S.W.2d 381 (Ark. 1959) (decision under prior law).

Special Meetings.

Where a county's lease on a building used as a courthouse had expired and the rentals to be paid for a building used as a courthouse would in a few years amount to enough to build a courthouse, an emergency existed justifying a special session of the quorum court for the purpose of considering and voting an appropriation for the construction of a courthouse. Kleiner v. Parker, 177 Ark. 671, 8 S.W.2d 434 (1928) (decision under prior law).

Taxes and Appropriations.

Taxes must have been appropriated to the purpose for which collected. Lee County v. Phillips County, 46 Ark. 156 (1885) (decision under prior law).

Taxation for county purposes has to be uniform throughout the county; the levying court cannot provide for a dual system. Hutchinson v. Ozark Land Co., 57 Ark. 554, 22 S.W. 173 (1893) (decision under prior law).

A county tax levy will not be invalid on collateral attack because the levying court appropriated an amount in excess of the limits set in § 14-20-103, in the absence of any affirmative showing that the county had no funds derived from any other sources. Fussell v. Mallory, 97 Ark. 465, 134 S.W. 631 (1911) (decision under prior law).

Whether the county levying court levied a school tax in a certain district had to be determined by the records of that court and not by the depositions of the officers who composed the court. Alexander v. Capps, 100 Ark. 488, 140 S.W. 722 (1911) (decision under prior law).

Where quorum court failed to show a designation of the amount of the school levy in any school district by figures alone or otherwise, and it was impossible to determine from an examination of the record the amount of the millage sought to be levied, the levy made was void. Tyer v. Hazel, 212 Ark. 140, 205 S.W.2d 18 (1947) (decision under prior law).

There is no provision in law allowing a quorum court to turn over to the county judge a sum of money “to use as he sees fit and deems necessary,” and such an appropriation is invalid. Martin v. Bratton, 223 Ark. 159, 264 S.W.2d 635 (1954) (decision under prior law).

Quorum court has power and duty to determine and levy millages for county purposes only. Layne v. Strode, 229 Ark. 513, 317 S.W.2d 6 (1958) (decision under prior law).

In action involving the ad valorem assessment of real property where assessor, after making up his assessment books and an abstract of the assessed property, filed claim with the county clerk, who made out his report in accordance with the assessor's abstract, forwarding the report to the state, during which time the county board of equalization was in session, the action of the quorum court directing taxes be collected from the value established by the assessor was void, since the court was without authority to levy millages on any basis other than the assessment of the assessor, as were equalized and adjusted by the equalization board. Layne v. Strode, 229 Ark. 513, 317 S.W.2d 6 (1958) (decision under prior law).

There is no provision in the Arkansas Constitution or the statutes which gives a county court the specific authority to pay dues to a county judges association. Ark. Ass'n of County Judges v. Green, 232 Ark. 438, 338 S.W.2d 672 (1960) (decision under prior law).

Trial court did not err in denying a writ of mandamus brought by pension and retirement board to require county clerk and county collector to collect a four-tenths millage ad valorem tax as the city council did not approve the resolution for the tax prior to the county quorum court's meeting, as required by subdivision (b)(1) of this section. Russellville Police Pension Ret. Bd. v. Johnson, 365 Ark. 99, 225 S.W.3d 357 (2006).

Circuit court judge did not have statutory or constitutional authority to retroactively apply a millage-rate increase to 2007 library taxes after the special election because once a city issued an ordinance authorizing the ad valorem tax rates for 2007, a quorum court had authority pursuant to subdivision (b)(1)(A)(i) of this section to levy taxes for the current year in its November meeting. Robinson v. Villines, 2009 Ark. 632, 362 S.W.3d 870 (2009), appeal dismissed, 2012 Ark. 211 (2012).

Time and Place.

A quorum court was lawfully in session on giving notice of the session in any manner to justices of the peace affected. Cleveland County v. Pearce, 171 Ark. 1145, 287 S.W. 593 (1926) (decision under prior law).

Cited: Horton v. Taylor, 585 F. Supp. 224 (W.D. Ark. 1984).

14-14-905. Adoption and amendment of ordinances generally.

  1. Introduction of Ordinances and Amendments to Existing Ordinances. A county ordinance or amendment to an ordinance may be introduced only by a justice of the peace of the county or through the provisions of initiative and referendum pursuant to Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7.
  2. Style Requirements.
    1. Generally.
      1. No ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance passed by a county quorum court shall contain more than one (1) comprehensive topic and shall be styled “Be It Enacted by the Quorum Court of the County of , State of Arkansas; an Ordinance to be Entitled:”.
      2. Each ordinance shall contain this comprehensive title, and the body of the ordinance shall be divided into articles, sequentially numbered, each expressing a single general topic related to the single comprehensive topic.
    2. Amendment to Existing Ordinances. No county ordinance shall be revised or amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by reference to its title only, but so much thereof as is revised, amended, extended, or conferred shall be reenacted and published at length.
  3. Passage.
      1. On the passage of every ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance, the yeas and nays shall be called and recorded.
      2. A concurrence by a majority of the whole number of members elected to the quorum court shall be required to pass any ordinance or amendment.
      1. All ordinances or amendments to existing ordinances of a general or permanent nature shall be fully and distinctly read on three (3) different days unless two-thirds (2/3) of the members composing the court shall dispense with the rule.
      2. This subdivision (c)(2) shall not serve to:
        1. Require a vote after each individual reading, but a vote only after the third and final reading;
        2. Require the ordinance or amendment to be read in its entirety on the first, second, or third reading; or
        3. Restrict the passage of emergency, appropriation, initiative, or referendum measures in a single meeting as provided by law.
  4. Approval and Publication.
      1. Upon passage, all ordinances or amendments shall be approved by the county judge within seven (7) days unless vetoed and shall become law without his or her signature if not signed within seven (7) days.
      2. The ordinances or amendments shall then be published by the county clerk as prescribed by law.
      1. Approval by the county judge shall be demonstrated by affixing his or her signature and his or her notation of the date signed on the face of an original copy of the proposed ordinance.
      2. This approval and authentication shall apply to all ordinances or amendments to existing ordinances unless the power of veto is invoked.
  5. Effective Date.
    1. No ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance other than an emergency ordinance or appropriation ordinance shall be effective until thirty (30) calendar days after publication has appeared.
    2. An ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance may provide for a delayed effective date or may provide for the ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance to become effective upon the fulfillment of an indicated contingency.
  6. Reference to Electors.
    1. Generally.
        1. At the time of or within thirty (30) days of adoption and prior to the effective date of an ordinance, a quorum court may refer the ordinance to the electors for their acceptance or rejection.
        2. The referral shall be in the form of a resolution and shall require a three-fifths affirmative vote of the whole number of justices constituting a quorum court.
      1. This action by a court shall not be subject to veto and shall constitute a referendum measure.
    2. Manner and Procedure.
      1. Any ordinance enacted by the governing body of any county in the state may be referred to a vote of the electors of the county for approval or rejection in the manner and procedure prescribed in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, and laws enacted pursuant thereto, for exercising the local initiative and referendum.
      2. The manner and procedure prescribed therein shall be the exclusive method of exercising the initiative and referendum regarding these local measures.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 86; 1981, No. 220, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-4003, 17-4003.1; Acts 2005, No. 543, § 1.

Case Notes

Construction.

Subdivision (f)(2) did not repeal § 14-14-915(b)(2), but specifically preserved all previously enacted enabling legislation, including § 14-14-915(b)(2). Cox v. French, 277 Ark. 134, 640 S.W.2d 786 (1982).

Passage.

Law requiring the clerk to keep a record of the proceedings and to enter the name and the yea and nay votes of those voting on propositions to levy tax or to appropriate money was mandatory. Blakemore v. Brown, 142 Ark. 293, 219 S.W. 311 (1920) (decision under prior law).

Clerk's failure to keep record of voting on proposition to levy taxes, for nonpayment of which realty was subsequently sold, was a mere omission of an officer to do a positive duty required by statute and could be cured by curative statute. Kansas City Life Ins. Co. v. Moss, 196 Ark. 553, 118 S.W.2d 873 (1938) (decision under prior law).

After confirmation of the state's title to tax-forfeited land under former §§ 26-38-10826-38-118, it was too late to object to the validity of the tax sale on the ground that the record of the quorum court did not show the vote or the names of the justices voting for the motion levying the tax. Nichols v. Kesselberg, 211 Ark. 673, 201 S.W.2d 997 (1947) (decision under prior law).

Style Requirements.

Where an ordinance contains the word “ordained” rather than the statutorily prescribed word “enacted,” the ordinance is not void. Henderson v. Russell, 267 Ark. 140, 589 S.W.2d 565 (1979).

Cited: Foster v. Jefferson County Quorum Court, 321 Ark. 105, 901 S.W.2d 809 (1995); Massongill v. County of Scott, 329 Ark. 98, 947 S.W.2d 749 (1997).

14-14-906. Penalties for violation of ordinances.

  1. Authority to Establish.
      1. A county quorum court may fix penalties for the violation of any ordinance, and these penalties may be enforced by the imposition of fines, forfeitures, and penalties on any person offending against or violating the ordinance.
      2. The fine, forfeiture, or penalty shall be prescribed in each particular ordinance or in an ordinance prescribing fines, forfeitures, and penalties in general.
      1. A quorum court shall have power to provide, by ordinance, for the prosecution, recovery, and collection of the fines, forfeitures, and penalties.
        1. A quorum court shall not have the power to define an offense as a felony or to impose any fine or penalty in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for any one (1) specified offense or violation, or double that sum for each repetition of the offense or violation.
        2. If an act prohibited or rendered unlawful is, in its nature, continuous in respect to time, the fine or penalty for allowing the continuance thereof, in violation of the ordinance, shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each day that it may be unlawfully continued.
  2. Disposition. All fines and penalties imposed for violation of any county ordinance shall be paid into the county general fund.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 95; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4012; Acts 2009, No. 319, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment substituted “one thousand dollars ($1,000)” for “five hundred dollars ($500)” in (a)(2)(B)(i), substituted “five hundred dollars ($500)” for “two hundred fifty dollars ($250)” in (a)(2)(B)(ii), and made a minor stylistic change.

14-14-907. Appropriation ordinances.

    1. Generally. An appropriation ordinance or amendment to an appropriation ordinance is defined as a measure by which the county quorum court designates a particular fund, or sets apart a specific portion of county revenue in the treasury, to be applied to some general object of expenditure or to some individual purchase or expense of the county.
    2. An appropriation ordinance or amendment to an existing appropriation ordinance may be introduced in the manner provided by law for the introduction of ordinances.
    3. Appropriation measures enacted by a quorum court shall include the following categories of financial management:
      1. The levy of taxes and special property tax assessments as provided by law; and
      2. The enactment of specific appropriations by which a specified sum has been set apart in the treasury and devoted to the payment of a particular demand. Specific appropriations may be enacted through the adoption of an annual budget, a statement of estimated receipts and expenditures, in a manner prescribed by law.
  1. Adoption and Amendment by Reference. Any quorum court may adopt, amend, or repeal an appropriation ordinance which incorporates by reference the provisions of any county budget or portion of a county budget, or any amendment thereof, properly identified as to date and source, without setting forth the provisions of the adopted budget in full. At least one (1) copy of a budget, portion, or amendment which is incorporated or adopted by reference shall be filed in the office of the county clerk and there kept available for public use, inspection, and examination.
  2. Designation. All appropriation ordinances or an amendment to an appropriation ordinance shall be designated “appropriation ordinance”.
  3. Readings and Publication. An appropriation ordinance may be enacted without separate readings or publication prior to passage. However, publication shall be initiated within two (2) calendar days, excepting holidays, after approval of the measure by the county judge.
  4. Voting Requirements. The passage of appropriation ordinances or amendments to existing appropriation ordinances enacted without separate readings shall require a two-thirds vote of the whole number of justices comprising a quorum court. On the passage of every appropriations measure, the yeas and nays shall be called and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
  5. Effective Date. An appropriation measure is effective immediately upon passage by the quorum court and approval by the county judge.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 87; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4004.

Cross References. Appropriations to be specific — Limitations, § 14-20-103.

Political subdivisions not to become stockholders in or lend credit to private corporations, Ark. Const., Art. 12, § 5.

Case Notes

Appropriation Measures.

County ordinance was not labeled or designated an appropriation measure because it was not one as defined by this section. Massongill v. County of Scott, 329 Ark. 98, 947 S.W.2d 749 (1997).

Eligibility for Retirement System.

Substantial evidence supported the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that former employees of nursing homes owned by counties were not “county employees” under the relevant statutes and were not eligible for membership in the retirement system because their compensation was payable from patient revenues rather than from appropriated funds. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Assuming that the nursing-home administrative boards and their respective counties were synonymous under the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in § 24-4-101, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's finding that the former employees of county-owned nursing homes were not paid from appropriated funds as required by the definition of “Employees” in § 24-4-101 was affirmed as no ordinances in the record specifically designated county money for their compensation. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Voting Requirements.

Where the record showed a unanimous vote for all appropriations, it was unnecessary to show the ayes and nays; record need not be signed. Hilliard v. Bunker, 68 Ark. 340, 58 S.W. 362 (1900) (decision under prior law).

14-14-908. Emergency ordinances or amendments.

  1. Generally. An emergency ordinance or emergency amendments to existing ordinances may be introduced in the manner provided by law for the introduction of ordinances. An emergency ordinance may be enacted only to meet public emergencies affecting life, health, safety, or the property of people.
  2. Limitations. An emergency ordinance or amendment shall not levy taxes, impose special property tax assessments, impose or change a service rate, or be enacted on any franchise or special privilege creating any vested right or interest or alienating any property. Every extension, enlargement, grant, or conveyance of franchise or any rights, property, easements, lease, or occupation of, or in, any road, street, alley, or any part thereof in real property or interest in real property owned by a county government exceeding in value three hundred dollars ($300), whether it be by ordinance or otherwise, shall be subject to referendum and shall not be subject to emergency enactment.
  3. Declaration of Emergency. An emergency ordinance must contain a declaration that an emergency exists and define the emergency. All emergency ordinances shall be designated “emergency ordinance”.
  4. Readings and Publication. An emergency measure does not require separate readings or publication prior to passage. However, publication shall be initiated within seven (7) calendar days, excepting holidays, after approval of the emergency measure by the county judge.
  5. Voting Requirements. The passage of emergency ordinances or emergency amendments to existing ordinances shall require a two-thirds vote of the whole number of justices comprising a quorum court. On the passage of every emergency measure, the yeas and nays shall be called and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
  6. Effective Date. An emergency ordinance or emergency amendment to an existing ordinance is effective immediately upon passage by the quorum court and approval by the county judge.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 88; 1979, No. 413, § 22; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4005.

Case Notes

Enacting Clause.

Where an ordinance contains the word “ordained” rather than the statutorily prescribed word “enacted,” the ordinance is not void. Henderson v. Russell, 267 Ark. 140, 589 S.W.2d 565 (1979).

Ordinance Held Invalid.

Emergency clause in municipal ordinance containing no statement to show that some unforeseen occurrence caused the existing ordinance for special meetings to be injurious to life, health, or safety, was invalid. Burroughs v. Ingram, 319 Ark. 530, 893 S.W.2d 319 (1995).

Ordinance Held Valid.

Emergency ordinance allowing county to open and close graves without charge, complied with this section and was not clearly and unmistakably in violation of the state or federal constitutions. Thruston v. Little River County, 310 Ark. 188, 832 S.W.2d 851 (1992).

Ordinance calling for an election to submit one cent sales and use tax to voters did not violate this section because the ordinance did not itself levy a tax but was merely the first step in a process authorized by § 26-74-201 for the collection of the tax. Sanders v. County of Sebastian, 324 Ark. 433, 922 S.W.2d 334 (1996).

Readings and Publication.

Where the approval of an ordinance was on Thursday, and it was published in the next issue of the local weekly newspaper on Monday, with Saturday and Sunday excepted, the publication was at least initiated within two (now seven) days as contemplated by subsection (d). Henderson v. Russell, 267 Ark. 140, 589 S.W.2d 565 (1979) (decision prior to 1979 amendment).

14-14-909. Incorporation by reference.

  1. For the purpose of this section, “code” means any published compilation of rules which has been prepared by various technical trade associations, model code organizations, federal agencies, or this state, or any agency thereof, and shall include specifically, but shall not be limited to, building codes, plumbing codes, electrical wiring codes, health or sanitation codes, together with any other code which embraces rules pertinent to a subject which is a proper local county affair.
  2. Any county quorum court may adopt or repeal an ordinance that incorporates by reference the provisions of any code, or portions of any code, or any amendment thereof, properly identified as to date and source, without setting forth the provisions of the code in full. Notice of the intent to adopt a code by reference shall be published after the second reading and prior to final adoption of the code. At least one (1) copy of the code, portion, or amendment which is incorporated or adopted by reference shall be filed in the office of the county clerk and there kept available for public use, inspection, and examination. The filing requirements prescribed in this subsection shall not be considered to be complied with unless the required copies of the codes, portion, amendment, or public record are filed with the county clerk for a period of thirty (30) days prior to final adoption of the ordinance which incorporates the code, portion, or amendment by reference.
  3. The quorum court may adopt or amend a code by reference by an emergency ordinance and without notice.
  4. The process for repealing an ordinance which adopted or amended a code by reference shall be the same as for repealing any other ordinance.
  5. Any ordinance adopting a code, portion, or amendment by reference shall state the penalty for violating the code, portion, or amendment, or any provision thereof, separately, and no part of any penalty shall be incorporated by reference.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 89; 1979, No. 413, § 23; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4006.

14-14-910. Interlocal agreements.

  1. Generally. The county court of each county may contract, cooperate, or join with any one (1) or more other governments or public agencies, including any other county, or with any political subdivisions of the state or any other states, or their political subdivisions, or with the United States to perform any administrative service, activity, or undertaking which any contracting party is authorized by law to perform.
  2. Definitions.
    1. “County interlocal agreement” means any service contract entered into by the county court which establishes a permanent or perpetual relationship thereby obligating the financial resources of a county. Grant-in-aid agreements enacted through an appropriation ordinance shall not be considered an interlocal agreement.
    2. “Permanent or perpetual relationship” means for purposes of this section any agreement exhibiting an effective duration greater than one (1) year, twelve (12) calendar months, or an agreement exhibiting no fixed duration but where the apparent intent of the agreement is to establish a permanent or perpetual relationship. The interlocal agreements shall be authorized by ordinance of the quorum court. Any interlocal agreement enacted by ordinance may provide for the county to:
      1. Cooperate in the exercise of any function, power, or responsibility;
      2. Share the services of any officer, department, board, employee, or facility; and
      3. Transfer or delegate any function, power, responsibility, or duty.
  3. Contents. An interlocal agreement shall:
    1. Be authorized and approved by the governing body of each party to the agreement;
    2. Set forth fully the purposes, powers, rights, obligations, and responsibilities of the contracting parties; and
    3. Specify the following:
      1. Its duration;
      2. The precise organization, composition, and nature of any separate legal entity created;
      3. The purposes of the interlocal agreement;
      4. The manner of financing the joint or cooperative undertaking and establishing and maintaining a budget;
      5. The permissible methods to be employed in accomplishing the partial or complete termination of an agreement and for disposing of property upon partial or complete termination. The methods for termination shall include a requirement of six (6) months written notification of the intent to withdraw by the governing body of the public agency wishing to withdraw;
      6. Provision for an administrator or a joint board responsible for administering the joint or cooperative undertaking including representation of the contracting parties on the joint board;
      7. The manner of acquiring, holding, and disposing of real and personal property used in the joint or cooperative undertaking; and
      8. Any other necessary and proper matters.
  4. Submission to Legal Counsel. Prior to and as a condition precedent to its final adoption and performance, every agreement made shall be submitted to legal counsel who shall determine whether the agreement is in proper form and compatible with all applicable laws. The legal counsel shall approve any agreement submitted to him or her unless he or she finds it does not meet the conditions set forth in this section. Then he or she shall detail in writing addressed to the governing bodies of the public agencies concerned the specific respects in which the proposed agreement fails to meet the requirements of law. Failure to disapprove an agreement within thirty (30) days of its submission shall constitute approval.
  5. Submission to Attorney General. Prior to and as a condition precedent to its final adoption and performance, every agreement including a state or a state agency shall be submitted to the Attorney General who shall determine whether the agreement is in proper form and compatible with the laws of the State of Arkansas. The Attorney General shall approve any agreement submitted to him or her unless he finds it does not meet the conditions set forth in this section. Then he or she shall detail in writing addressed to the governing bodies of the public agencies concerned the specific respects in which the proposed agreement fails to meet the requirements of law. Failure to disapprove an agreement within thirty (30) days of its submission shall constitute approval.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 90; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4007.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Former subdivision (6) of this section provided that, effective February 1, 1978, all interlocal agreements subject to the provisions of this section should be reenacted or terminated by ordinance of the county quorum court and provided that no termination should impair the obligation of contract unless agreed to by the parties involved.

Case Notes

Construction.

Plain language of this section contemplates that counties may contract for any administrative service as long as either the county or the public agency is legally authorized to perform it; the plain language of this section contemplates that counties may delegate administrative powers to other public agencies under the provisions of this section. Sullins v. Central Arkansas Water, 2015 Ark. 29, 454 S.W.3d 727 (2015).

Applicability.

This section was applicable because a watershed protection agreement between a county and Central Arkansas Water required the county to expend money from its general tax revenues in executing the agreement and thus implicated the financial resources of the county; additionally, the actual enforcement of the agreement would, at times, involve existing members of the county staff beyond those for which Central Arkansas Water was reimbursing the county. Sullins v. Central Arkansas Water, 2015 Ark. 29, 454 S.W.3d 727 (2015).

Illegal Exaction.

Circuit court correctly ruled that a watershed protection agreement was valid under the Interlocal Agreement Act, § 14-14-910, because it was for administrative activities that either the county or Central Arkansas Water was legally authorized to perform and the county's financial resources were obligated in the agreement; because the contract between the county and Central Arkansas Water was authorized by the Act, the expenditure of funds under the contract was not an illegal exaction. Sullins v. Central Arkansas Water, 2015 Ark. 29, 454 S.W.3d 727 (2015).

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978).

14-14-911. Veto of ordinances or amendments.

  1. Authority to Veto. The county judge of each county shall preside over the county quorum court with the power of veto.
  2. Limitations of Veto. The power of veto shall be limited to the total text of an ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance, and this veto power shall not be construed to permit the veto of any single part, section, or line item of any ordinance or amendment. The power of veto shall not apply to measures enacted through the provisions of initiative and referendum.
  3. Time Limitations for Veto. The veto of any ordinance of a general or permanent nature must be exercised within seven (7) calendar days after passage by a quorum court.
  4. Procedure and Authentication of Veto. The veto of any ordinance or amendment of a general or permanent nature shall be authenticated by the county judge and shall be demonstrated by the filing of a written statement of the reasons of veto with the county clerk.
  5. Notification of Veto. Upon filing of the written notification of veto by the county judge, the county clerk shall immediately provide written notification to each member of the quorum court and provide each member with a copy of the veto statement filed by the judge.
  6. Suspension of Force. No ordinance vetoed shall have any force or validity unless, at the next regular meeting after the filing of the veto statement, the quorum court shall exercise its power to override a veto pursuant to Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 4.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 91; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4008.

14-14-912. Veto override.

  1. Power of Veto Override. The quorum court of each county shall have the power to override the veto of the county judge.
  2. Vote Required. An affirmative vote of three-fifths (3/5) of the total membership of a quorum court shall be required to override the veto of any ordinance or amendment to an existing ordinance. On the consideration of a veto override by a court, the yeas and nays shall be called and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
  3. Time of Veto Override. A quorum court shall exercise the power of veto override over permanent and temporary ordinances at the next regular session of the court following the written notification of veto. Failure to override a veto in a single vote of the court shall constitute a confirmation of veto by a court, and no further consideration of veto override on the measure shall be introduced in subsequent sessions of the court. However, any ordinance or amendment so vetoed and confirmed by failure to override the veto may be reintroduced in the manner prescribed by law for the introduction of ordinances and amendments to ordinances.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 92; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4009.

14-14-913. Adoption and amendment of resolutions.

  1. A county resolution or amendment to a resolution may be introduced only by a justice of the peace of the county.
  2. No resolution or amendment to a resolution passed by a county quorum court shall contain more than one (1) comprehensive topic and shall be styled “Be It Resolved by the Quorum Court of the County of , State of Arkansas That:”.
  3. No county resolution shall be revised or amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by references to its title only, but so much thereof as is revised, amended, extended, or conferred shall be reenacted and published at length.
  4. A proposed resolution must be read and adopted by a majority vote of the whole number of justices comprising a quorum court. On the passage of every resolution or amendment to an existing resolution, the yeas and nays shall be called and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
  5. Resolutions or an amendment to an existing resolution may be introduced and adopted in a single meeting of the quorum court.
  6. Upon passage, all resolutions or amendments to existing resolutions shall be entered into the records of the quorum court. Publication of resolutions shall not be required except where publication is specified in the resolution adopted by a court.
  7. All resolutions shall be immediately effective unless a delayed effective date is specified.
  8. The power of veto shall not apply to the adoption of resolutions or amendments to resolutions.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 93; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4010.

14-14-914. Initiative and referendum generally.

  1. County Legislative Powers Reserved. The powers of initiative and referendum are reserved to the electors of each county government pursuant to Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7.
  2. Restrictions. No county legislative measure shall be enacted contrary to the Arkansas Constitution or any general state law which operates uniformly throughout the state, and any general law of the state shall have the effect of repealing any county ordinance which is in conflict therewith. All ordinances adopted by the county quorum court providing for alternative county organizations and all proposed reorganizations of county government that may be proposed by initiative petition of electors of the county under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, shall be submitted to the electors of the county only at the next following general election. However, such referendum shall be subject to initiative petition.
  3. Petition by Electors. The qualified electors of each county may initiate and amend ordinances and require submission of existing ordinances to a vote of the people by petition if signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the qualified electors voting in the last general election for the office of circuit clerk, or the office of Governor where the electors have abolished the office of circuit clerk.
  4. Suspension of Force.
    1. General Ordinance. A referendum petition on a general ordinance, or any part thereof, shall delay the effective date on that part included in the petition until the ordinance is ratified by the electors. However, the filing of a referendum petition against one (1) or more items, sections, or parts of any ordinance shall not delay the remainder from becoming operative.
    2. Emergency Ordinance. A referendum petition on an emergency ordinance shall not suspend the force of the law, but the measure may be law until it is voted upon by the electors.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 94; 1979, No. 413, § 24; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4011.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Heller and Sallings, Survey of Public Law, 3 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 296.

Case Notes

Legislative Powers.

Where provisions of optional general stock law were never put in force in county, an initiated stock law covering the county was valid. Smith v. Plant, 179 Ark. 1024, 19 S.W.2d 1022 (1929) (decision under prior law).

The qualified electors of any particular county may enact salary laws applicable to that particular county. Dozier v. Ragsdale, 186 Ark. 654, 55 S.W.2d 779 (1932); Reeves v. Smith, 190 Ark. 213, 78 S.W.2d 72 (1935); Tindall v. Searan, 192 Ark. 173, 90 S.W.2d 476 (1936); Phillips v. Rothrock, 194 Ark. 945, 110 S.W.2d 26 (1937) (decisions under prior law).

Neither this section nor Ark. Const. Amend. 7, nor any other state law prohibits the voters of a county from using their right of initiative to call for a referendum whereby the people of the county can express their approval or disapproval of the quorum court's action in leasing a county owned hospital. Proctor v. Hammons, 277 Ark. 247, 640 S.W.2d 800 (1982).

Petition by Electors.

Where an elector wishes to place a bond issue on a special election ballot, but no votes were tabulated in the most recent general election for circuit clerk, the number of signatures required on the referendum petition should be determined by the total votes cast in the last general election in which votes were cast for the circuit clerk. Yarbrough v. Witty, 336 Ark. 479, 987 S.W.2d 257 (1999).

14-14-915. Initiative and referendum requirements.

  1. Style Requirements of Petitions. A petition for county initiative or referendum filed by the electors shall:
    1. Embrace only a single comprehensive topic and shall be styled and circulated for signatures in the manner prescribed for county ordinances and amendments to ordinances established in this section and § 7-9-101 et seq.;
    2. Set out fully in writing the ordinance sought by petitioners; or in the case of an amendment, set out fully in writing the ordinance sought to be amended and the proposed amendment; or in the case of referendum, set out the ordinance, or parts thereof, sought to be repealed; and
    3. Contain a written certification of legal review by an attorney at law duly registered and licensed to practice in the State of Arkansas. This legal review shall be conducted for the purpose of form, proper title, legality, constitutionality, and conflict with existing ordinances. Legal review shall be concluded prior to the circulations of the petition for signatures. No change shall be made in the text of any initiative or referendum petition measure after any or all signatures have been obtained.
  2. Time Requirements for Filing Petitions.
    1. Initiative Petitions. All petitions for initiated county measures shall be filed with the county clerk not less than ninety (90) calendar days nor more than one hundred twenty (120) calendar days prior to the date established for the next regular election.
    2. Referendum Petitions. All petitions for referendum on county measures must be filed with the county clerk within sixty (60) calendar days after passage and publication of the measure sought to be repealed.
    3. Certification. All initiative and referendum petitions must be certified sufficient to the county board of election commissioners not less than seventy (70) calendar days prior to a regular general election to be included on the ballot. If the adequacy of a petition is determined by the county clerk less than seventy (70) days prior to the next regular election, the election on the measure shall be delayed until the following regular election unless a special election is called on a referendum measure as provided by law.
  3. Filing of Petitions. Initiative and referendum petitions ordering the submission of county ordinances or measures to the electors shall be directed to and filed with the county clerk.
  4. Sufficiency of Petition. Within ten (10) days after the filing of any petition, the county clerk shall examine and ascertain its sufficiency. Where the petition contains evidence of forgery, perpetuated either by the circulator or with his or her connivance, or evidence that a person has signed a name other than his or her own to the petition, the prima facie verity of the circulator's affidavit shall be nullified and disregarded, and the burden of proof shall be upon the sponsors of petitions to establish the genuineness of each signature. If the petition is found sufficient, the clerk shall immediately certify the finding to the county board of election commissioners and the quorum court.
  5. Insufficiency of Petition and Recertification. If the county clerk finds the petition insufficient, within ten (10) days after the filing thereof the clerk shall notify the petitioners or their designated agent or attorney of record, in writing, setting forth in detail every reason for the findings of insufficiency. Upon notification of insufficiency of the petition, the petitioners shall be afforded ten (10) calendar days, exclusive of the day notice of insufficiency is receipted, in which to solicit and add additional signatures, or to submit proof tending to show that signatures rejected by the county clerk are correct and should be counted. Upon resubmission of a petition which was previously declared insufficient, within five (5) calendar days the county clerk shall recertify its sufficiency or insufficiency in the same manner as prescribed in this section and, thereupon, the clerk's jurisdiction as to the sufficiency of the petition shall cease.
  6. Appeal of Sufficiency or Insufficiency Findings. Any taxpayer aggrieved by the action of the clerk in certifying the sufficiency or insufficiency of any initiative or referendum petition, may within fifteen (15) calendar days, but not thereafter, may file a petition in circuit court for a review of the findings.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 94; 1979, No. 891, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4011; Acts 2009, No. 1480, § 50.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment substituted “not less than ninety (90) calendar days nor more than one hundred twenty (120) calendar days” for “not less than sixty (60) calendar days nor more than ninety (90) calendar days” in (b)(1); and substituted “seventy (70)” for “forty (40)” twice in (b)(3).

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Heller and Sallings, Survey of Public Law, 3 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 296.

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

The 15-day time limit in subsection (f) of this section is not unconstitutional in violation of Ark. Const. Amend. 7. Committee for Util. Trimming, Inc. v. Hamilton, 290 Ark. 283, 718 S.W.2d 933 (1986).

Subsection (d) does not conflict with U.S. Const. amend. 7 because under the statute, the person attacking the petition must first meet the burden of proving the petition contains evidence of forgery or that there is evidence a person has signed a name other than his or her own, and this is consistent with the constitution, which places the burden of proof on the challenger; because the burden is on the contestant in the first instance, the statute does not conflict with the constitution. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Construction.

Subsection (e) does not purport to preclude a circuit court from considering in its review the entirety of the petition, which includes all of the signatures submitted to a county clerk with the petition, but merely sets a deadline of five days for the county clerk to complete the task of determining whether thirty-eight percent of the registered voters signed the petition, after the sponsors have been given ten days to cure the previous deficiencies. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Filing.

Procedural deficiencies by county clerk on proper filing of petition held not fatal when there is yet time in which the clerk may correct such deficiencies. Brown v. Davis, 226 Ark. 843, 294 S.W.2d 481 (1956) (decision under prior law).

Signatures.

Subsection (e) does envision the collection of signatures following the clerk's notification that the petition, as originally submitted, is insufficient; however, there is nothing in the statute that expressly prohibits a sponsor from collecting signatures after the petition has been filed with the county clerk. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Circuit court clearly erred by refusing to consider 720 signatures in its review of the county clerk's certification of a ballot-question committee's local-option petition; a circuit court is called upon to determine whether the petition is sufficient, meaning whether thirty-eight percent of the registered voters signed the petition, and, in that review, a circuit court has to consider the entire petition, which includes all of the signatures submitted to a county clerk with the petition. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Although the statute couches the deadline in jurisdictional terms, it does not follow that a circuit court is prohibited from considering uncounted signatures when determining the correctness of a clerk's certification that thirty-eight percent of registered voters signed the petition; although a county clerk is required to meet the deadline, the clerk's loss of jurisdiction after five days does not limit the evidence that can be received in circuit court upon de novo review of certification. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Subsection (d) does not conflict with U.S. Const. amend. 7 because under the statute, the person attacking the petition must first meet the burden of proving the petition contains evidence of forgery or that there is evidence a person has signed a name other than his or her own, and this is consistent with the constitution, which places the burden of proof on the challenger; because the burden is on the contestant in the first instance, the statute does not conflict with the constitution. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Because a ballot-question committee presented no evidence verifying excluded signatures, the circuit court correctly excluded all of the signatures found on petitions where any one signature was found to be invalid; nothing in the language of the statute limits its application to the county clerk's verification process. Our Cmty., Our Dollars v. Bullock, 2014 Ark. 457, 452 S.W.3d 552 (2014).

Sufficiency of Petition.

One affidavit to each petition consisting of many pages was held sufficient. Blocker v. Sewell, 189 Ark. 924, 75 S.W.2d 658 (1934) (decision under prior law).

Where evidence is satisfactory that names appearing on initiative petitions are not, prima facie, qualified electors, and no proof is offered to overcome this showing, the names will be stricken from the lists. Hargis v. Hall, 196 Ark. 878, 120 S.W.2d 335 (1938) (decision under prior law).

Evidence that names appearing on initiative petition were written in groups and in handwritings other than that of persons whose names were being used held sufficient to establish fraud, requiring the names be purged from lists. Hargis v. Hall, 196 Ark. 878, 120 S.W.2d 335 (1938) (decision under prior law).

If persons' names are signed by others to petition for the submission of a proposed initiated act to the voters, in the absence of wrongful intent or connivance between the signers and circulators of the petition, only those names wrongfully signed should be stricken. Sturdy v. Hall, 204 Ark. 785, 164 S.W.2d 884 (1942) (decision under prior law).

Where affidavits filed by circulators of petitions for an initiated measure were found to be false, the court was not wrong, as a matter of law, in excluding entirely the petitions of those affiants when the affiants merely said that they did not actually see all the persons sign in their presence. Parks v. Taylor, 283 Ark. 486, 678 S.W.2d 766 (1984).

Trial judge properly set aside a county clerk's certification of initiative petitions and properly instructed an election commission to remove the issue from the ballot because there was sufficient evidence on which the trial judge could rely to find that certain people signed names other than their own on various initiative petitions submitted to the clerk; the trial court was well within its bounds under subsection (d) of this section to reject the validity of those petitions and invalidate all of the signatures. Save Energy Reap Taxes v. Shaw, 374 Ark. 428, 288 S.W.3d 601 (2008).

Trial court erred in dismissing appellants' complaint challenging the validity of a county clerk's certification of a “wet/dry” initiative petition for placement on the ballot at a general election because appellants satisfied their burden of proof under subsection (d) of this section regarding two allegedly forged signatures on a petition; because the county clerk failed to produce any evidence on the issue, all of the signatures on the petition that contained the alleged forgeries had to be decertified. Mays v. Cole, 374 Ark. 532, 289 S.W.3d 1 (2008).

Time Requirements.

Where filing dates of initiative petitions showed they were filed less than 60 days before election contrary to Arkansas Constitution, there could be no presumption that the public had notice of proceeding contemplated and required by the constitution, and there was, therefore, no authority for holding the election and, the election was a nullity. Phillips v. Rothrock, 194 Ark. 945, 110 S.W.2d 26 (1937) (decision under prior law).

Section 14-14-905(f)(2) did not repeal subdivision (b)(2), but specifically preserved all previously enacted enabling legislation, including subdivision (b)(2). Cox v. French, 277 Ark. 134, 640 S.W.2d 786 (1982).

Paragraph three of the local petitions part of Ark. Const. Amend. 7, which states that the time for filing referendum petitions is from 30 to 90 days from the passage of the county measure, is not self-executing, because it clearly anticipates that general laws may be enacted fixing a time for filing a referendum petition at a specific time between 30 and 90 days; therefore, where the General Assembly, by enacting subdivision (b)(2), fixed the time at 60 days, the General Assembly exercised its lawful power to enact enabling legislation. Cox v. French, 277 Ark. 134, 640 S.W.2d 786 (1982).

Supreme Court of Arkansas had appellate jurisdiction over an appeal of a circuit court order affirming the county clerk's determination that a local-option petition was insufficient to place on the ballot; the 10-day appeal period of § 3-8-205(b) only applied when the county clerk had certified a petition and indicated that it would be placed on the ballot, and appellants had timely appealed under this section. Keep Our Dollars in Independence Cnty. v. Mitchell, 2017 Ark. 154, 518 S.W.3d 64 (2017).

Cited: Henard v. St. Francis Election Comm., 301 Ark. 459, 784 S.W.2d 598 (1990); Lawson v. St. Francis County Election Comm'n, 309 Ark. 135, 827 S.W.2d 159 (1992).

14-14-916. Judicial jurisdiction over initiative and referendum.

  1. Jurisdiction of Circuit Court. Jurisdiction is vested upon the circuit courts to hear and determine petitions for writs of mandamus, injunctions, and all other actions affecting the submission of any proposed county initiative or referendum petitions. All such proceedings and actions shall be heard summarily upon five (5) calendar days' notice in writing and shall have precedence over all other suits and matters before the court.
  2. Limitation of Injunction or Stay of Proceedings. No procedural steps in submitting an initiative or referendum measure shall be enjoined, stayed, or delayed by the order of any court or judge after the petition has been declared sufficient, except in circuit court on petition to review as provided in this section. During the pendency of any proceeding to review, the findings of the county clerk shall be conclusive and binding and shall not be changed or modified by any temporary order or ruling, and no court or judge shall entertain jurisdiction of any action or proceeding questioning the validity of any such ordinance or measure until after it shall have been adopted by the people.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 94; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4011; Acts 2003, No. 1185, § 21.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Heller and Sallings, Survey of Public Law, 3 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 296.

Case Notes

Injunction.

In suit to restrain enforcement of an initiative act and to have the act declared invalid, exhibits attached to motion to dissolve temporary restraining order, showing that jurisdictional requirements were met in respect of initiation of the act, showed prima facie the act was legally adopted. Sager v. Hibbard, 203 Ark. 672, 158 S.W.2d 922 (1942) (decision under prior law).

Jurisdiction.

The only jurisdiction conferred upon chancery courts is to review action of county clerk in determining the sufficiency of petitions for local laws. Hutto v. Rogers, 191 Ark. 787, 88 S.W.2d 68 (1935) (decision under prior law).

A chancery court has jurisdiction only to review the action of the county or city clerk in determining the sufficiency of petitions; proper jurisdiction of a suit to question the validity of a proposed measure lies in the circuit court. Dean v. Williams, 339 Ark. 439, 6 S.W.3d 89 (1999).

Cited: Moorman v. Priest, 310 Ark. 525, 837 S.W.2d 886 (1992).

14-14-917. Initiative and referendum elections.

  1. Time of Election for Initiative and Referendum Measures.
    1. Initiative. Initiative petition measures shall be considered by the electors only at a regular general election at which state and county officers are elected for regular terms.
    2. Referendum. Referendum petition measures may be submitted to the electors during a regular general election and shall be submitted if the adequacy of the petition is determined within the time limitation prescribed in this section. A referendum measure may also be referred to the electors at a special election called for the expressed purpose proposed by petition. However, no referendum petition certified within the time limitations established for initiative measures shall be referred to a special election, but shall be voted upon at the next regular election. No referendum election shall be held less than sixty (60) days after the certification of adequacy of the petition by the county clerk.
    3. Calling Special Elections. The jurisdiction to establish the necessity for a special election on referendum measures is vested in the electors through the provisions of petition. Where the jurisdiction is not exercised by the electors, the county court of each of the several counties may determine the necessity. However, a quorum court may compel the calling of a special election by a county court through resolution adopted during a regularly scheduled meeting of the quorum court. The resolution may specify a reasonable time limitation in which a county court order calling the special election shall be entered.
    4. Time of Special Election. The county court shall fix the date for the conduct of any special elections on referendum measures. The date shall be not less than established under § 7-11-201 et seq. When the electors exercise their powers to establish the necessity for a special election, the county court shall order an election according to the dates stated in § 7-11-201 et seq.
  2. Certification Requirements.
    1. Numeric Designation of Initiative and Referendum Measures. Upon finding an initiative or referendum petition sufficient and prior to delivery of the certification to a board of election commissioners and quorum court, the county clerk shall cause the measure to be entered into the legislative agenda register of the quorum court. This entry shall be in the order of the original filing of petition, and the register entry number shall be the official numeric designation of the proposed measure for election ballot purposes.
    2. Certification of Sufficiency. The certification of sufficiency for initiative and referendum petitions transmitted by the county clerk to the county board of election commissioners and quorum court shall include the ballot title of the proposed measure, the legislative agenda registration number, and a copy of the proposed measure, omitting signatures. The ballot title certified to the board shall be the comprehensive title of the measure proposed by petition, and the delivery of the certification to the chair or secretary of the board shall be deemed sufficient notice to the members of the board and their successors.
  3. Notice of Election.
    1. Initiative Petitions. Upon certification of any initiative or referendum petition measure submitted during the time limitations for a regular election, the county clerk shall give notice through publication by a two-time insertion, at not less than a seven-day interval, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or as provided by law. Publication notice shall state that the measure will be submitted to the electors for adoption or rejection at the next regular election and shall include the full text, the ballot title, and the official numeric designation of the measure.
    2. Referendum Petition. Upon certifying any referendum petition prior to the time limitations of filing measures established for a regular election, the county clerk shall give notice through publication by a one-time insertion in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or as provided by law. Publication notice shall state that the measure will be submitted to the electors for adoption or rejection at the next regular election or a special election when ordered by the county court and shall include the full text, the ballot title, and the official numeric designation of the measure.
    3. Publication of Special Referendum Election Notice. Upon filing of a special election order by the county court, the county clerk shall give notice of the election through publication by a two-time insertion, at not less than a seven-day interval, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or as provided by law. Publication shall state that the measure will be submitted to the electors for adoption or rejection at a special election and shall include the full text, the date of the election, the ballot title, and official numeric designation of the measure.
    4. Costs. The cost of all publication notices required in this section shall be paid out of the county general fund.
  4. Ballot Specifications for Initiative and Referendum Measures.
      1. Upon receipt of any initiative or referendum measure certified as sufficient by a county clerk, it shall be the duty of the members of the county board of election commissioners to take due cognizance and to certify the results of the vote cast thereon.
        1. Except as provided in subdivision (d)(1)(B)(ii) of this section, the board shall cause the ballot title to be placed on the ballot to be used in the election, stating plainly and separately the title of the ordinance or measure so initiated or referred by the quorum court to the electors with these words:
        2. If the election concerns repeal of an ordinance or measure by referendum petition, the ballot shall state plainly the title of the initiated ordinance or referred measure with these words:
    1. In arranging the ballot title on the ballot, the commissioners shall place it separate and apart from the ballot titles of the state acts, constitutional amendments, and the like. If the board of election commissioners fails or refuses to submit a proposed initiative or referendum ordinance when it is properly petitioned and certified as sufficient, the qualified electors of the county may vote for or against the ordinance or measure by writing or stamping on their ballots the proposed ballot title, followed by the word “FOR” or “AGAINST”, and a majority of the votes so cast shall be sufficient to adopt or reject the proposed ordinance.
  5. Conflicting Measures. Where two (2) or more ordinances or measures shall be submitted by separate petition at any one (1) election, covering the same subject matter and being for the same general purpose, but different in terms, words, and figures, the ordinance or measure receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall be declared the law, and all others shall be declared rejected.
  6. Contest of Election. The right to contest the returns and certification of the vote cast upon any proposed initiative or referendum measure is expressly conferred upon any ten (10) qualified electors of the county. The contest shall be brought in the circuit court and shall be conducted under the procedure for contesting the election of county officers, except that the complaint shall be filed within sixty (60) days after the certification of the vote, and no bond shall be required of the contestants.
  7. Vote Requirement for Enactment of Ordinance. Any measure submitted to the electors as provided in this section shall take effect and become law when approved by a majority of the votes cast upon the measure, and not otherwise, and shall not be required to receive a majority of the electors voting at the election. The measure so enacted shall be operative on and after the thirtieth day after the election at which it is approved, unless otherwise specified in the ordinance or amendment.

“FOR PROPOSED INITIATIVE (OR REFERRED) ORDINANCE (OR AMENDMENT OR MEASURE)

NO.

AGAINST PROPOSED INITIATIVE (OR REFERRED) ORDINANCE (OR AMENDMENT OR MEASURE)

NO.

“FOR REPEAL OF THE INITIATIVE (OR REFERRED) ORDINANCE (OR AMENDMENT OR MEASURE)

NO.

AGAINST REPEAL OF THE INITIATIVE (OR REFERRED) ORDINANCE (OR AMENDMENT OR MEASURE)

NO.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 94; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4011; Acts 2003, No. 1441, § 2; 2007, No. 1049, § 35; 2009, No. 1480, § 51; 2015, No. 1036, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment substituted “§ 7-11-201 et seq.” for “§ 7-5-103(b)” twice in (a)(4).

The 2015 amendment redesignated (d) as (d)(1) and (2); deleted “So that electors may vote upon the ordinance or measure” from the end of (d)(1)(A); in (d)(1)(B)(i), in the introductory language, added “Except as provided in subdivision (d)(1)(B)(ii) of this section” to the beginning and inserted “by the quorum court,” and added “OR MEASURE” twice throughout; and added (d)(1)(B)(ii).

Cross References. Special school elections, § 6-14-102.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Heller and Sallings, Survey of Public Law, 3 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 296.

Case Notes

Ballot Specifications.

The words “Initiative Act No. 1 of White County” preceding the title was no part of the title and the omission of the words “of White County” from the ballot did not affect its validity. Smith v. Plant, 179 Ark. 1024, 19 S.W.2d 1022 (1929) (decision under prior law).

Ballot title, “An act to fix the salaries and expenses of county officers and to fix the manner in which such compensations and salaries shall be paid and to reduce the costs of county government, and for other purposes,” was sufficient. Coleman v. Sherrill, 189 Ark. 843, 75 S.W.2d 248 (1934); Blocker v. Sewell, 189 Ark. 924, 75 S.W.2d 658 (1934); House v. Brazil, 196 Ark. 602, 119 S.W.2d 397 (1938) (decisions under prior law).

Calling Special Elections.

The matter of calling a special election, if not exercised by the electors, rests in the discretion of the county judge and/or the quorum court, either of which may determine the necessity of calling a special election. Quattlebaum v. Davis, 265 Ark. 588, 579 S.W.2d 599 (1979).

Contest of Elections.

Equity had no jurisdiction to try election contests involving initiated acts. Hutto v. Rogers, 191 Ark. 787, 88 S.W.2d 68 (1935) (decision under prior law).

Taxpayer's suit against county officials to enjoin disbursement of public revenues pursuant to provisions of initiated act by reason that submission of the question was unauthorized under the initiative and referendum act and enabling act passed pursuant thereto, and therefore did not become a law notwithstanding a favorable vote thereon, held not an election contest, and 60 day limitation would not apply to it. Phillips v. Rothrock, 194 Ark. 945, 110 S.W.2d 26 (1937) (decision under prior law).

In suit to restrain enforcement of an initiative act and to have the act declared invalid, exhibits attached to motion to dissolve temporary restraining order, showing that jurisdictional requirements were met in respect of initiation of the act, showed prima facie the act was legally adopted. Sager v. Hibbard, 203 Ark. 672, 158 S.W.2d 922 (1942) (decision under prior law).

Proper procedure to prevent calling of election on dog racing by board of commissioners was by suit against commissioners rather than against county clerk, since an election was under authority of former statutes relating to racing, and not under the power of initiative or referendum. Townes v. McCollum, 221 Ark. 920, 256 S.W.2d 716 (1953) (decision under prior law).

After a question is submitted to and voted upon by the people, the sufficiency of the petition was of no importance and could not be questioned. Herrington v. Hall, 238 Ark. 156, 381 S.W.2d 529 (1964) (decision under prior law).

Under former statute and Ark. Const. Amend. 7, validity of election wherein countywide stock law was adopted was not affected by failure of court to rule on action attacking validity of petition prior to the election where record showed no request for trial nor objection for failure to grant a trial. Herrington v. Hall, 238 Ark. 156, 381 S.W.2d 529 (1964) (decision under prior law).

When the Arkansas Constitution of 1874 was adopted, chancery courts had no jurisdiction with respect to election contests or the adjudication of political rights, and such jurisdiction could not be conferred by statute. McFerrin v. Knight, 265 Ark. 658, 580 S.W.2d 463 (1979) (decision under prior law).

Publication of Election Notices.

Acts 1911 (Ex. Sess.), No. 2, § 15, relating to the publication of initiated measures, could have no applicability to local or county measures after the adoption of Ark. Const. Amend. 7. Reeves v. Smith, 190 Ark. 213, 78 S.W.2d 72 (1935) (decision under prior law).

Vote Requirements.

An affirmative vote could not be given effect when the petition was not filed in compliance with the constitutional provisions. Phillips v. Rothrock, 194 Ark. 945, 110 S.W.2d 26 (1937) (decision under prior law).

Cited: Henard v. St. Francis Election Comm., 301 Ark. 459, 784 S.W.2d 598 (1990); Redd v. Sossomon, 315 Ark. 512, 868 S.W.2d 466 (1994).

14-14-918. Passage of initiative and referendum measures.

  1. Recording of Enactment. Upon passage of any initiative or referendum measure by the electors, the county clerk shall record the enactment in the county ordinance and resolution register in the manner provided by law for all county ordinances and resolutions. The register entry number designation shall thereby become the official reference number designating the enactment.
  2. Quorum Court Authority. No measure approved by a vote of the electors shall be amended or repealed by a quorum court except by affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the whole number of justices comprising a court. On the passage of an amendment or repealing measure, the yeas and nays shall be called and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
  3. Preservation of Records. All petitions, certificates, notices, and other evidences of procedural steps taken in submitting any ordinance shall be filed and preserved for a period of three (3) years by the county clerk.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 94; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4011.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Heller and Sallings, Survey of Public Law, 3 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 296 (1980).

14-14-919. Referendum petitions on county bond issue.

All referendum petitions under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, against any measure, as the term is used and defined in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 7, pertaining to a county bond issue or a short-term financing obligation of a county under Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 78, must be filed with the county clerk within thirty (30) days after the adoption of any such measure.

History. Acts 1979, No. 717, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4011.1; Acts 2001, No. 981, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2001, No. 981, § 2, provided:

“All laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.”

Subchapter 10 — Judicial Powers

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 413, § 28: Mar. 20, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that Act 742 of 1977 contains certain deficiencies and ambiguities detrimental to the citizens of this State; and that amendatory legislation must be immediately enacted to remedy the defects. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., §§ 193-230, 423-578.

14-14-1001. County court generally.

  1. Courts of Record. The county court shall be a court of record and shall keep just and faithful records of its proceedings.
  2. Seal of the Court. The county court of each county shall preserve and keep a seal with such emblems and devices as the court deems proper. The seal shall be clear and legible and capable of photographic reproduction. The impression of the seal of the court by stamp shall be sufficient sealing in all cases in which sealing is required.
  3. Establishment of Office. The county judge shall maintain an office in a county building at the county seat. The office shall be open to the public during normal business hours. However, in counties having more than one (1) county seat or judicial district, the county court may prescribe the times and places the offices shall be open to the public for the transaction of county business.
  4. Term of the County Court. The terms of the county courts shall be held at the times that are prescribed for holding the supervisor's courts or may otherwise be prescribed by law. There shall be no adjournment of county courts, but the courts shall be deemed in recess when not engaged in the transaction of county business. In counties having more than one (1) judicial district, the county court shall be concurrently in session in each district.
  5. Disqualification of Judges. Whenever a judge of the county may be disqualified for presiding in any cause pending in his or her court, he or she shall certify the facts to the Governor, who shall thereupon commission a special judge to preside in the cause during the time the disqualification may continue or until the cause may be fully disposed of.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 81; 1979, No. 413, § 19; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3904; Acts 2005, No. 1227, § 1; 2013, No. 469, § 1.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment inserted the second sentence in (b).

Case Notes

Unauthorized Practice of Law.

Circuit court did not err in dismissing a company's tax assessment appeal for lack of jurisdiction when its tax manager, a nonlawyer, initiated the appeal on its behalf because the company invoked the legal process and its nonattorney representative engaged in the unauthorized practice of law; the company, through a nonlawyer, lodged its appeal in the county court, initiating the appeal process in a court of record. Desoto Gathering Co., LLC v. Hill, 2017 Ark. 326, 531 S.W.3d 396 (2017).

14-14-1002. Other judicial authorities of county court.

  1. Injunctions, Restraining Orders, and Provisional Writs. In case of the absence of the circuit judge from the county, the county court may issue injunctions, restraining orders, and other provisional writs after the action has been commenced, but not before. However, either party may have the order reviewed by the circuit judge.
  2. Defense of County. In cases when appeals are prosecuted in the circuit court or Supreme Court, the county judge shall defend them, and all expenses or money paid out by reason of his or her defense shall be repaid by the proper county, by order of the county court.
  3. Writs of Habeas Corpus. The county judge shall have power, in the absence of the circuit judge from the county, to issue, hear, and determine writs of habeas corpus, under such regulations and restrictions as shall be provided by law.
  4. Compensation. The county judge shall receive such compensation for his or her services as presiding judge of the county court as may be provided by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 82; 1979, No. 413, § 20; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3905; Acts 2003, No. 1185, § 22.

Case Notes

Cited: Villines v. Harris, 340 Ark. 319, 11 S.W.3d 516 (2000).

14-14-1003. Appeals.

Appeals from all judgments of the county courts may be taken to the circuit court, under such restrictions and regulations as may be prescribed by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 83; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3906; Acts 2017, No. 260, § 1.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment deleted “or courts of common pleas, when established,” following “county courts”.

Case Notes

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978); Union County v. Union County Election Comm'n, 274 Ark. 286, 623 S.W.2d 827 (1981).

Subchapter 11 — Executive Powers

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1997, No. 394, § 5: Mar. 6, 1997. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that devastating tornadoes and flooding recently occurred in several counties of the state; that several of the affected counties have been declared disaster areas by the Governor; that as a result of the disaster considerable cleanup services and other services will be required on private property as well as public property; that it is in the best interests of the counties involved in such disasters as well as residents of those counties that the devastated areas be cleaned up and restored as quickly as is feasible; that the use of county equipment and labor to the extent the county judge deems appropriate would be beneficial to everyone involved, and that this act is designed to permit the use of county equipment and labor on private property in these limited circumstances and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., §§ 193-230, 423-578.

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-1101. Powers of county judge generally.

  1. Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 3, established the following executive powers to be administered by the county judge:
    1. To preside over the county quorum court, without a vote but with the power of veto;
    2. To authorize and approve disbursement of appropriated county funds;
    3. To operate the system of county roads;
    4. To administer ordinances enacted by the quorum court;
    5. To have custody of county property; and
    6. To hire county employees, except those persons employed by other elected officials of the county.
  2. In the performance of such executive duties, the county judge shall be bonded in the manner provided by law, as required in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 6.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 78; 1979, No. 98, § 1; 1981, No. 994, § 1; 1983, No. 183, § 1; 1983, No. 232, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3901.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1981, No. 994 became law without the Governor's signature.

Acts 1983, No. 183, § 3, provided that the General Assembly recognizes that the provisions of Acts 1981, No. 994 were confusing and contained language that could not be reconciled; that Acts 1981, No. 994 created considerable confusion and misunderstanding, and that some counties have entered into leases, contracts, and arrangements which may be questionable under the provisions of Acts 1981, No. 994; and that in order to avoid further confusion and misunderstanding, all such contracts, leases, or other arrangements entered into by any county during the period from the effective date of Acts 1981, No. 994 until the effective date of this act that were entered into in conformity with the law in existence prior to the effective date of Acts 1981, No. 994, or in conformity with Acts 1981, No. 994, were declared to be legal and binding.

Cross References. Self-Insured Fidelity Bond Program, § 21-2-701 et seq.

Case Notes

Bond.

Where an action was brought for damages against county judge for dismissing a person from position of director of county program on aging, the county judge, in hiring and firing county employees, was exercising administrative and ministerial functions under this section, since the last paragraph of this section requires the judge to be bonded in the performance of his executive duties, including the hiring of county employees, and such bonding requirement would be meaningless if hiring and firing of county officials was a judicial function; thus, the county judge was not entitled to judicial immunity for his actions under Ark. Const., Art. 7, § 28. Clark v. Campbell, 514 F. Supp. 1300 (W.D. Ark. 1981).

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978).

14-14-1102. Exercise of powers by county judge.

  1. Performance. The General Assembly determines that the executive powers of the county judge as enumerated in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 3, are to be performed by him or her in an executive capacity and not by order of the county court.
  2. Procedures. In the exercise of the executive powers of the county judge as enumerated, the county judge shall adhere to the following procedures:
    1. Operation of System of County Roads, Bridges, and Ferries.
        1. The county judge shall be responsible for the administrative actions affecting the conduct of a plan of public roadways and bridges throughout the unincorporated areas of the county, including the maintenance and construction of public roadways and bridges and roadway drainage designated as eligible for expenditure of county funds. This jurisdiction shall be exercised pursuant to law, and nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting a county in performing public roadway and bridge maintenance and construction services within the incorporated municipal boundaries where permitted and in the manner prescribed by law.
        2. For the purposes of this section, the term “bridges” shall include all structures erected over a river, creek, ditch, or obstruction in a public roadway. The county judge shall administer the operation of county-owned ferries.
        1. The county court shall continue to exercise the powers granted by law for the granting of a right to maintain a ferry by a private individual at a particular place and at which a toll for the transportation of persons or property is levied to conduct an uninterrupted roadway over interrupted waters.
        2. The quorum court may establish by ordinance appropriate procedures and schedules of tolls that may be charged by private individuals who are granted authority to operate a private ferry on connecting public roadways;
    2. Authorization and Approval of the Disbursement of Appropriated County Funds.
        1. All vouchers for the payment of county funds out of the county treasury shall be approved and filed by the county judge or his or her designated representative, who shall be appointed by executive order of the judge and who shall be bonded in an amount equal to the county judge's bond in the manner provided by law.
        2. Approval for payment shall be signified by the signature of the county judge or his or her designated representative.
        3. A copy of the executive order evidencing the designated representative's appointment shall be filed in the office of county clerk with the original of the surety bond on the designated representative.
      1. Before approving any voucher for the payment of county funds, the county judge, or his or her designated representative, shall determine that:
        1. There is a sufficient appropriation available for the purpose and there is a sufficient unencumbered balance of funds on hand in the appropriate county fund to pay therefor;
        2. The expenditure is in compliance with the purposes for which the funds are appropriated;
        3. All state purchasing laws and other state laws or ordinances of the quorum court are complied with in the expenditure of the moneys;
        4. The goods or services for which expenditure is to be made have been rendered and the payment thereof has been incurred in a lawful manner and is owed by the county. However, a county judge may approve, in advance, claims payable to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service for educational services to be rendered during all or part of the current fiscal year.
        1. No money shall be paid out of the treasury until it shall have been appropriated by law and then only in accordance with the appropriation, and all contracts for erecting and repairing the public buildings in any county or for materials therefor, or for providing for the care and feeding of paupers where there are no public or private facilities or services available for such a purpose, shall be given to the lowest possible bidder under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.
        2. The county judge shall have the authority to enter into necessary contracts or other agreements to obligate county funds and to approve expenditure of county funds appropriated therefor in the manner provided by law.
          1. The county judge of each county may promulgate appropriate administrative rules and regulations, after notice and hearing thereon, for the conduct of county financial affairs.
          2. The administrative rules and regulations shall be consistent with the provisions of laws relating to financial management of county government and the appropriate ordinances enacted by the quorum court.
          3. All such administrative rules and regulations adopted after hearings by the county judge shall be certified by the county judge and filed in the office of the county clerk to be open to public inspection at all normal hours of business.
      1. Custody of County Property. The county judge, as the chief executive officer of the county, shall have custody of county property and is responsible for the administration, care, and keeping of such county property, including the right to dispose of county property in the manner and procedure provided by law for the disposal of county property by the county court. The county judge shall have the right to lease, assign, or not assign use of the property whether or not the county property was purchased with county funds or was acquired through donations, gifts, grants, confiscation, or condemnation.
      2. In addition to other terms the county court finds reasonable and proper, the contract for the lease of county property shall provide that when the leased property ceases to be used for the purpose expressed in the lease or needs to be used by the county, the lease may be cancelled by the county court after reasonable notice.
    3. Administration of Ordinances Enacted by the Quorum Court. The county judge shall be responsible for the administration and performing the executive functions necessary for the management and conduct of county affairs, as prescribed by ordinance of the quorum court, unless the performance of such duties is vested in the county court by ordinances enacted by the quorum court or by the general laws of this state.
      1. Hiring of County Employees, Except Those Persons Employed by Other Elected Officials of the County. The county judge, as the chief executive officer of the county, is responsible for the employment of the necessary personnel or for the purchase of labor or services performed by individuals or firms employed by the county or an agency thereof for salaries, wages, insurance, or other forms of compensation.
        1. “County or subdivisions thereof”, for the purposes of this section, means all departments except departments administratively assigned to other elected officials of the county, boards, and subordinate service districts created by county ordinance.
          1. Jurisdiction for the hiring of employees of counties, administrative boards, or subordinate service districts may be delegated by ordinance to the board or service district, but where any county ordinance delegating authority to hire county employees interferes with the jurisdiction of the county judge, as provided in this section, it shall be implied that the delegation shall be performed only with the approval of the county judge.
          2. The jurisdiction to purchase the labor of an individual for salary or wages employed by other elected officials of the county shall be vested in each respective elected official.
    4. Presiding Over the Quorum Court Without a Vote, but with the Power of Veto.
      1. In presiding over the quorum court, the county judge shall perform such duties in connection therewith as may be provided by state law and in accordance with rules and procedures promulgated by the court for the conduct of its business.
      2. Nothing in this subdivision shall limit the veto power of the county judge as provided in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55.
    5. Accepting Gifts, Grants, and Donations from Federal, Public, or Private Sources.
      1. The county judge, as the chief executive officer, is authorized to accept, in behalf of the county, gifts, grants, and donations of real or personal property for use of the county. He or she may apply for, enter into necessary contracts, receive, and administer for and in behalf of the county, subject to such appropriation controls that the quorum court may elect to adopt by ordinance, funds from the federal government, from other public agencies, or from private sources.
      2. All such contracts or agreements shall be filed as public record with the county clerk.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 78; 1979, No. 98, § 1; 1979, No. 413, §§ 16, 17; 1981, No. 994, § 1; 1983, No. 183, § 1; 1983, No. 232, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3901; Acts 1997, No. 387, § 1; 2009, No. 410, §§ 1, 2; 2011, No. 837, § 4.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1981, No. 994 became law without the Governor's signature.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted (b)(3)(B) and redesignated the remaining text accordingly, inserted “lease” in (b)(3)(A), inserted “insurance” in (b)(5)(A), and made minor stylistic and punctuation changes

The 2011 amendment inserted “or her” in (b)(2)(A)(i); and deleted “manual” preceding “signature” in (b)(2)(A)(ii).

Case Notes

Applicability.

This section does not apply to bribes received by a county judge. Anderson v. Sharp County, 295 Ark. 366, 749 S.W.2d 306 (1988).

County Employees.

The county judge, as an executive officer of the county, is vested with responsibility with respect to hiring county employees and with respect to salaries, wages, and other forms of compensation. McCuen v. Jackson, 265 Ark. 819, 581 S.W.2d 326 (1979).

When a county judge entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the union, the judge exercised his executive responsibility to provide county employees with other forms of compensation; therefore, the judge acted within his capacity to bind the county to the CBA and the county had an obligation to pay the insurance premiums for the county employees' dependents. AFSCME, Local 380 v. Hot Spring County, 362 F. Supp. 2d 1035 (W.D. Ark. 2004).

County museum.

Designation of county building as a museum was not an illegal exaction since subdivision (b)(3) of this section and Ark. Const. Amend. 55, § 3, provide that the County Judge is the custodian of county property and is therefore authorized to determine how county property shall be used; moreover, §§ 14-14-802(b)(2)(C)(v) and 13-5-501 et seq. authorize the County to provide for a county museum. Haynes v. Faulkner County, 326 Ark. 557, 932 S.W.2d 328 (1996).

Expenditures.

By electing to appeal chancellor's award of a monetary judgment, the county judge was attempting to ensure that the requirements of this section that the expenses had been incurred in a lawful manner and that payment was owed by the county were met. Venhaus v. Pulaski County Quorum Court, 291 Ark. 558, 726 S.W.2d 668 (1987).

Summary judgment for gas company in its declaratory action was proper because the county's grant of a pipeline easement to manufacturer was null and void due to the county's failure to follow the appraisal, notice, and bidding procedures required in § 14-16-105; § 14-16-105 provides the “manner and procedure” for the conveyance of the pipeline easement and this section, which pertains to the use of county property, does not allow the county judge to forego the procedures set out in § 14-16-105. MacSteel Div. of Quanex v. Ark. Okla. Gas Corp., 363 Ark. 22, 210 S.W.3d 878 (2005).

Unlawful Activities.

A trial court properly prohibited a county judge from leasing county property to private interests and from contracting to use county property and employees to perform services for, and supply materials to, private interests, since such activities by the county judge would violate Ark. Const., Art. 16, § 13, and Ark. Const., Art. 12, § 5. Pogue v. Cooper, 284 Ark. 105, 679 S.W.2d 207 (1984).

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978).

14-14-1103. Other county officials.

Executive powers and duties of all county officials other than the county judge comprising the executive division of the county government shall be those established by the Arkansas Constitution and by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 78; 1979, No. 98, § 1; 1979, No. 413, §§ 16, 17; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3901.

Case Notes

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978).

14-14-1104. Administrative rules and regulations.

    1. The county judge may promulgate reasonable and necessary administrative rules and regulations, after notice and hearing thereon, for the administration and conduct of the various laws and programs to be administered by the judge in his or her capacity as the chief executive officer of the county.
    2. These administrative rules and regulations shall be consistent with the state laws relating to the administration of county affairs by the county judge and the appropriate ordinances enacted by the quorum court.
  1. The administrative rules and regulations promulgated by the county judge in the performance of his or her executive functions shall not be applicable to the conduct of county business which is within the jurisdiction of the county court.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 79; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3902.

14-14-1105. Jurisdiction of county court.

  1. The General Assembly determines that all powers not vested in the county judge under the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, to be exercised by the county judge as the chief executive officer of the county, shall continue to be exercised and administered by the county court, over which the judge shall preside.
  2. The county court of each county shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all matters relating to:
    1. County Taxes. Jurisdiction shall include all real and personal ad valorem taxes collected by a county government, including all related administrative processes, assessment of property, equalization of assessments on appeal, tax levies, tax collection, and distribution of tax proceeds. This jurisdiction shall be exercised pursuant to law;
    2. Paupers. Jurisdiction shall include all county administrative actions affecting the conduct of public human services programs serving indigent residents of the county where such services are financed, in total or in part, by county funds;
    3. Apprenticeship of Minors. Jurisdiction over juvenile matters is vested in the county courts of each county and shall be exclusive in all cases of delinquency, juveniles in need of supervision, and dependency-neglect;
    4. Jurisdiction in Each Other Case that May Be Necessary to the Internal Improvement and Local Concern of the Respective Counties. Jurisdiction shall include county financial activities and works of general public utility or advantage designed to promote intercommunications, trade and commerce, transportation of persons and property, or the development of natural resources, which are not otherwise transferred to the county judge to be administered in his or her executive capacity under the provision of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55; and
    5. Other Jurisdiction. The county court shall have all other jurisdiction vested by law in the county court, excepting with respect to those powers formerly vested in the county court under the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Article 7, § 28, which were transferred to the county judge under the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 3.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 80; 1979, No. 413, § 18; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3903; Acts 1993, No. 403, § 4.

Case Notes

County Taxes.

It is settled law that county courts have exclusive jurisdiction in all matters relating to county taxes under Ark. Const., Art. 7, § 28 and this section; however, a court of equity may grant relief against a void or illegal tax assessment. Pockrus v. Bella Vista Village Property Owners Ass'n, 316 Ark. 468, 872 S.W.2d 416 (1994).

Although illegal taxes can be enjoined by a court of equity, if the taxes complained of are not themselves illegal, a suit for illegal exaction will not lie in chancery court; a flaw in the assessment of collection procedure, no matter how serious from the taxpayer's point of view, does not make the exaction itself illegal, and any relief from such county taxes must be sought in county court. Pockrus v. Bella Vista Village Property Owners Ass'n, 316 Ark. 468, 872 S.W.2d 416 (1994).

The county court, and not the circuit court, had jurisdiction over a matter pertaining to the assessment of a penalty resulting from the delinquent payment of county taxes. Villines v. Pulaski County Bd. of Educ., 341 Ark. 125, 14 S.W.3d 510 (2000).

Circuit court was without jurisdiction and the claim against the county, tax assessor, city, and school district should have been filed in county court, pursuant to Ark. Const., Art. 7, § 28, because the taxpayers alleged that an erroneous assessment occurred for which they sought a refund of property taxes. Muldoon v. Martin, 103 Ark. App. 64, 286 S.W.3d 201 (2008).

Arkansas Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal from the circuit court, because the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, when appellants' complaint challenged how the county was distributing the proceeds collected from the library tax, and such a challenge to the distribution of the tax proceeds should have been raised in county court pursuant to Ark. Const. Art. 7, § 28 and subdivision (b)(1) of this section; it was undisputed that the case dealt with a county ad valorem tax. Carnegie Pub. Library v. Carroll County, 2012 Ark. 128 (2012).

14-14-1106. Appeals from administrative acts.

Appeals by any aggrieved party from any administrative act performed, or from the nonperformance of any administrative act required by law to be performed, by the county judge acting in his or her capacity as the chief executive officer of the county, or any other elected county official, may be taken to the court of competent jurisdiction in the manner provided by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 83; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3906.

Case Notes

Cited: Mears v. Hall, 263 Ark. 827, 569 S.W.2d 91 (1978); Union County v. Union County Election Comm'n, 274 Ark. 286, 623 S.W.2d 827 (1981).

14-14-1107. Natural disasters.

In any county in which a natural disaster, including but not limited to a tornado or flood, results in the county being declared a disaster area by the Governor, an appropriate official of the United States Government, or the county judge of the county, the county judge is authorized to use county labor and equipment on private property to provide services which are required as a result of the natural disaster.

History. Acts 1997, No. 394, § 1.

Subchapter 12 — Personnel Procedures

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county governments and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1979, No. 151, §§ 4, 5: effective retroactive to Jan. 1, 1979. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the present law establishing maximum and minimum salaries for elected county officers is unduly restrictive and in many cases denied certain officers reasonable compensation for their services; and that this Act is designed to alleviate this problem. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.” Approved February 20, 1979.

Acts 1981, No. 806, § 4: Mar. 28, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the ranges of compensation now provided by law for the various county officials are inadequate to permit reasonable and equitable compensation to such officials for their services; that this Act is designed to permit the compensation of such officers to be increased to a fair level and to enable such officers to cope with the high rate of inflation, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 446, § 4: Mar. 14, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the ranges of compensation now provided by law for the various county officials are inadequate to permit reasonable and equitable compensation to such officials for their services; that this Act is designed to permit the compensation of such officers to be increased to a fair level and to enable such officers to cope with the high rate of inflation, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1985, No. 104, § 4: Feb. 12, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that County Sheriffs and the employees of the Sheriff's departments wear uniforms in the preservation of the public peace, health and safety and that requiring an itemized listing or numbered invoice for payment of a uniform allowance imposes a severe hardship on Sheriffs and the Sheriff's departments. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1985, No. 398, § 4: Mar. 18, 1985. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the ranges of compensation now provided by law for the various county officials are inadequate to permit reasonable and equitable compensation to such officials for their services; that this Act is designed to permit the compensation of such officers to be increased to a fair level and to enable such officers to cope with the high rate of inflation, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1989, No. 694, § 5: Mar. 20, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the ranges of compensation now provided by law for the various county officials are inadequate to permit reasonable and equitable compensation to such officials for their services; that this act is designed to permit the compensation of such officers to be increased to a fair level and to enable such officers to cope with the high rate of inflation, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1991, No. 1161, § 5: Apr. 10, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the ranges of compensation now provided by law for the various county officials are inadequate to permit reasonable and equitable compensation to such officials for their services; that this act is designed to permit the compensation of such officers to be increased to a fair level and to enable such officers to cope with the high rate of inflation, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1993, No. 954, § 6: Apr. 8, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the ranges of compensation now provided by law for the various county officials are inadequate to permit reasonable and equitable compensation to such officials for their services; that this act is designed to permit the compensation of such officers to be increased to a fair level and to enable such officers to cope with the high rate of inflation, and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2009, No. 616, § 3: July 1, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this act change the calculation of compensation for retirement purposes and should become effective on July 1, 2009, for consistent application and to avoid confusion; and that unless this emergency clause is adopted, this act will not go into effect until after the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 2009.”

14-14-1201. Surety bond for certain county and township officers and employees.

  1. Surety Bond Required. All elected or appointed county and township officers, and employees thereof, who receipt for cash funds or disburse public funds of a county by virtue of their office or employment shall obtain a surety bond.
  2. Amount of Bond.
    1. The amount for which a county or township officer or employee shall be bonded shall be based on the amount of money or property handled and the opportunity for defalcation. These amounts shall be fixed annually by ordinance of the quorum court of each county based on the total cash receipts and disbursements of the office for the preceding calendar year.
      1. These surety bonds shall be initiated in minimum amounts computed as follows:
        1. On the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or any part thereof, of receipts or disbursements of the office, ten percent (10%) of the amount;
        2. On the next two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000), or any part thereof, of receipts or disbursements of the office, seven and one-half percent (7½%) of the amount;
        3. On the next two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000), or any part thereof, of receipts or disbursements of the office, five percent (5%) of the amount;
        4. On the next five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), or any part thereof, of the amount, two and one-half percent (2½%); and
        5. On all amounts in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000), one percent (1%) of the amount.
      2. The maximum amount of any bond required of any elected officer or employee thereof shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).
  3. Authorized Bonding Companies. Bonds purchased by a county government shall be executed by responsible insurance or surety companies authorized and admitted to execute surety bonds in the state.
  4. Conditions of Sureties. The condition of every official bond must be that the covered officers and employees shall perform all official duties required of them by law and also such additional duties as may be imposed on them by any law subsequently enacted, and that they will account for and pay over and deliver to the person or officer entitled to receive the same all moneys or other property that may come into their hands as such officers or employees. The sureties upon any official bond are also in all cases liable for the neglect, default, or misconduct in office of any deputy, clerk, or employee, appointed or employed by an officer or employee of county government.
  5. Purchase of Bonds. The county judge of each county shall purchase all surety bonds for county and township officers, and employees thereof, in the amounts fixed by ordinance of the county quorum court pursuant to the purchasing laws governing county government. A bond may cover an individual officer or employee, or a blanket bond may cover all officers and employees, or any group or combination of officers and employees.
  6. Appropriation of Bond Premiums. The quorum court of each county shall provide for by appropriation the payment of premiums for surety bonds of all county and township officers, and employees thereof.
  7. Approval and Filing of Bonds. All official bonds must be signed and executed by the county court of each county and one (1) or more surety companies organized under the laws of this state or licensed to do business in this state. The original of each such executed bond, as required in this section, shall be filed in the office of county clerk.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 113; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4206.

Cross References. Self-Insured Fidelity Bond Program,, § 21-2-701 et seq.

Case Notes

Actions on Bonds.

The state may bring an action on a county officer's bond for the amount of the officer's defalcation. State ex rel. Benton County v. Wood, 51 Ark. 205, 10 S.W. 624 (1889) (decision under prior law).

Suit cannot be brought on a county officer's bond until the amount due has been determined by a court. Graham v. State, 100 Ark. 571, 140 S.W. 735 (1911) (decision under prior law).

Attorney's Fees.

For an indemnity agreement contained in bond executed to state to indemnify sheriff to include attorney's fees and to be recoverable by the indemnitee, the attorney's fees had to be reasonable, proper, necessary, and incurred in good faith and with due diligence; were factual questions to be determined by the trier of fact; and when properly placed in dispute, were not matters to be disposed of on motion for summary judgment. United States Fid. & Guar. Co. v. Love, 260 Ark. 374, 538 S.W.2d 558 (1976) (decision under prior law).

Conditions of Sureties.

A county officer's bond that obligates the officer and his sureties that he will truly account for and pay over all moneys that come to his hands by virtue of his office is valid, although it names no obligee. State ex rel. Benton County v. Wood, 51 Ark. 205, 10 S.W. 624 (1889) (decision under prior law).

The failure of a county treasurer to bring funds into court when ordered constituted a breach of his bond, although the funds could have been lost by the insolvency of the bank in which they were deposited. State ex rel. Benton County v. Wood, 51 Ark. 205, 10 S.W. 624 (1889) (decision under prior law).

Liability of Sureties.

It is in the discretion of a court, upon a proper showing by a surety on an official bond of a county officer, to require the officer to give a new bond and discharge the surety from future liability; however, the court has no power to discharge the surety from past liability. Ex parte Talbot, 32 Ark. 424 (1877) (decision under prior law).

The amount for which the bond for a county officer is liable is the amount fixed by a court, with legal interest from the date of auditing. State ex rel. Benton County v. Wood, 51 Ark. 205, 10 S.W. 624 (1889) (decision under prior law).

The General Assembly may release an officer and bondsmen from liability for a claim legally due, but which would be unjust and oppressive to collect. Pearson v. State, 56 Ark. 148, 19 S.W. 499 (1892) (decision under prior law).

Sureties on bond approved by circuit judge in vacation were not liable for any funds that came into a treasurer's hands after rejection of the bond by the circuit court and the expiration of 15 days thereafter within which the treasurer failed to file new bond. Wood v. State, 63 Ark. 337, 40 S.W. 87 (1897) (decision under prior law).

Sureties on an officer's bond are not liable for penalties imposed by a statute passed after the execution of the bond. Hunter State Bank v. Mills, 90 Ark. 10, 117 S.W. 760 (1909) (decision under prior law).

A county treasurer depositing county funds in a bank that had not executed a bond payable to the county as required by statute was not relieved from liability on his official bond on the bank's insolvency, although the treasurer took a bond from the bank payable to himself to secure his deposits, which bond was approved by the county court. Huffstuttler v. State, 183 Ark. 993, 39 S.W.2d 721 (1931) (decision under prior law).

A surety is not liable for punitive damages assessed against county officer. Arnold v. State ex rel. Burton, 220 Ark. 25, 245 S.W.2d 818 (1952) (decision under prior law).

Cited: Wilson v. Robinson, 506 F. Supp. 1236 (E.D. Ark. 1981).

14-14-1202. Ethics for county government officers and employees.

  1. Public Trust.
    1. The holding of public office or employment is a public trust created by the confidence which the electorate reposes in the integrity of officers and employees of county government.
    2. An officer or employee shall carry out all duties assigned by law for the benefit of the people of the county.
    3. The officer or employee may not use his or her office, the influence created by his or her official position, or information gained by virtue of his or her position to advance his or her individual personal economic interest or that of an immediate member of his or her family or an associate, other than advancing strictly incidental benefits as may accrue to any of them from the enactment or administration of law affecting the public generally.
  2. Officers and Employees of County Government Defined.
    1. For purposes of this section, officers and employees of county government include:
      1. All elected county and township officers and their employees;
      2. All district judicial officers serving a county and their employees; and
      3. All members of county boards and advisory, administrative, or subordinate service districts and their employees.
    2. Officials who are considered to be state officers or deputy prosecuting attorneys are not covered by this subsection.
  3. Rules of Conduct.
    1. No officer or employee of county government shall:
        1. Be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any contract or transaction made, authorized, or entered into on behalf of the county or an entity created by the county, or accept or receive any property, money, or other valuable thing for his or her use or benefit on account of, connected with, or growing out of any contract or transaction of a county.
          1. If in the purchase of any materials, supplies, equipment, or machinery for the county, any discounts, credits, or allowances are given or allowed, they shall be for the benefit of the county.
          2. It shall be unlawful for any officer or employee to accept or retain them for his or her own use or benefit;
      1. Be a purchaser at any sale or a vendor of any purchase made by him or her in his or her official capacity;
      2. Acquire an interest in any business or undertaking which he or she has reason to believe may be directly affected to its economic benefit by official action to be taken by county government;
        1. Perform an official act directly affecting a business or other undertaking to its economic detriment when he or she has a substantial financial interest in a competing firm or undertaking.
        2. Substantial financial interest is defined for purposes of this section as provided in Acts 1971, No. 313, § 7 [repealed].
        1. If the quorum court determines it is in the best interest of the county, the quorum court by ordinance upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote may permit the county to purchase goods, services, commodities, or real property directly or indirectly from a quorum court member, a county officer, or a county employee due to unusual circumstances.
        2. The ordinance permitting the purchase shall define specifically the unusual circumstances under which the purchase is permitted and the limitations of the authority.
      1. A quorum court member having an interest in the goods, services, commodities, or real property being considered under the procedures in this subdivision (c)(2) shall not vote upon the approval of the ordinance permitting the purchase of the goods, services, commodities, or real property.
      2. If goods, services, commodities, or real property are purchased under the procedures in this subdivision (c)(2), the county judge shall file an affidavit, together with a copy of the voucher and other documents supporting the disbursement, with the county clerk certifying that each disbursement has been made in accordance with the ordinance.
      1. No person shall simultaneously hold office and serve as an elected county justice of the peace and hold office and serve as an elected city council member.
      2. This subdivision (c)(3) shall not cut short the term of any office holder serving as such on September 1, 2005, but shall be implemented during the next election cycle of each office.
  4. Removal from Office or Employment.
    1. Court of Jurisdiction. Any citizen of a county or the prosecuting attorney of a county may bring an action in the circuit court in which the county government is located to remove from office any officer or employee who has violated the rules of conduct set forth in this section.
    2. Suspension Prior to Final Judgment.
      1. Pending final judgment, an officer or employee who has been charged as provided in this section may be suspended from his or her office or position of employment without pay.
      2. Suspension of any officer or employee pending final judgment shall be upon order of the circuit court or judge thereof in vacation.
    3. Punishment.
      1. Judgment upon conviction for violation of the rules of conduct set forth in this section shall be deemed a misdemeanor.
      2. Punishment shall be by a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), and the officer or employee shall be removed from office or employment of the county.
    4. Acquittal. Upon acquittal, an officer or employee shall be reinstated in his or her office or position of employment and shall receive all back pay.
    5. Legal Fees.
      1. Any officer or employee charged as provided in this section and subsequently acquitted shall be awarded reasonable legal fees incurred in his or her defense.
        1. Reasonable legal fees shall be determined by the circuit court or the Supreme Court on appeal.
        2. Such legal fees shall be ordered paid out of the general fund of the county treasury.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 115; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4208; Acts 1987, No. 930, § 1; 1989, No. 352, § 1; 1989, No. 681, § 1; 2005, No. 1924, § 1; 2017, No. 193, § 1; 2019, No. 383, § 3.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment rewrote (c)(2).

The 2019 amendment deleted “shall” following “government” in the introductory language of (b)(1); redesignated (b)(1)(A)(i), (b)(1)(A)(ii), and (b)(1)(A)(iii) as (b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(B), and (b)(1)(C); added “and their employees” in (b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(B), and (b)(1)(C); substituted “boards and advisory” for “boards, advisory” in (b)(1)(C); and deleted former (b)(1)(B).

Case Notes

Constable.

A constable is an official of the county and thus covered by workers' compensation. Farnsworth v. White County, 312 Ark. 574, 851 S.W.2d 451 (1993).

Cited: Hester v. Langston, 297 Ark. 87, 759 S.W.2d 797 (1988); Farnsworth v. White County, 39 Ark. App. 98, 839 S.W.2d 229 (1992); Post v. Harper, 980 F.2d 491 (8th Cir. 1992).

14-14-1203. Compensation and expense reimbursements generally.

  1. Appropriation Required. All compensation, including salary, hourly compensation, expense allowances, training expenses, and other remunerations, allowed to any county officer, district officer, county officer-elect, district officer-elect, or employee is made only on specific appropriation by the quorum court of the county.
  2. Payments on Claims Approved by the County Judge. All compensation, including salary, hourly compensation, expense allowances, training expenses, and other remuneration, allowed to any county officer, district officer, county officer-elect, district officer-elect, or employee is made only upon claim or voucher presented to the county judge and approved by him or her in the manner prescribed by law for disbursement of county funds.
  3. Expense Reimbursement.
    1. Except as provided under subdivision (c)(2) of this section, all expense allowances, training expenses, and remunerations other than salary provided in this subchapter shall be made only upon voucher or claim itemizing the allowances or expenses, prepared in the manner prescribed by law, and presented to and approved by the county judge in the manner prescribed by law for the disbursement of county funds.
    2. County officials may make cash advances for travel-related expenses to employees, subject to rules adopted by the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee.
  4. Decreases in Salary. Any decrease in the annual salary or compensation of a county officer shall not become effective until January 1 following a general election held after the decrease has been fixed by the quorum court of the county.
  5. Enterprise Accounts Prohibited. An elected county or district officer or employee of the county or district shall not individually maintain or operate an account for financing self-supporting activities that render services on a user charge basis to the general public.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 112; 1983, No. 233, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4205; Acts 2011, No. 614, § 1; 2015, No. 279, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment inserted “training expenses” in (a), (b) and (c)(1); substituted “district” for “township” in (a), (b) and (e); inserted “or her” in (b); inserted “Except as provided under subdivision (c)(2) of this section” in (c)(1); and added (c)(2).

The 2015 amendment, in (a) and (b), substituted “county officer, district officer, county officer-elect, district officer-elect, or employee is” for “county or district officer or employee thereof shall be.”

Case Notes

Eligibility for Retirement System.

Substantial evidence supported the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that former employees of nursing homes owned by counties were not “county employees” under the relevant statutes and were not eligible for membership in the retirement system because their compensation was payable from patient revenues rather than from appropriated funds. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Assuming that the nursing-home administrative boards and their respective counties were synonymous under the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in § 24-4-101, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's finding that the former employees of county-owned nursing homes were not paid from appropriated funds as required by the definition of “Employees” in § 24-4-101 was affirmed as no ordinances in the record specifically designated county money for their compensation. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

14-14-1204. Compensation of elected county officers.

    1. The quorum court of each county shall fix by ordinance the annual salaries of the following county officers within the minimums and maximums provided in this section:
      1. The county judge;
      2. The sheriff and ex officio collector of taxes;
      3. The collector of taxes, where established by law;
      4. The circuit clerk;
      5. The county clerk, where established by law;
      6. The assessor;
      7. The treasurer;
      8. The coroner; and
      9. The surveyor.
    2. The minimum and maximum salaries under this section do not include any county-provided insurance benefits or other county benefits required by federal or state law, rule, or regulation.
  1. For purposes of determining the salaries of the elected county officers, unless otherwise specifically provided in this section, the counties shall be classified on the basis of population, as determined by the preceding federal decennial census, according to the following classifications:
    1. The annual salary of a county judge shall be in compensation for his or her services as the executive and administrator for the county, as judge of the county court, as presiding officer of the quorum court, and for all other services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
    2. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the county judge of a county shall be as follows:
      1. The annual salary of a sheriff shall be compensation for services as a law enforcement officer, as the supervisor of the county jail, as custodian of persons accused or convicted of crimes, as an officer of the circuit court or county court, as the ex officio county tax collector and delinquent tax collector in those counties where that office is combined with the office of sheriff, and for all other services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
      2. In any county in which the offices of sheriff and collector are combined into a single office, the maximum and minimum salaries for that office in the appropriate county classification shall be increased by the following amounts:
    1. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the sheriff of a county shall be as follows:
    1. In those counties where the office of county tax collector has been separated from the office of sheriff, the annual salary of a county tax collector shall be in compensation for services as tax collector and delinquent tax collector and for all other services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
    2. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the county tax collector in those counties where the office has been separated from the office of sheriff shall be as follows:
      1. The annual salary of a county and probate clerk shall be in compensation for his or her services as county clerk, probate clerk, clerk of the county court, clerk of the quorum court, registrar of voters, and for all other services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
      2. In those counties where the office of county and probate clerk is combined with the office of circuit clerk and ex officio recorder, the salary shall be as provided in this section.
      3. In those counties where the office of county and probate clerk is combined with the office of circuit clerk and ex officio recorder, the minimum and maximum salaries for that office in the appropriate county classification shall be increased by the following amounts:
    1. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the county and probate clerk of a county shall be as follows:
      1. The annual salary of a circuit clerk and ex officio recorder shall be in compensation for his or her services as clerk of the circuit court, as ex officio recorder, and for all other services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
      2. In those counties where the office of circuit clerk and ex officio recorder is combined with the office of county and probate clerk, the minimum and maximum salaries for that office in the appropriate county classification shall be increased by the following amounts:
    1. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the circuit clerk and ex officio recorder of a county shall be as follows:
      1. The annual salary of a county assessor shall be in compensation for all services performed as county assessor, appraiser, and as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
      2. In any county in which the offices of assessor and collector are combined into a single office, the maximum and minimum salaries of the county assessor and collector in the appropriate county classification shall be increased by the following amounts:
    1. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the county assessor of a county shall be as follows:
      1. The annual salary of a county treasurer shall be in compensation for all services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
      2. In any county in which the offices of treasurer and collector are combined into a single office, the maximum and minimum salaries of the county treasurer and collector in the appropriate county classification shall be increased by the following amounts:
    1. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum for the county treasurer of a county shall be as follows:
    1. The compensation of a county coroner shall be for all services performed as provided by the Arkansas Constitution, by law, or by county ordinance.
    2. The minimum and maximum salaries per annum of the county coroner of a county shall be as follows:
  2. Compensation of the county surveyor shall be fixed by the quorum court.

Classification Population Class 1 0 to 9,999 Class 2 10,000 to 19,999 Class 3 20,000 to 29,999 Class 4 30,000 to 49,999 Class 5 50,000 to 69,999 Class 6 70,000 to 199,999 Class 7 200,000 and above

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 2 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 3 not less than $32,000 nor more than $77,550 Class 4 not less than $33,000 nor more than $79,005 Class 5 not less than $34,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 6 not less than $35,000 nor more than $86,278 Class 7 not less than $36,000 nor more than $99,223

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Classification Additional Salary Class 1 $1,500 Class 2 $1,500 Class 3 $2,500 Class 4 $2,500 Class 5 $3,000 Class 6 $3,000 Class 7 $4,000

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 2 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 3 not less than $32,000 nor more than $77,550 Class 4 not less than $33,000 nor more than $79,005 Class 5 not less than $34,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 6 not less than $35,000 nor more than $86,278 Class 7 not less than $36,000 nor more than $99,223

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $27,000 nor more than $70,276 Class 2 not less than $28,000 nor more than $71,731 Class 3 not less than $29,000 nor more than $73,186 Class 4 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 5 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 6 not less than $32,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 7 not less than $33,000 nor more than $93,404

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Classification Additional Salary Class 1 $1,500 Class 2 $1,500 Class 3 $2,500 Class 4 $2,500 Class 5 $3,000 Class 6 $3,000 Class 7 $4,000

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $27,000 nor more than $70,276 Class 2 not less than $28,000 nor more than $71,731 Class 3 not less than $29,000 nor more than $73,186 Class 4 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 5 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 6 not less than $32,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 7 not less than $33,000 nor more than $93,404

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Classification Additional Salary Class 1 $1,500 Class 2 $1,500 Class 3 $2,500 Class 4 $2,500 Class 5 $3,000 Class 6 $3,000 Class 7 $4,000

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $27,000 nor more than $70,276 Class 2 not less than $28,000 nor more than $71,731 Class 3 not less than $29,000 nor more than $73,186 Class 4 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 5 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 6 not less than $32,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 7 not less than $33,000 nor more than $93,404

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Classification Additional Salary Class 1 $1,500 Class 2 $1,500 Class 3 $2,500 Class 4 $2,500 Class 5 $3,000 Class 6 $3,000 Class 7 $4,000

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $27,000 nor more than $70,276 Class 2 not less than $28,000 nor more than $71,731 Class 3 not less than $29,000 nor more than $73,186 Class 4 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 5 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 6 not less than $32,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 7 not less than $33,000 nor more than $93,404

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Classification Additional Salary Class 1 $1,500 Class 2 $1,500 Class 3 $2,500 Class 4 $2,500 Class 5 $3,000 Class 6 $3,000 Class 7 $4,000

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $27,000 nor more than $70,276 Class 2 not less than $28,000 nor more than $71,731 Class 3 not less than $29,000 nor more than $73,186 Class 4 not less than $30,000 nor more than $74,640 Class 5 not less than $31,000 nor more than $76,095 Class 6 not less than $32,000 nor more than $80,459 Class 7 not less than $33,000 nor more than $93,404

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Classification Salary per Annum Class 1 not less than $3,802 nor more than $12,990 Class 2 not less than $4,302 nor more than $13,990 Class 3 not less than $4,803 nor more than $16,990 Class 4 not less than $5,303 nor more than $30,990 Class 5 not less than $5,800 nor more than $40,900 Class 6 not less than $6,300 nor more than $48,990 Class 7 not less than $33,000 nor more than $93,404

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History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 108; 1979, No. 151, § 1; 1981, No. 806, § 1; 1983, No. 446, § 1; 1985, No. 398, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4201; Acts 1989, No. 694, § 1; 1991, No. 1161, § 1; 1993, No. 954, § 1; 1995, No. 661, § 1; 1997, No. 759, § 1; 1999, No. 1424, § 1; 2001, No. 1170, § 1; 2003, No. 109, § 1; 2005, No. 1214, § 1; 2007, No. 526, § 1; 2009, No. 320, § 1; 2017, No. 260, § 2; 2019, No. 400, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment rewrote the salary per annum amounts throughout the section and (d)(1)(B), (f)(1)(C), (g)(1)(B), (h)(1)(B), and (i)(1)(B).

The 2017 amendment deleted “as judge of the court of common pleas, where established” following “county court” in (c)(1).

The 2019 amendment redesignated (a) as (a)(1) and redesignated the remaining subdivisions in (a) accordingly; and added (a)(2).

Cross References. County judge's salary, § 14-14-811.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

Case Notes

County Assessors.

A county court did not have the power to disallow a portion of the monthly salary claim of a deputy tax assessor, such salary allowance for the deputy being mandatory on the county court, and the court had no power to disallow any salary claims on the ground of no service rendered during a specified month. Cowling v. Howard County, 228 Ark. 1047, 312 S.W.2d 186 (1958) (decision under prior law).

A county assessor was merely a county officer, his salary may have been fixed by county under initiative and referendum amendment, and money paid by the state as half of the assessor's salary was not over and above the amount provided by the initiated act. Dew v. Ashley County, 199 Ark. 361, 133 S.W.2d 652 (1939) (decision under prior law).

County Clerks.

School district was not required to reimburse a county for overtime pay provided by the county to the county clerk for work related to a school district election because the clerk was not entitled to overtime pay, since (1) a contract to pay an officer more or less compensation than that fixed by law was contrary to public policy and void; (2) although this section provided ranges for the salaries of elected county officers such as the clerk, it still instructed that, pursuant to those ranges, the annual salaries were to be fixed by ordinance; and (3) overtime pay to the county clerk was not an appropriate election expense pursuant to § 6-14-118, as given the history of this statute, it was clear that the legislature did not anticipate overtime pay of elected county officials when it created a law requiring school districts to pay for election expenses. Helena-West Helena Sch. Dist. v. Fluker, 371 Ark. 574, 268 S.W.3d 879 (2007).

Sheriffs.

A sheriff was entitled to appoint a deputy to work with Junior Deputy Sheriffs League if the quorum court made an appropriation to pay the salary of the deputy, and the county court was required to allow deputy's claim for salary. Parker v. Adkins, 223 Ark. 455, 266 S.W.2d 799 (1954) (decision under prior law).

14-14-1205. Compensation of township officers.

      1. The per diem compensation for justices of the peace attending any official, regular, special, or committee meeting of a quorum court shall be fixed by ordinance in each county.
      2. The per diem compensation of justices shall not be less than one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) per diem for each regular meeting nor exceed:
        1. Eight thousand seven hundred thirty-four dollars ($8,734) per calendar year in counties having a population of less than seventy thousand (70,000);
        2. Ten thousand three hundred seventy-six dollars ($10,376) per calendar year in counties having a population of at least seventy thousand (70,000) and less than two hundred thousand (200,000); and
        3. Thirteen thousand three hundred nineteen dollars ($13,319) per calendar year in counties having a population of two hundred thousand (200,000) or more.
    1. Per Diem Compensation Defined.
      1. Per diem compensation is defined as a per calendar day allowance, exclusive of allowable expenses, which shall be paid to a justice for attending meetings of the county quorum court. This compensation shall be based on attending meetings of a quorum court during any single calendar day without regard to the duration of the meetings.
      2. However, a member of the quorum court may receive per diem compensation for one (1) meeting per year for which the member is absent due to an emergency or for personal reasons.
    2. In addition to any other compensation expense reimbursement or expense allowances provided members of the quorum court, counties may provide medical insurance coverage or other insurance benefits for members of the quorum court.
  1. Justices of the Peace Serving in Judicial Capacity. The compensation of all justices of the peace serving in a judicial capacity shall be fixed by ordinance of the quorum court in each county. This basis of compensation shall not be computed on a percentage of the dollar amount of fines levied by a justice of the peace.
  2. Justice of the Peace as County Employee or Deputy. A justice of the peace shall not receive compensation as a county employee or deputy, nor shall any justice receive compensation or expenses from funds appropriated by the quorum court for any services performed within the county, other than as provided by this subchapter.
  3. Constables. The compensation of all constables serving in any official capacity established by law may be fixed by ordinance of the quorum court in each county.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 109; 1979, No. 151, § 2; 1981, No. 806, § 2; 1983, No. 446, § 2; 1985, No. 398, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4202; Acts 1989, No. 694, § 2; 1993, No. 954, § 2; 1995, No. 661, § 2; 1995, No. 1296, § 46; 1997, No. 363, § 1; 1997, No. 759, § 2; 1999, No. 749, § 1; 2001, No. 1170, § 2; 2003, No. 109, § 2; 2005, No. 1214, § 2; 2007, No. 526, § 2; 2009, No. 320, § 2; 2011, No. 561, § 2; 2019, No. 400, § 2.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment, in (a)(1)(B), substituted “Eight thousand seven hundred thirty-four dollars ($8,734)” for “Seven thousand five hundred thirty-four dollars ($7,534)” in (a)(1)(B)(i), “Ten thousand three hundred seventy-six dollars ($10,376)” for “Nine thousand one hundred seventy-six dollars ($9,176)” in (a)(1)(B)(ii), and “Thirteen thousand three hundred nineteen dollars ($13,319)” for “Twelve thousand one hundred nineteen dollars ($12,119)” in (a)(1)(B)(iii); and made minor stylistic changes.

The 2011 amendment substituted “may be fixed” for “shall be fixed” in (d).

The 2019 amendment inserted “or other insurance benefits” in (a)(3).

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

Former statutes which allowed a specified sum for an expense account in Pulaski County were not unconstitutional in violation of former Ark. Const., Art. 19, § 23 and Ark. Const., Art. 16, § 13, but were unconstitutionally applied where the expense allowances were paid to the officer whether or not the expenses were incurred and without any accounting for the expenses incurred. Tedford v. Mears, 258 Ark. 450, 526 S.W.2d 1 (1975) (decision under prior law).

Constitutionality of Ordinance.

County ordinance affecting compensation held to be contrary to Arkansas's applicable constitutional and statutory laws that specify and restrict the compensation and expenses that quorum court members and other county officials are entitled to receive. Massongill v. County of Scott, 329 Ark. 98, 947 S.W.2d 749 (1997).

County ordinance setting constable salaries at $25 per month did not violate equal protection because the evidence and testimony before the circuit court demonstrated that the quorum court had a rational basis for setting the $25-per-month salary for constables. Graves v. Greene County, 2013 Ark. 493, 430 S.W.3d 722 (2013).

14-14-1206. Compensation of county employees.

  1. Compensation. The quorum court of each county shall fix by ordinance the number and compensation of all county employees, including a bonus or lump-sum payment.
    1. County Employee Defined. “County employee” means an individual or firm providing labor or service to a county government for salary, wages, or any other form of compensation.
    2. As used in this section, “county government” means all offices, departments, boards, and subordinate service districts of county government created by law and subordinate to county government.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 110; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4203; Acts 2009, No. 616, § 1; 2011, No. 561, § 3.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted “including a bonus or lump sum payment” in (a), and made a related change.

The 2011 amendment subdivided part of (b); in (b)(1), substituted “‘County employee’ means an” for “A county employee is defined as any” and inserted “government”; and deleted “including townships” preceding “created by” in (b)(2).

Case Notes

Constable.

A constable is an official of the county and thus covered by workers' compensation. Farnsworth v. White County, 312 Ark. 574, 851 S.W.2d 451 (1993).

Eligibility for Retirement System.

Substantial evidence supported the finding of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System that former employees of nursing homes owned by counties were not “county employees” under the relevant statutes and were not eligible for membership in the retirement system because their compensation was payable from patient revenues rather than from appropriated funds. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Assuming that the nursing-home administrative boards and their respective counties were synonymous under the definitions of “County employees” and “Employees” in § 24-4-101, the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Public Employees' Retirement System's finding that the former employees of county-owned nursing homes were not paid from appropriated funds as required by the definition of “Employees” in § 24-4-101 was affirmed as no ordinances in the record specifically designated county money for their compensation. Bd. of Trs. of the Ark. Pub. Emples. Ret. Sys. v. Garrison, 2019 Ark. App. 245, 576 S.W.3d 485 (2019).

Cited: Farnsworth v. White County, 39 Ark. App. 98, 839 S.W.2d 229 (1992).

14-14-1207. Reimbursement of allowable expenses.

  1. Reimbursement Authorized.
    1. All county and district officials and authorized deputies or employees are entitled to receive reimbursement of expenses incurred in the conduct of official and nondiscretionary duties under an appropriation for the operating expenses of an office, function, or service. Reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of discretionary functions and services may be permitted when authorized by a specific appropriation of the quorum court.
    2. Reimbursement of expenses for discretionary functions and services may include training expenses for a county official-elect and a district official-elect if authorized by the quorum court.
  2. Allowance for Meals, Lodging, and Other Allowable Expenses.
    1. All reimbursements for the purchase of meals, meal tips, lodging, and other allowable expenses are based on the actual expense incurred or on a per diem basis if authorized by the quorum court.
    2. Reimbursement for meal tips under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the purchase amount of the meal.
    3. A per diem reimbursement under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be made under an accountable plan as defined by Internal Revenue Service regulations as in existence on January 1, 2009.
  3. Reimbursement of Travel Expense.
    1. Privately Owned Motor Vehicles.
        1. Any elected county officer, district officer, county officer-elect, district officer-elect, or employee using a privately owned motor vehicle in the conduct of county affairs may be reimbursed at a per-mile rate established by ordinance.
        2. Reimbursement is based only on official miles driven and legitimate automobile parking fees.
        3. When more than one (1) traveler is transported in the same vehicle, only the owner is entitled to mileage reimbursement.
      1. A county shall not assume responsibility for any maintenance, operational costs, accidents, and fines incurred by the owner of the vehicle while on official business for the county.
    2. Privately Owned Airplanes. Reimbursement for travel expense using privately owned airplanes is based upon the most direct route in air miles and at the same rate as established for privately owned motor vehicles.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 111; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4204; Acts 1999, No. 109, § 1; 2009, No. 74, § 1; 2009, No. 732, § 1; 2011, No. 614, § 2; 2015, No. 279, § 2.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment by No. 74, in (b), added (b)(2), inserted “meal tips” in the remaining text and redesignated it as (b)(1), and made a related change.

The 2009 amendment by No. 732 rewrote (a); inserted (b)(2) and (b)(3), redesignated the remaining text as (b)(1), and inserted “or on a per diem basis if approved by the quorum court” in (b)(1); substituted “district” for “township” in (c)(1)(A)(i); and made minor stylistic changes.

The 2011 amendment inserted “based upon the most direct route in air miles and” in (2); and deleted (2)(B).

The 2015 amendment redesignated (a) as (a)(1) and added (a)(2); in the second sentence of (a)(1), deleted “that are” preceding “incurred” and substituted “authorized” for “provided for”; substituted “authorized” for “approved” in (b)(1); substituted “county officer, district officer, county officer-elect, district officer-elect, or employee” for “county or district officer or employee thereof” in (c)(1)(A)(i); and made stylistic changes.

Case Notes

District Officials.

While the plain language of this section authorized reimbursement for district officials, a constable was not a district official, but a township officer under constitutional and statutory law, and thus, the statute did not authorize the reimbursement of expenses for constables, and the circuit court did not err in denying the constable's claim for expenses. Graves v. Greene County, 2013 Ark. 493, 430 S.W.3d 722 (2013).

14-14-1208. Professional memberships and meetings.

  1. The quorum court of each county may provide, through specific appropriations, for a county to join, pay membership fees and service charges, and cooperate with the organizations and associations of county government of this state and other states for the advancement of good government and the protection of local government interests.
  2. Elected county officers, district officers, township officers, county officers-elect, district officers-elect, and township officers-elect of a county government may be allowed per diem and either mileage or actual transportation expenses for attendance at meetings of the appropriate association of local government officials. Reasonable expenses or charges against each local government, as a member of the association, may be paid by a county.
  3. Employees of a county government may be allowed per diem and either mileage or actual transportation expenses for attendance at meetings of professional organizations or associations, and a county government may pay membership fees and service charges to the organizations.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 114; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4207; Acts 2015, No. 279, § 3.

Amendments. The 2015 amendment substituted “Elected county officers, district officers, township officers, county officers-elect, district officers-elect, and township officers-elect” for “Elected county and township officials” in (b).

14-14-1209. Uniform and equipment allowance for sheriff's department.

  1. Upon request by the county sheriff, the county quorum court may approve and appropriate a uniform and equipment allowance for the sheriff and employees of the sheriff's department in lieu of reimbursement for actual uniform and equipment expenses. The uniform and equipment allowance may be used for the purchase of uniforms, ammunition, and other equipment, excluding firearms, used in the performance of law enforcement duties.
  2. Claims for this uniform and equipment allowance shall be processed and paid in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas. However, an itemized listing or numbered invoice is not required for payment of this uniform and equipment allowance.

History. Acts 1985, No. 104, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-4205.1; Acts 1997, No. 223, § 1.

14-14-1210. Cost-of-living adjustment.

  1. Beginning January 1, 2011, and on each January 1 thereafter, three percent (3%) per annum shall be added to the minimum and maximum salaries and per diems of elected county officers as a cost-of- living adjustment.
  2. Beginning January 1, 2016, and on each January 1 thereafter, three percent (3%) per annum shall be added to the maximum per diem compensation of justices of the peace as a cost-of-living adjustment.
  3. Beginning September 1, 2010, and on each September 1 thereafter, the Association of Arkansas Counties shall provide each county and Arkansas Legislative Audit with a schedule of the minimum and maximum salaries and per diems of elected county officers and justices of the peace with the added cost-of-living adjustment for the following year.

History. Acts 2009, No. 320, § 3; 2015, No. 942, § 1.

Amendments. The 2015 amendment inserted (b) and redesignated former (b) as (c); and inserted “and justices of the peace” in (c).

14-14-1211. Monthly, bimonthly, biweekly, weekly, and hourly salaries for county employees.

      1. Except for those counties that operate principally on a scholastic year, or on a part-time basis, or where salaries or personal services are specifically established for a period less than one (1) year, all salaries established by the General Assembly or the governing body of the county shall be considered to be a maximum amount to be paid for a twelve-month payroll period.
      2. A greater amount than that established for the maximum annual salary of any county official or employee shall not be paid to the employee during any twelve-month payroll period, nor shall more than one-twelfth (1/12) of the annual salary be paid to an employee during a calendar month unless otherwise authorized.
    1. The limitations set out in this section may be converted to biweekly or weekly increments of one-twenty-sixth (1/26) or one-fifty-second (1/52) of the maximum annual salary.
    2. For complying with federal requirements, upon approval of the county judge, the maximum annual salaries may be converted to hourly rates of pay for positions established on the basis of twelve (12) months or less if authorized by law.
  1. The remuneration paid to an employee of the county may exceed the maximum annual salary as authorized by the General Assembly or governing body of the county as follows, and the following shall not be construed as payment for services or as salary as contemplated by Arkansas Constitution, Article 16, § 4:
    1. Overtime payments as authorized by law;
    2. Payment of a lump sum to a terminating employee, to include lump-sum payments of sick leave balances upon retirement as provided by law;
    3. Payment for overlapping pay periods at the end of a fiscal year as defined or authorized by law;
    4. Payment for the biweekly twenty-seven (27) pay periods; and
    5. Payments for incentive, certificate, holiday, or working out of classification.

History. Acts 2013, No. 572, § 1.

14-14-1212. Coroner medicolegal death investigation training — Authorization for salary adjustment for certified county coroner — Definition.

  1. As used in this section, “certified county coroner” means a county coroner who has obtained a certificate of satisfactory participation and completion of medicolegal death investigation training from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training under § 14-15-308 or the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
  2. The quorum court of each county that has a certified county coroner is authorized to fix by ordinance the annual salary of a certified county coroner within the schedule of maximum salaries under § 14-14-1204.
  3. Beginning September 1, 2017, and on each September 1 thereafter, the compensation schedule prepared under § 14-14-1210(c) shall reflect a separate maximum annual salary for a certified county coroner with a salary adjustment made under subsection (b) of this section and § 14-14-1204(i).

History. Acts 2017, No. 194, § 1.

Subchapter 13 — Officers Generally

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 118: Mar. 24, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found by the General Assembly that the passage of Amendment 55 to the Arkansas Constitution has caused major changes in the structure of county government and that, because of said changes, a need exists to modernize laws affecting county government. It is further found that the citizens of the several counties of the State are in need of services provided by county governments and said services can best be provided under the provisions of this Act. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the public health, welfare and safety, shall be in effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2013, No. 378, § 2: Mar. 14, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that sometimes county officers resign from office during their term, often unavoidably; that some of these resignations and subsequent appointments to county office during the same term can conflict with certain retirement laws; and that this act is immediately necessary because it will ensure these conflicts do not occur and will preserve the integrity of county government. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., § 231 et seq.

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, § 100 et seq.

14-14-1301. County, quorum court district, and township officers.

  1. County Officers. There shall be elected, until otherwise determined by law, in each of the several counties of this state the following county officers:
    1. County Judge.
      1. The county judge shall:
        1. Perform the administrative and executive functions and duties, and such additional duties as may be provided by law, to be performed by the judge provided in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 3;
        2. Preside over the county quorum court without a vote but with the power of veto; and
        3. Preside over the county court and exercise those judicial and ministerial duties of the county court that were not transferred to the judge to be performed in his or her capacity as the chief executive officer of the county by Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, or as may be provided by law.
      2. The judge shall be:
        1. At least twenty-five (25) years of age;
        2. A citizen of the United States;
        3. A person of upright character;
        4. A person of good business education; and
        5. A resident of the county at the time of his or her election and during his or her continuance in office;
    2. Clerk of the Circuit Court. The clerk of the circuit court shall be clerk of all divisions of the court, ex officio clerk of the county court, and recorder, except as provided in subdivision (a)(3) of this section;
    3. County Clerk. A county clerk may be elected in like manner as a circuit clerk, and in such cases, the clerk may be ex officio clerk of the probate division of circuit court, if such division exists, in the county until otherwise provided by the General Assembly, and if created as a separate office, bear witness and sign all writs and other judicial process acted upon by the respective courts served by the clerk;
    4. Assessor. The assessor shall perform such duties as are prescribed by law;
    5. Sheriff.
      1. The sheriff, who shall be ex officio collector of taxes, unless otherwise provided by law, shall perform such duties as are prescribed by law. It shall be the general duty of each sheriff to quell and suppress all assaults and batteries, affrays, insurrections, and unlawful assemblies.
      2. The sheriff shall:
        1. Apprehend and commit to jail all felons and other offenders;
        2. Execute all process directed to him or her by legal authority;
        3. Attend upon all courts held in his or her county until otherwise provided by law; and
        4. Perform all other acts and things that are required by law;
    6. Collector of Taxes. A separate collector of taxes may be elected as provided by law. Each collector, upon receiving the tax charge of the county, shall proceed to collect them as may be prescribed by law;
    7. Treasurer. The treasurer, who shall be ex officio treasurer of the common school fund of the county, shall perform such duties as are prescribed by law. However, nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to replace or modify any law of this state authorizing school boards to appoint a treasurer for school districts as provided by law;
    8. County Surveyor. The county surveyor shall perform such duties as are prescribed by law. It shall be the general duty of the surveyor to execute all orders directed by any court of record for surveying or resurveying any tract of land, the title of which is in dispute or in litigation before the court, and to obey all orders of surveys for the partition of real estate, and to provide services to the county court when required for the purpose of surveying and measuring any proposed road; and
    9. Coroner. The county coroner shall perform such duties as are prescribed by law.
  2. Quorum Court District and Township Officers.
      1. There shall be elected in each of the quorum court districts of the counties of this state one (1) justice of the peace who shall perform such judicial duties as may be prescribed by law and who shall serve as a member of the quorum court of the county in which elected and shall perform such legislative duties as may be prescribed by law.
      2. Each justice shall be a qualified elector and a resident of the district for which he or she is elected.
    1. There shall be elected in each township, as preserved and continued in § 14-14-401, one (1) constable who shall have the qualifications and perform such duties as may be provided by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 41; 1979, No. 413, §§ 6-8; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3601; Acts 2003, No. 1185, § 23; 2017, No. 260, § 3.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment redesignated (b)(1) as (b)(1)(A) and (B); and deleted “preside over the justice of the peace courts and” preceding “perform such judicial duties” in (b)(1)(A).

Cross References. Circuit clerks — Election — Term of office — Ex officio duties — County clerks elected in certain counties, Ark. Const., Art. 7, § 19.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev.

Article, If the Constable Blunders, Does the County Pay?: Liability Under Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 28 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 519.

Case Notes

Constable.

A constable is an official of the county and thus covered by workers' compensation. Farnsworth v. White County, 39 Ark. App. 98, 839 S.W.2d 229 (1992), aff'd, 312 Ark. 574, 851 S.W.2d 451 (1993).

Where plaintiff was acting as constable when he sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen, the county was required to furnish workers' compensation. Farnsworth v. White County, 312 Ark. 574, 851 S.W.2d 451 (1993).

While the plain language of § 14-14-1207 authorized reimbursement for district officials, a constable was not a district official, but a township officer under constitutional and statutory law, and thus, the statute did not authorize the reimbursement of expenses for constables, and the circuit court did not err in denying the constable's claim for expenses. Graves v. Greene County, 2013 Ark. 493, 430 S.W.3d 722 (2013).

Immunity.

Where sheriff acted pursuant to a writ of assistance in evicting plaintiff he was entitled to quasi-judicial immunity unless his conduct was beyond the scope of the immunity. Roach v. Madden, 728 F. Supp. 537 (E.D. Ark. 1989).

Sheriffs.

Except in cases of escape or the removal of property after order of attachment comes into his hands, a sheriff has no authority to execute process beyond his own county. Blevins v. State, 31 Ark. 53 (1876) (decision under prior law).

In a proceeding by a judgment creditor against a sheriff and his securities for failure to return an execution, it was no defense that the defendant in the execution was insolvent and the plaintiff was therefore not damaged; nor was it a defense that the deputy sheriff endorsed a return upon the execution and went to the clerk's office to file it, but the clerk was absent, and he afterwards was prevented by his official duties from returning to the clerk's office, without further showing that the office remained closed beyond the life of the execution and he returned it as soon afterwards as practicable. Atkinson v. Heer & Co., 44 Ark. 174 (1884) (decision under prior law).

No liability accrues for failure of a sheriff to sell attached property in his possession, condemned by order of court to be sold, until a legal demand has been made for an execution of the order. State ex rel. Cotton v. Atkinson, 53 Ark. 98, 13 S.W. 415 (1890) (decision under prior law).

When a sheriff attempts to justify a seizure of goods in the hands of a mortgagee under execution against the mortgagor by proving that the mortgage is fraudulent, the mortgagee may prove that the judgment, which was rendered in a justice court, while regular on its face, was void for want of jurisdiction of the mortgagor. Townsly-Myrick Dry Goods Co. v. Fuller, 58 Ark. 181, 24 S.W. 108 (1893); Fitzhugh v. Hackley, 70 Ark. 54, 66 S.W. 146 (1902) (decisions under prior law).

Where sheriff was acting pursuant to a writ of assistance specifically provided for in a decree of foreclosure executed by chancery court, and sheriff contacted plaintiff on three separate occasions to inquire whether plaintiff and his family would voluntarily surrender possession of the farm, and it was not until plaintiff refused for a third time that defendant took possession of the farm, it was of no consequence that sheriff may have used a minimal amount of force to evict plaintiff and his family, given sheriff's responsibilities as defined by the Arkansas legislature, the writ issued by chancery court, and plaintiff's confrontational attitude and refusal to leave the farm voluntarily. Roach v. Madden, 728 F. Supp. 537 (E.D. Ark. 1989).

Term Limits.

A county initiative fixing term limits for county officials was unlawful and invalid with respect to the county judge and justice of the peace as specific qualifications for those offices are listed in this section. Allred v. McLoud, 343 Ark. 35, 31 S.W.3d 836 (2000).

Cited: Henderson v. Dudley, 264 Ark. 697, 574 S.W.2d 658 (1978).

14-14-1302. Election of officers.

  1. County Officers. The qualified electors of each county in this state, at the time of electing members of the General Assembly, shall elect, until otherwise provided by law, all county officers for the term of two (2) years and until their successors are elected and qualified.
  2. Quorum Court District and Township Officers. The qualified electors of each county quorum court district and township in this state shall elect each district and township officer for the term of two (2) years and until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Election shall be held at the time of electing members of the General Assembly.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 42; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3602.

Case Notes

Successors Elected and Qualified.

Defaulting treasurer elected to succeed himself was entitled to hold over until his successor was elected and qualified. Hill v. Goodwin, 82 Ark. 341, 101 S.W. 752 (1907) (decision under prior law).

Cited: Farnsworth v. White County, 39 Ark. App. 98, 839 S.W.2d 229 (1992); Farnsworth v. White County, 312 Ark. 574, 851 S.W.2d 451 (1993).

14-14-1303. Bond.

All county, county quorum court district, and township officers shall be bonded as prescribed by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 47; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3607.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Self-Insured Fidelity Bond Program, § 21-2-701 et seq.

14-14-1304. Oath.

Each county, justice of the peace, and township officer, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his or her office, shall take and subscribe to the oath prescribed in the Arkansas Constitution for officers.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 43; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3603.

14-14-1305. Commission.

  1. County Officers. All county officers shall be commissioned by the Governor in a manner prescribed by law.
    1. Quorum Court District and Township Officers. All township and county quorum court district officers, except constables, shall be commissioned by the Governor in a manner prescribed by law.
    2. Constables shall be furnished with a certificate of election by the county court on which the constable's official oath shall be endorsed.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 44; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3604.

14-14-1306. Residence required.

  1. All county, county quorum court district, and township officers shall reside within their respective townships, districts, and counties.
  2. An office shall be deemed vacant if a county officer removes his or her legal residence from the county or if a district or township officer removes his or her legal residence from the district township from which elected.
  3. For purposes of this section, legal residence shall be defined as the domicile of the officer evidenced by the intent to make such residence a fixed and permanent home.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 45; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3605.

Case Notes

Construction.

This section does not alter Ark. Const., Art. 19, § 3, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Davis v. Holt, 304 Ark. 619, 804 S.W.2d 362 (1991).

Determination of Residency.

In determining the residency of a candidate and whether he is qualified to run for office from a certain district, the conduct and actions of the candidate regarding his residency must be in conformity with his stated intent, and both the intent and conduct of the candidate must be considered as factors in determining his residency. Brick v. Simonetti, 279 Ark. 446, 652 S.W.2d 23 (1983).

Where, in an action challenging the residency qualifications of a candidate who had won an election for justice of the peace in District No. 11, the evidence showed that the candidate had resided in District No. 11 for many years until her place of residence was changed to District No. 10 by a quirk of redistricting that occurred shortly before her election, and that the candidate, after learning of the change, moved into an apartment within District No. 11, set up housekeeping, changed her voter registration to the new address, obtained a telephone at the apartment, ate most of her meals at the apartment, and began making the apartment her home, the evidence supported the finding that the candidate was a resident of District No. 11. Brick v. Simonetti, 279 Ark. 446, 652 S.W.2d 23 (1983).

Cited: State ex rel. Robinson v. Craighead County Bd. of Election Comm'rs, 300 Ark. 405, 779 S.W.2d 169 (1989).

14-14-1307. Offices.

  1. The county court shall determine the location of the office of the various county, county quorum court district, and township officers.
  2. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to compel the county court to provide justices of the peace, constables, coroners, or surveyors with a formal office.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 46; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3606.

14-14-1308. Vacancy in office.

A county, county quorum court district, or township office shall be considered vacant if any one (1) of the following conditions exists:

  1. The incumbent fails to meet the qualifications for office prescribed by law as evidenced by failure to be commissioned;
  2. The incumbent refuses or neglects to take and subscribe to the official oath required by law as evidenced by failure to be commissioned;
  3. The incumbent refuses, neglects, or for any other reason fails to secure an official bond required by law as evidenced by failure to be commissioned;
  4. The incumbent resigns;
  5. The incumbent ceases to meet any residence requirements for office;
  6. The incumbent is removed from office by judicial proceedings;
  7. The election or appointment of the incumbent is declared void by a judicial proceeding;
  8. The incumbent is convicted of a felony, incompetency, corruption, gross immorality, criminal conduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office by judicial proceedings;
  9. The incumbent ceases to discharge the duties of his or her office for a period of three (3) months, except when prevented by sickness or excused by a quorum court through resolution;
  10. The incumbent is declared of unsound mind by judicial proceedings;
  11. The quorum court determines that the incumbent has become disabled to the degree that he or she cannot perform the duties of his or her office;
  12. The incumbent holds more than one (1) office or position in conflict with the provisions of Arkansas Constitution, Article 4, § 2, or Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, § 6;
  13. The quorum court separates elective offices as provided by law; or
  14. The incumbent dies.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 49; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3609.

14-14-1309. Declaration of vacancy.

  1. Conditions. The quorum court of each county shall declare a county, county quorum court district, or township office vacant where conditions of vacancy exist as demonstrated in the following manner:
    1. Upon receipt of certification that a condition of vacancy exists as evidenced by failure of an officer to be commissioned or finding of judicial proceedings where such conditions serve as the cause of vacancy; and
    2. Upon determination by a quorum court that a condition of vacancy exists in all other causes not governed by failure to be commissioned or finding of judicial proceedings. Such determination by a quorum court shall be conducted through the process of resolution as prescribed by law if the resolution shall have been published prior to the meeting date in which the resolution is to be considered by the court.
  2. Appeal. Appeals by the county, quorum court district, or township officer so affected from a declaration of vacancy by the quorum court may be taken to the circuit court if the appeal shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of publication as required for county resolutions.
  3. Notification of Governor. The quorum court shall upon declaration of a vacancy, or within ten (10) calendar days thereafter, in any elective township office cause the declaration to be filed in writing with the Governor.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 50; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3610.

14-14-1310. Filling vacancies in elective offices.

    1. County Elective Offices. Vacancies in all county elective offices shall be filled by the county quorum court through the process of resolution as prescribed by law.
    2. Eligibility Requirements and Term of Office.
      1. Qualifications. All officers appointed to fill a vacant county elective office shall meet all of the requirements for election to that office.
      2. Requirements. All officers appointed by a quorum court shall subscribe to the oath of office, be commissioned, and be bonded as prescribed by law.
        1. Persons Ineligible for Appointment. Any member of the quorum court shall be ineligible for appointment to fill any vacancy occurring in any county office, and resignation shall not remove the ineligibility. Husbands and wives of justices of the peace and relatives of the justices or their husbands and wives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity shall likewise be ineligible.
        2. Any county elected officer who resigns during a term of office shall be ineligible for appointment to any county elective office during the term for which he or she resigned.
      3. Term of Office. All officers so appointed shall serve until their successor is elected and qualified.
      4. Successive Terms of Appointed Officer Prohibited. A person appointed to fulfill a vacant or unexpired term of an elective county office shall not be eligible for appointment or election to succeed himself or herself.
  1. Elective Township Offices. All vacancies in elective township offices, including justice of the peace offices, shall be filled by the Governor.
  2. Emergency Vacancies.
      1. During a declaration of an emergency or circumstances that warrant a declaration of an emergency under § 12-75-107 or § 12-75-108, a vacancy in the office of county judge due to death or disability to the degree of inability to perform the duties of office shall be temporarily filled by executive order of the county judge issued prior to the incapacity of the county judge, designating three (3) persons in succession to fill the vacancy of the office of county judge on an interim basis until such time as the vacancy is filled by the quorum court as provided by this chapter or the disability of the county judge is abated.
      2. Persons so designated shall be listed in succession and may be identified by title or position.
      3. The death or disability of a person in the line of succession shall result in disqualification of the person and appointment of the next successive person.
      1. During a declaration of an emergency or circumstances that warrant a declaration of emergency under § 12-75-107 or § 12-75-108, a vacancy in the office of sheriff due to death or disability to the degree of inability to perform the duties of office shall be temporarily filled by a policy statement of the sheriff issued prior to the incapacity of the sheriff and adopted by resolution of the quorum court, designating three (3) persons in succession to fill the vacancy in the office of sheriff on an interim basis until such time as the vacancy is filled by the quorum court as provided by this chapter or the disability of the sheriff is abated.
      2. Persons so designated by the sheriff shall be listed in succession and may be identified by title or position.
      3. The death or disability of a person in the line of succession shall result in disqualification of the person and appointment of the next successive person.
      4. The sheriff shall affix his or her signature to the policy statement and to the resolution of the quorum court to signify that the line of succession for the office of sheriff is in accordance with his or her authority.
      1. The county judge and the sheriff shall file the executive order and the resolution with policy statement under subdivisions (c)(1) and (2) of this section with the county clerk, and a file-marked copy shall be provided to the Director of the Division of Emergency Management no later than sixty (60) days from the beginning of the elected term of office.
      2. Members of the quorum court are not eligible to fill the vacancy in the office of county judge or sheriff under this section.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, §§ 51, 52; 1979, No. 413, § 10; 1985, No. 682, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-3611, 17-3612; Acts 2009, No. 229, § 1; 2013, No. 378, § 1; 2019, No. 910, § 5920.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment added (c).

The 2013 amendment redesignated former (a)(2)(C) as (a)(2)(C)(i); added (a)(2)(C)(ii), and made stylistic changes.

The 2019 amendment substituted “Director of the Division of Emergency Management” for “Arkansas Department of Emergency Management” in (c)(3)(A).

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey of Arkansas Law, Public Law, 1 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 230.

14-14-1311. Removal from office.

The circuit court shall have jurisdiction, upon information, presentment, or indictment, to remove any county or township officer from office for incompetency, corruption, gross immorality, criminal conduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 53; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3613.

14-14-1312. Remuneration.

No officer of any county, county quorum court district, or township shall receive from county funds, directly or indirectly, for salary, wages, and perquisites more than the amount appropriated by the respective quorum court for each respective office per annum in par funds and paid to the officer by instrument drawn by the county judge on the treasury.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 48; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3608.

14-14-1313. Remittance of public funds.

All public funds coming into the possession of any officer of the county shall be remitted to the county treasury in a manner prescribed by law.

History. Acts 1977, No. 742, § 48; 1979, No. 413, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-3608.

14-14-1314. Constable training requirements — Uniform requirements.

      1. For a constable to have access to information from the Arkansas Crime Information Center:
        1. He or she shall satisfactorily complete the constable certification course provided by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training; and
        2. Each year after completing the certification course required under subdivision (a)(1)(A)(i) of this section, he or she shall satisfactorily complete sixteen (16) hours of training certified by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.
      2. For a constable to carry a firearm:
        1. He or she shall attend sixteen (16) hours of firearms training; and
        2. Each year after completing the training required under subdivision (a)(1)(B)(i) of this section, he or she shall satisfy the firearm qualification standards for a law enforcement official.
    1. A constable holding office on July 31, 2007, is exempt from the requirements of subdivision (a)(1) of this section if the constable has completed:
      1. The Part-time Law Enforcement Officer training or higher level training course; and
      2. Mandatory racial profiling courses.
    1. In the performance of his or her official duties, a constable shall wear a uniform consisting of:
      1. A white shirt on formal occasions at any time;
        1. A constable identification patch on the left shoulder of the shirt and an American flag on the right shoulder.
        2. The top of each patch shall be one inch (1") down from the shoulder seam of the shirt;
      2. A name tag above the right pocket flap of the shirt;
      3. A six-point star containing the words “Arkansas Constable” on the left side of the shirt; and
      4. The following pants:
        1. Tan pants; or
        2. Blue or black pants on formal occasions.
    2. If a constable is engaged in search or rescue activities, he or she shall wear a uniform consisting of:
      1. A black shirt; and
      2. Black pants.
  1. In the performance of his or her official duties, a constable shall drive a motor vehicle that is:
    1. Equipped with emergency equipment; and
    2. Clearly marked with a six-point star and the words “Arkansas Constable”.
  2. The county may pay reasonable expenses associated with the requirements of this section.

History. Acts 2007, No. 841, § 2; 2011, No. 561, § 4; 2013, No. 1113, § 1; 2019, No. 151, § 10; 2019, No. 910, § 5921.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment added (d).

The 2013 amendment deleted (b)(1)(A) through (b)(1)(A)(ii), (b)(1)(F) and (b)(2)(C) and redesignated the remaining subdivisions accordingly; redesignated former (b)(1)(A)(iii) as present (b)(1)(A); deleted “shall be” following “’Arkansas Constable’” in (b)(1)(D); and substituted “Equipped” for “Fully equipped” in (c)(1).

The 2019 amendment by No. 151 substituted “Officer training” for “Officer II training” in (a)(2)(A).

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 substituted “training certified” for “training provided” in (a)(1)(A)(ii).

Cross References. Access to criminal history records, § 12-12-211.

Training for constables, § 12-9-115.

Chapter 15 Officers

Cross References. Term of office of certain officers, § 21-1-102.

Research References

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., § 231 et seq.

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, § 100 et seq.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

Effective Dates. Acts 1927, No. 85, § 5: effective on passage.

14-15-101. Audit of accounts after expiration of term.

When the term of any sheriff and ex officio collector or a county collector or county treasurer or any county official required by law to make bond expires, within ten (10) days the county judge shall employ a reputable public accountant or a qualified Division of Legislative Audit employee to audit the account of the retiring official and ascertain the amount due the county, state, and other funds. However, this audit shall not be made if the county judge of the county affected decides that the audit is unnecessary.

History. Acts 1927, No. 85, § 3; Pope's Dig., § 10442; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-235.

14-15-102. Environmental officer.

  1. Each county within this state may employ an environmental officer who shall inspect all landfills within that county, ensure compliance with all environmental ordinances, collect evidence of noncompliance and present the evidence to the prosecuting attorney. This officer shall issue citations for violation of any county ordinance prohibiting dumping of waste, garbage, litter, or any hazardous materials throughout the county.
  2. The environmental officer may complete the training course for law enforcement officers at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy. After satisfactory completion of the course the environmental officer shall be a law enforcement officer.
  3. After completing the training course at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, the environmental officer may carry firearms, execute and serve any warrant or other processes issued under the authority of the county pertaining to violations of county ordinances concerning environmental protection, and make arrests and issue citations for violations of county ordinances concerning environmental protection.

History. Acts 1991, No. 722, §§ 1-3.

Subchapter 2 — County Assessors

Effective Dates. Acts 1883, No. 114, § 226: effective on passage.

Acts 1889, No. 9, § 2: effective on passage.

Acts 1947, No. 111, § 4: July 1, 1947.

Acts 1991, No. 484, § 5: Mar. 13, 1991. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Eighth General Assembly that school districts and other taxing units, which are required to pay the expenses of the office of county assessor, are not, under present law, provided with notice or knowledge of the proposed budgets of county assessors, or of proposed amendments thereto. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2001, No. 1275, § 4: Apr. 4, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly that property tax reimbursements to the counties will most likely begin in April and it is critical to the counties to account for costs borne by the certification of amounts of real property tax reduction to the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State as soon as possible. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall become effective on the date of its approval by the Governor. If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, it shall become effective on the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, it shall become effective on the date the last house overrides the veto.”

14-15-201. Form of oath.

On or before January 1 succeeding his or her election and before entering upon or discharging any of the duties of his or her office, every assessor shall take and subscribe to the oath prescribed in Arkansas Constitution, Article 19, § 20, and in addition thereto, the following oath or affirmation, which shall be endorsed upon the assessment books prior to their delivery to the assessor:

“I , assessor for County, do solemnly swear that the value of all real and personal property, moneys, credits, investments in bonds, stocks, joint-stock companies, of which statements may be made to me by persons required by law, will be appraised at its actual cash value, that in no case will I, knowingly, omit to demand of any person, or corporation, of whom by law I may be required to make such demand, a statement of the description and value of personal property, or the amount of moneys and credits, investments in bonds, stocks, joint-stock companies, or otherwise, which he or she may be required to list, or in any way connive at any violation or evasion of any of the requirements of the law or laws in relation to the listing or valuation of property, credits, investments in bonds, stocks, joint-stock companies or otherwise, of any kind for taxation.”

History. Acts 1883, No. 114, § 58, p. 199; C. & M. Dig., § 9874; Pope's Dig., § 13623; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-802.

Cross References. Constitutional oath requirement, § 14-14-1304.

Case Notes

Failure to Take Oath.

Tax deed based on sale for nonpayment of taxes for a year during which assessor took oath prescribed by Arkansas Constitution, but neglected to take the special statutory oath, is valid. Barton v. Lattourette, 55 Ark. 81, 17 S.W. 588 (1891).

A tax sale is not rendered invalid by an assessor's failure to take the oath. Sawyer v. Wilson, 81 Ark. 319, 99 S.W. 389 (1907).

Failure of tax assessor to take oath of office is no ground for quashing an assessment on certiorari. Moore v. Turner, 43 Ark. 243 (1884).

Failure of assessor to append proper oath to his assessment return is not ground to enjoin extending of assessment on tax books. Stell v. Watson, 51 Ark. 516, 11 S.W. 822 (1889).

Cited: Wildman v. Enfield, 174 Ark. 1005, 298 S.W. 196 (1927).

14-15-202. Extension of time to take oath.

Every assessor who shall have failed to take and subscribe to the oath prescribed in § 14-15-201 at the time therein stated is granted, until the time provided by law for entering upon the discharge of his or her duties, to take and subscribe to the oath prescribed in § 14-15-201, and the acts of every assessor who shall take the oath within the time granted in this section shall be as valid as if he or she had taken and subscribed to the oath at the time provided by law.

History. Acts 1889, No. 9, § 1, p. 8; C. & M. Dig., § 9875; Pope's Dig., § 13624; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-803.

14-15-203. Pro rata contribution to salaries.

    1. It is declared to be the policy of the state and local governments of Arkansas that from and after July 1, 1947, the state and every county, municipality, school district, and other taxing unit, excepting only special improvement districts to which the county assessor is not required by law to render service, receiving ad valorem or other tax funds collected by county collectors or certified to the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State pursuant to § 26-26-310 by county collectors shall contribute funds for the payment of the salaries, and the necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties, of the county assessors and their deputies.
      1. At least twenty (20) days prior to the quorum court meeting at which the annual budget is adopted, the county assessor shall provide to each taxing unit a copy of the proposed budget of the county assessor for the next year.
      2. At least ten (10) days prior to any meeting of the quorum court at which an amendment adding an appropriation exceeding one percent (1%) of the original budget amount to the budget of the county assessor shall be presented, the county assessor shall provide to each taxing unit a copy of the proposed amendment.
      3. Copies of the budget and any amendments shall be provided by giving copies to the following:
        1. For the county, to the county clerk;
        2. For a municipality, to the clerk or recorder; and
        3. For a school district, to the superintendent.
    1. For the purpose of carrying out this policy, the amount to be contributed annually by each of the taxing units shall be in the proportion that the total of such taxes collected or certified to the state pursuant to § 26-26-310 for the benefit of each taxing unit bears to the total of taxes collected for the benefit of all taxing units.
    2. The pro rata contribution of the salaries and expenses of any taxing unit that receives taxes collected or certified to the state pursuant to § 26-26-310 for the purpose of meeting debt service requirements of its issued and outstanding bonds shall be charged to and paid out of the taxing unit's general fund, and not to, or out of, any special fund it may maintain for this purpose, nor in such other manner as will diminish the amount necessary to meet the debt service requirements.

History. Acts 1947, No. 111, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-806; Acts 1991, No. 484, § 1; 2001, No. 1275, § 2.

Case Notes

In General.

The assessor's office can recover for its “salaries and necessary expenses” on a pro rata basis from taxing units it services for the collection of taxes. Mears v. Little Rock School Dist., 268 Ark. 30, 593 S.W.2d 42 (1980).

School Districts.

Where the General Assembly had not passed any legislation establishing an “assessment” reasonably related to the cost of any service or specific benefit provided by the county government, the Pulaski County Quorum Court was without the authority to order the school districts to pay a pro rata share of the salaries and expenses incurred in the collection of taxes by the county officers, other than the assessor's office. Mears v. Little Rock School Dist., 268 Ark. 30, 593 S.W.2d 42 (1980).

It is the duty of the county, not the school districts, to furnish a courthouse and to provide the necessary offices for the several county officers, including the assessor and collector; therefore, the county judge erred when he diverted money from the school board's tax collection account to the county's general fund to pay the office expenses of the assessor and collector. Venhaus v. Board of Educ., 280 Ark. 441, 659 S.W.2d 179 (1983).

Cited: Strawn v. Campbell, 226 Ark. 449, 291 S.W.2d 508 (1956).

14-15-204. Claim for salaries and expenses.

  1. The county assessor shall file an itemized claim, no less often than quarterly, with the clerk of the county court for salaries earned and for reimbursement of authorized expenses incurred. The county court shall promptly examine each claim, and if it finds the claim to be correct, the county court shall enter an order directing the county clerk to issue a warrant upon the county treasury, payable from the county assessor's fund, hereby created, for the amount so found to be due.
    1. Annually, at the time of making the final settlement of taxes collected by the county tax collector, the county funds of the various taxing units shall be charged with such units' respective pro rata shares of the salaries and expenses, as provided in § 14-15-203, and the amounts so charged shall be credited to the county assessor's fund of the county.
    2. In order to facilitate the payment of salaries and expenses, the county court may authorize and direct by order duly entered the county treasurer to make advance transfers from the collector's unapportioned fund, or the county general fund, to the county assessor's fund, with advances to be repaid at the time of making final settlement of amounts due the county assessor's fund.

History. Acts 1947, No. 111, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-807.

14-15-205. Professional development recognition payments.

    1. County assessors, full-time employees of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes shall become eligible for professional development recognition payments upon completion of the requirements enumerated in subsection (b) of this section for each year the employee is employed full time in the county assessor's office.
    2. Such payments shall be made from appropriated funds pro rata to eligible county assessors, full-time employees of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes up to the designated amounts from such funds as may be specifically appropriated for such payments.
        1. County assessors, full-time employees of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes designated as senior appraisers, Level 4, by the Assessment Coordination Department shall receive annually, to the extent moneys are available, a professional development recognition payment in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).
        2. County assessors, full-time employees of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes designated as senior appraiser managers, Level 4, by the department shall receive annually, to the extent moneys are available, a professional development recognition payment in an amount not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).
      1. A senior appraiser, Level 4, with four (4) years of appraisal experience may serve as an appraisal or reappraisal manager in a county if the appraiser complies with the standards established by the department.
    1. To the extent moneys are available, county assessors, full-time employees of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes designated as certified residential appraisers by the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board or as cadastral mapping specialists by the International Association of Assessing Officers shall annually receive a professional development recognition payment in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).
    2. To the extent moneys are available, county assessors, full-time employees of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes designated as certified general appraisers by the Arkansas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board or as certified assessment evaluators by the International Association of Assessing Officers shall annually receive a professional development recognition payment in an amount not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000).
    1. A county assessor, full-time employee, or state employee who actively works with ad valorem taxes is eligible for only one (1) professional development recognition payment annually.
    2. To the extent moneys are available, if any county assessor, full-time employee, or state employee who actively works with ad valorem taxes is eligible for professional development recognition payments in two (2) or more categories enumerated in subsection (b) of this section, he or she shall annually receive the professional development recognition payment in the amount of the higher recognition payment category.
    1. In order to be eligible to receive a professional development recognition payment, the county assessor, full-time employee, or state employee who actively works with ad valorem taxes shall present proof of the appropriate agency's designation and proof that the appropriate agency's designation has been maintained for a minimum of twelve (12) months before the June 30 for which the payment is being requested to the Director of the Assessment Coordination Department, who shall authorize payment to the county assessor or employee no later than July 15.
    2. In order to receive professional development recognition payments in subsequent years, the county assessor or employee shall annually present proof to the director by June 1 that he or she has fulfilled the requirements to maintain a professional designation and that the employee has been a full-time county assessor or assessment employee for the previous year and continues to be a full-time assessor or employee.
  1. Professional development recognition payments authorized by this section shall be subject to withholding of all applicable state and federal taxes but shall not be included by retirement systems in determining benefits.

History. Acts 1995, No. 903, §§ 1, 2; 2001, No. 1393, § 1; 2013, No. 707, § 1.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment inserted “and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes” in (a)(1) and (a)(2); inserted “full-time” in (a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(i), (iii), (b)(2) through (3), (c)(1), (2) and (d)(1); inserted “of county assessors' offices, and state employees who actively work with ad valorem taxes” in (b)(1)(A)(i), (ii), (b)(1)(B)(2) and (B)(3); inserted “or state employee who actively works with ad valorem taxes” in (c)(1), (2) and (d)(1); and added “and proof that the appropriate agency's designation has been maintained for a minimum of twelve (12) months before the June 30 for which the payment is being requested” in (d)(1).

Subchapter 3 — County Coroners

Publisher's Notes. Former §§ 14-15-30114-15-304, concerning the conservator of peace, his powers generally, and the issuance of recognizances and execution of process, were repealed by Acts 1993, No. 1301, § 3. They were derived from the following sources:

14-15-301. Rev. Stat., ch. 32, § 4; C. & M. Dig., § 1571; Pope's Dig., § 1895; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-903.

14-15-302. Rev. Stat., ch. 32, § 5; C. & M. Dig., § 1572; Pope's Dig., § 1896; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-904.

14-15-303. Rev. Stat., ch. 32, § 6; C. & M. Dig., § 1573; Pope's Dig., § 1897; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-905.

14-15-304. Rev. Stat., ch. 32, §§ 7, 8; Acts 1917, No. 206, § 1; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1574, 1575; Pope's Dig., §§ 1898, 1899; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-906, 12-907.

Cross References. State and local officers — Income and expenditures, § 21-7-201 et seq.

Actions against sheriffs, coroners, and other officials, § 16-56-109.

Procurement of transplantable tissue — Procurement agencies, § 20-17-617.

Deaths, § 20-18-601 et seq.

Coroners' fees, § 21-6-304.

Coroners to report deaths, § 27-53-204.

Effective Dates. Acts 1989, No. 484, § 4: Mar. 10, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that county coroners should be allowed to be employed by local emergency medical services; that this act so provides; and that this act should go into effect immediately in order to grant such authorization as soon as possible. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1993, No. 1301, § 7: Apr. 23, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Ninth General Assembly that there exists confusion over the powers and duties of the various county coroners; that the confusion is compounded by a series of antiquated laws that bestow responsibilities on a coroner not connected to his duties in modern times. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 2019, No. 910, § 6346(b): July 1, 2019. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that this act revises the duties of certain state entities; that this act establishes new departments of the state; that these revisions impact the expenses and operations of state government; and that the sections of this act other than the two uncodified sections of this act preceding the emergency clause titled ‘Funding and classification of cabinet-level department secretaries’ and ‘Transformation and Efficiencies Act transition team’ should become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year to allow for implementation of the new provisions at the beginning of the fiscal year. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and Sections 1 through 6343 of this act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on July 1, 2019”.

Research References

ALR.

Liability for wrongful autopsy. 18 A.L.R.4th 858.

14-15-301. Powers and duties of a coroner.

When a death is reported to the coroner, he or she shall conduct an investigation concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of an individual and gather and review background information, including, but not limited to, medical information and any other information which may be helpful in determining the cause and manner of death.

History. Acts 1993, No. 1301, § 1.

14-15-302. Coroner's investigation.

  1. A coroner's investigation does not include criminal investigation responsibilities. However, the coroner shall assist any law enforcement agency or the State Crime Laboratory upon request.
    1. A coroner shall be given access to all death scenes in order to perform the duties set forth in this subchapter.
    2. A coroner may issue subpoenas as necessary to secure pertinent medical or other records and testimony relevant to the determination of the cause and manner of death.
    1. A coroner or his or her deputy who has received instruction and has been deemed qualified by the State Crime Laboratory to take and handle toxicological samples from dead human bodies may do so for the purpose of determining the presence of chemical agents that may have contributed to the cause of death.
    2. Toxicological samples may be taken from dead human bodies in those cases in which the coroner is required by law to conduct an investigation.
    1. A person, institution, or office in this state that makes available information or material under this section is not criminally liable.
    2. A person, institution, or office in this state is not liable in tort for compliance with this section.
    1. A preliminary written report of the coroner's investigation shall be completed within five (5) working days and shall include a pronouncement of death. If indicated, a subsequent report shall be completed.
    2. If the death occurred without medical attendance or was the result of a homicide, an accident, or a suicide, then the preliminary written report shall include without limitation the following information regarding the decedent:
      1. Name;
      2. Date of birth or approximate age if unknown;
      3. Sex;
      4. Social security number if available;
      5. Home address;
      6. Location where the body was discovered;
      7. Time of death or approximate time if unknown;
      8. Condition of the body, including any recent trauma, body temperature, and position;
      9. Any prescribed medications;
      10. Pertinent medical history;
      11. Cause and manner of death;
      12. Photographs or information where photographs may be accessed in cases of non-natural deaths and deaths of persons under eighteen (18) years of age;
      13. List of all other governmental entities investigating the death; and
      14. Disposition of the body.
    3. Nothing in this section shall limit or otherwise restrict the exercise of professional judgment or discretion by a coroner or prohibit access to information or testimony necessary to complete a coroner's investigation.

History. Acts 1993, No. 1301, § 1; 1999, No. 812, § 1; 2007, No. 194, § 2; 2009, No. 1288, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment inserted “dead human” preceding “bodies” in (c)(2); subdivided (d); inserted “and shall include a pronouncement of death” in (e)(1); inserted “preliminary written” in the introductory language of (e)(2); substituted “date of birth” for “age” at the beginning of (e)(2)(E); and made minor stylistic changes.

Cross References. Coroner may collect and secure decedent's prescription medication, § 14-15-306.

Notification of certain deaths, § 12-12-315.

14-15-303. Death certificate.

If, after conducting an investigation, the law enforcement agency and prosecuting attorney of the jurisdiction are satisfied that no crime has occurred, the coroner is satisfied that the death is not the result of a crime, and the coroner knows to a reasonable certainty the cause and manner of death, the coroner or his or her designated deputy shall proceed to execute a death certificate in the form and manner required by law and release the body for final disposition.

History. Acts 1993, No. 1301, § 1.

14-15-304. Confidentiality.

  1. Records gathered and created during the course of a coroner's investigation shall be confidential and deemed exempt from the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq., but only until such time that the coroner issues his or her final report.
  2. Confidential medical information gathered during the course of the investigation shall remain exempt from public inspection and copying except as quoted in the coroner's final report.

History. Acts 1993, No. 1301, § 2.

14-15-305. Employment.

County coroners may be employed by any city emergency medical service, county emergency medical service, or joint city and county emergency medical service.

History. Acts 1989, No. 484, § 1.

14-15-306. Disposition of prescription medication.

  1. A coroner may collect and secure any prescription medication of the decedent to ensure that the medication does not come into the possession of a person who might use the medication in an illegal or harmful manner.
  2. Collected medication shall be disposed of under circuit court order or shall be forwarded to the Department of Health within thirty (30) days for proper destruction under § 20-64-214.
  3. This section shall not apply to any prescription medication in the custody or possession of an institutional healthcare provider or attending hospice nurse that is subject to other laws, rules, and regulations governing the destruction or disposition of patient or resident medication.

History. Acts 2007, No. 194, § 3; 2019, No. 315, § 986.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment inserted “rules” following “laws” in (c).

Cross References. Notification of certain deaths, § 12-12-315.

14-15-307. [Repealed.]

A.C.R.C. Notes. The repeal of this section by Acts 2019, No. 383, supersedes the amendment of this section by Acts 2019, No. 910. Acts 2019, No. 910, § 4855, amended subdivision (a)(2)(G) to read as follows: “(G) The Secretary of the Department of Health or his or her designee; and”.

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning the creation, powers, and duties of the Coroner's Advisory Task Force, was repealed by Acts 2019, No. 383, § 4, effective July 24, 2019. The section was derived from Acts 2009, No. 1275, § 1; 2019, No. 910, § 4855.

14-15-308. Training and instruction.

  1. The Division of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, in coordination with the Department of Health, shall establish a training curriculum for medicolegal death investigators, coroners, and deputy coroners in Arkansas that consists of no less than sixteen (16) hours nor more than forty (40) hours of instruction, including without limitation courses on:
    1. Medicolegal death investigation leading to certification as a medicolegal death investigator;
    2. Scene investigation;
    3. Body recovery;
    4. Safety;
    5. Statutes and rules;
    6. Documentation and reporting;
    7. Communication and interviewing; and
    8. Proper completion of a death certificate and assignment of cause of death.
  2. The division shall:
    1. Issue a certificate of satisfactory participation and completion to a coroner, deputy coroner, or medicolegal death investigator who completes the instructional program required under subsection (a) of this section; and
      1. Administer the funds for the payment and reimbursement for materials, speakers, mileage, lodging, meals, the cost of the certificate, and training equipment that are in addition to compensation allowed under §§ 14-14-1203, 14-14-1204, and 14-14-1206.
      2. The division may receive funding for coroner training through grants-in-aid, donations, and the County Coroners Continuing Education Fund.
  3. The commission shall provide death investigation training:
    1. Free of charge to a law enforcement officer, a state death investigator, and an employee of the State Crime Laboratory; and
    2. For a fee under a memorandum of understanding between the commission and the Arkansas Coroner's Association to coroners and deputy coroners.
      1. Within one (1) year of beginning employment as a deputy coroner, a person employed as a deputy coroner after January 1, 2020, shall complete the training required under this section and obtain a certificate under subdivision (b)(1) of this section or present a certificate from the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
      2. A deputy coroner under subdivision (d)(1)(A) of this section who does not comply with this subsection shall not continue employment or activity as a deputy coroner, including without limitation signing death certificates or assisting in death investigations.
    1. Within one (1) year of the date of employment of a deputy coroner, the coroner shall provide the county judge with the deputy coroner's:
      1. Name;
      2. Address;
      3. Starting date of employment; and
      4. Copy of the certificate under subdivision (d)(1)(A) of this section.

History. Acts 2013, No. 551, § 5; 2019, No. 238, § 1; 2019, No. 910, §§ 5922-5924.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2019, No. 238, § 2, provided:

“(a) Before January 1, 2021, a person who is employed as a deputy coroner as of January 1, 2020, shall complete the requirements of § 14-15-308.

“(b) A deputy coroner under subsection (a) of this section who does not comply with this section shall not continue employment or activity as a deputy coroner, including without limitation signing death certificates or assisting in death investigations”.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment by No. 238 added (d).

The 2019 amendment by No. 910 substituted “Division of Law Enforcement Standards and Training” for “Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training” in (a); and substituted “division” for “commission” twice in (b).

14-15-309. Mass fatality resource inventory and mutual aid agreement.

  1. As used in this section:
    1. “Fixed assets” means items that are permanently located but can be made available for use, including without limitation:
      1. Office space;
      2. Body refrigeration units;
      3. Personnel rehabilitation areas; and
      4. Equipment storage facilities;
    2. “Mobile assets” means items that can be transported to an affected area, including without limitation:
      1. Personal protective equipment such as masks, tyvek suits, gloves, boots, environmental protection, and hazards protection;
      2. Investigative equipment such as cameras, measuring devices, collection bags, and labeling devices;
      3. Body recovery equipment such as sheets, body bags, ropes, boards, and stretchers;
      4. Administrative equipment for the purposes of data recording, financial management, and records preservation; and
      5. Vehicular equipment such as cars, trucks, vans, trailers, and boats; and
    3. “Personnel assets” means:
      1. Coroners, deputy coroners, and medicolegal death investigators; and
      2. Other individuals or entities that possess specialized skills necessary for the comprehensive investigation of deaths in a mass fatality incident.
    1. The Department of Health may enter into a mass fatality resource inventory and mutual aid agreement among coroners in this state.
    2. A mass fatality resource inventory and mutual aid agreement under this section is effective when signed by the county judge in a county in which a coroner enters into an agreement under subdivision (b)(1) of this section.
    3. A mass fatality resource inventory and mutual aid agreement under this section may provide for the sharing of fixed assets, mobile assets, and personnel assets.
  2. The signatures of the county judge and the coroner are necessary for a county to pledge its deputies, equipment, and resources to the mass fatality mutual aid agreement.
  3. Only a coroner, deputy coroner, or medicolegal death investigator who receives documentation reflecting satisfactory participation and completion from the commission and is in good standing under this section may be allocated for assignment and duty in the mass fatality resource inventory and mutual aid agreement.
  4. The Department of Health shall maintain records of coroners, deputy coroners, and medicolegal death investigators who have received training and certificates of course completion under this section from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

History. Acts 2013, No. 551, § 5.

Subchapter 4 — Recorders

Preambles. Acts 1959, No. 110, contained a preamble which read:

“Whereas, under the present law of this State no notice of the commencement of a bankruptcy proceeding is required to be recorded in any county wherein is located any land in which a bankrupt or a debtor in any proceeding under the act of Congress relating to bankruptcy has any interest, and

“Whereas, an act of Congress, 11 U.S.C. Section 44(g), provides that such notice shall be recorded in any such county when the recording of the same is authorized by state law;

“Now therefore… .”

Effective Dates. Acts 1875, No. 77, § 53: effective on passage.

Acts 1959, No. 168, § 3: Aug. 1, 1959.

Acts 2013, No. 999, § 6: Apr. 8, 2013. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that many instruments affecting title to real estate are being found to not provide constructive notice because of defects in the certificates of acknowledgment; and that this act is immediately necessary to protect property rights and interests. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

Publisher's Notes. The clerk of the circuit court shall be ex officio recorder. See Ark. Const., Art. 7, § 19, and § 14-14-1301.

Cross References. Acknowledgment of instruments — Officials authorized to make within the state, § 16-47-202.

Detachment of territory generally — Order for exclusion, § 14-40-1802.

Order of incorporation — Transcript, § 14-38-104.

Case Notes

Applicability.

This subchapter does not apply to promissory notes, and of two assignments of the same note, the first in point of time will take precedence, even though the second was recorded and the first was not. Neal v. Bradley, 238 Ark. 714, 384 S.W.2d 238 (1964).

Sebastian County.

The two districts of Sebastian County are, in effect, separate counties, so far as the recording requirements of § 18-50-103 are involved. Henson v. Fleet Mtg. Co., 319 Ark. 491, 892 S.W.2d 250 (1995).

Uniform Commercial Code.

Sections 14-15-101 et seq. were repealed by the Uniform Commercial Code insofar as they refer to the recording of instruments concerning “goods and chattels” as giving notice to all persons. In re King Furn. City, Inc., 240 F. Supp. 453 (E.D. Ark. 1965).

14-15-401. Duties generally.

    1. There shall be established in each county in this state an office to be styled the county recorder's office, which shall be kept at the seat of justice of each county.
      1. Unless otherwise provided by law, the county recorder is the circuit clerk of the county.
      2. In a county that under law has assigned the duties of the county recorder to the county clerk, all Arkansas Code references to circuit clerk that concern recording functions shall mean the county clerk.
  1. The county recorder:
    1. Shall duly attend to the duties of the county recorder's office;
    2. Shall provide and keep in the county recorder's office well-bound books in which the county recorder shall record in a fair and legible hand all instruments of writing authorized or required to be recorded in the manner provided; and
      1. May implement electronic filing and searching provisions and procedures under the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, § 14-2-301 et seq.
      2. Unless a county recorder has implemented the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, § 14-2-301 et seq., the transmission of an electronic document to the county recorder has no legal effect.
      3. A person that seeks to record an electronic document is solely responsible for determining if a county recorder has implemented the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, § 14-2-301 et seq.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 1; C. & M. Dig., §§ 8616, 8617; Pope's Dig., §§ 11208, 11209; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1001; Acts 2007, No. 734, § 2; 2009, No. 160, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment added (a)(2) and redesignated the remaining text accordingly.

Cross References. Public records generally, § 14-2-101 et seq.

Case Notes

Salary.

Although the clerk of a circuit court has the dual function of clerk and recorder, he fills but one office, so that a legislative act fixing the salary of the clerk of the circuit court fixes his salary both as clerk and as recorder. Durden v. Greenwood Dist., 73 Ark. 305, 83 S.W. 1048 (1904).

14-15-402. Instruments to be recorded.

  1. It shall be the duty of each recorder to record in the books provided for his or her office all deeds, mortgages, conveyances, deeds of trust, bonds, covenants, defeasances, affidavits, powers of attorney, assignments, contracts, agreements, leases, or other instruments of writing of or writing concerning any lands and tenements or goods and chattels, which shall be proved or acknowledged according to law, that are authorized to be recorded in his or her office.
    1. To be accepted by the county recorder for recording purposes, all documents shall:
      1. Be on eight and one-half by eleven inch (8½"x11") paper;
      2. Have a two and one-half inch (2.5") margin at the right top of the first page, one-half inch (0.5") margin on the sides and bottoms of all pages, and a two and one-half inch (2.5") margin at the bottom of the last page;
      3. Have an area reserved on the top right of the first page for the file mark of the recorder;
      4. Contain the following information:
        1. The title of the document; and
        2. The name of the grantor and grantee, when applicable;
      5. Be acknowledged or otherwise executed as permitted by § 16-47-107 or § 18-12-208; and
      6. Be legible.
      1. The county recorder shall have the discretion to waive the requirements of subdivision (b)(1) of this section for:
        1. Good cause; and
        2. Any document that complies with the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, § 14-2-301 et seq.
      2. All documents and instruments executed before January 1, 2004, shall be exempt from the requirements of subdivision (b)(1) of this section.
      3. All surveys and plats shall be exempt from the requirements of subdivision (b)(1) of this section.
    2. A county recorder shall not refuse to record a document that has been executed in a manner permitted by § 16-47-107 or § 18-12-208.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, §§ 8, 9; C. & M. Dig., §§ 8624, 8625; Pope's Dig., §§ 11216, 11217; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-101, 16-102; Acts 2003, No. 757, § 1; 2005, No. 1428, § 1; 2007, No. 734, § 3; 2013, No. 999, § 5.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment substituted “or otherwise executed as permitted by § 16-47-107 or § 18-12-208” for “in accordance with § 16-47-207” in (b)(1)(E); added (b)(3), and made stylistic changes.

Case Notes

Complaint Not Reduced to Judgment.

As a matter of law, a complaint for money damages not yet reduced to judgment was not a matter of record required to be included in an abstract of title to real property. Bank of Cave City v. Abstract & Title Co., 38 Ark. App. 65, 828 S.W.2d 852 (1992).

Only the filing of a lis pendens against the property can render the complaint a matter of record before it is reduced to judgment, but lis pendens cannot be filed for a complaint merely for a money judgment and not directly affecting the title to the real estate. Bank of Cave City v. Abstract & Title Co., 38 Ark. App. 65, 828 S.W.2d 852 (1992).

Cited: Wasp Oil, Inc. v. Arkansas Oil & Gas, Inc., 280 Ark. 420, 658 S.W.2d 397 (1983).

14-15-403. Instruments affecting title to property.

  1. No instrument by which the title to real estate or personal property, or any interest therein, or lien thereon, is conveyed, created, encumbered, assigned, or otherwise affected or disposed of shall be received for record or filing by the recorder unless:
    1. The name and address of the person who, and the governmental agency, if any, which, prepared the instrument appears on the face of the first page thereof; and
    2. The name is either printed, typewritten, stamped, or signed in a legible manner.
  2. An instrument will be in compliance with this section if it contains a statement in the following form:
  3. The receipt for record or filing of any instrument by the recorder without complying with the provisions of this section shall not prevent the instrument from becoming notice as provided by law.
    1. Any fee charged by the recorder for recording or filing of any instrument which does not conform with the provisions of this section shall be returned by the recorder to the person who paid the fee upon request, if made within six (6) months after recording or filing of the instrument.
    2. If no such request is made within that time, the fee shall be paid into the county general fund by the recorder.
  4. This section does not apply to any instrument executed prior to August 1, 1959, nor to any decree, order, judgment, writ of any court, will, or death certificate.

“This instrument was prepared by , (name) ” (address)

Click to view form.

History. Acts 1959, No. 168, §§ 1, 2; 1961, No. 437, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-118, 16-119.

Cross References. Certification of recorded real estate transfer to tax collector in counties adopting unit tax ledger system, § 26-28-204.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Secured Transactions: Article IX: Part 1, 16 Ark. L. Rev. 108.

Secured Transactions Under the Uniform Commercial Code, 18 Ark. L. Rev. 30.

14-15-404. Effect of recording instruments affecting title to property.

    1. Every deed, bond, or instrument of writing affecting the title, in law or equity, to any real or personal property within this state which is or may be required by law to be acknowledged or proved and recorded shall be constructive notice to all persons from the time the instrument is filed for record in the office of the county recorder of the proper county.
      1. A document filed under the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, § 14-2-301 et seq., is filed of record within the meaning of this subsection if recorded under § 14-15-407 during the county recorder's regular business hours.
      2. A document received after the county recorder's regular business hours shall be recorded in the order received.
  1. No deed, bond, or instrument of writing for the conveyance of any real estate, or by which the title thereto may be affected in law or equity, made or executed after December 21, 1846, shall be good or valid against a subsequent purchaser of the real estate for a valuable consideration without actual notice thereof or against any creditor of the person executing such an instrument obtaining a judgment or decree which by law may be a lien upon the real estate unless the deed, bond, or instrument, duly executed and acknowledged or proved as required by law, is filed for record in the office of the clerk and ex officio recorder of the county where the real estate is situated.

History. Acts 1846, §§ 1, 2, p. 77; 1846, §§ 1, 2, p. 108; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1536, 1537; Pope's Dig., §§ 1846, 1847; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-114, 16-115; Acts 2007, No. 734, § 4.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1846, § 3, p. 77, and Acts 1846, § 3, p. 108, provided that nothing contained in the acts would be construed to change, or in any manner affect, §§ 14-15-411, 18-40-101, and 18-40-102.

Research References

Ark. L. Notes.

Laurence and Circo, An Exchange of Collegial Memoranda on the Attachment of a Judgment Lien to Real Property Subject to a Buy-Sell Agreement, 2006 Arkansas L. Notes 93.

Ark. L. Rev.

Secured Transactions: Article IX: Part 1, 16 Ark. L. Rev. 108.

Nickles, A Localized Treatise on Secured Transactions — Part 1: Scope of Article 9, 34 Ark. L. Rev. 377.

Case Note, Killam v. Texas Oil & Gas Corp.: A Portrait of Uncertainty for Title Examiners and Mineral Interest Owners, 45 Ark. L. Rev. 679.

U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev.

Annual Survey of Caselaw, Property Law, 25 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 1025.

Case Notes

Applicability.

Subsection (b) applies only to instruments touching and affecting real estate and has no applicability to assignments of promissory notes even though the notes are secured by a lien on real estate. Neal v. Bradley, 238 Ark. 714, 384 S.W.2d 238 (1964).

Actual Notice.

Deed for conveyance of real estate, duly executed, is good and valid against creditor of person executing such deed, obtaining a judgment, which, by law, is a lien on real estate, and also against a purchaser of such real estate at a judicial sale under the judgment, if actual notice of the deed is given to the purchaser and to the creditor, or to his attorney of record, or if such deed is filed for record at any time before the sale, though not until after the judgment is rendered and execution levied upon the land; such notice must be given at any time before, or at, the time of the sale under execution, and will be sufficient, though the deed is not produced. Byers v. Engles, 16 Ark. 543 (1855).

Absent recorded notice, a new barn, stockpond, barbed fence, and general clean-up were sufficient facts and circumstances as would put a man of ordinary intelligence and prudence on inquiry, and thus a second purchaser was put on actual notice. Bowen v. Perryman, 256 Ark. 174, 506 S.W.2d 543 (1974).

Judgment was properly awarded to appellee in its quiet title action as appellee's chain of title was superior; evidence showed that appellants' predecessors had actual knowledge of the conveyance of the disputed strip of land to appellee's predecessor, and thus the deed of appellee's predecessor, although recorded later, took priority. Rice v. Welch Motor Co., 95 Ark. App. 100, 234 S.W.3d 327 (2006).

Constructive Notice.

Record of conveyance by mortgagee was not constructive notice to mortgagor. Turman v. Sanford, 69 Ark. 95, 61 S.W. 167 (1901).

Record of deed of owner as conveyed by an alias was constructive notice. Kendall v. J.I. Porter Lumber Co., 69 Ark. 442, 64 S.W. 220 (1901).

Record of deed of growing timber was constructive notice. Kendall v. J.I. Porter Lumber Co., 69 Ark. 442, 64 S.W. 220 (1901).

All persons are affected with notice of original instruments as they are filed for record in the recorder's office. Rowland v. Griffin, 179 Ark. 421, 16 S.W.2d 457 (1929).

An unrecorded deed is not constructive notice to a subsequent bona fide purchaser or mortgagee. Davis v. Burford, 197 Ark. 965, 125 S.W.2d 789 (1939).

Where purchasers of second lien attempted, under the aegis of Arkansas case law, to get around an SBA first lien, they were frustrated where court held their conduct culpable and neglectful in ignoring constructive notice under subsection (a) as well as other knowledge they evidenced of the SBA mortgage. United States v. Hughes, 499 F.2d 322 (8th Cir. 1974).

Recording of lien created by bill of assurance of property owners' association against property as a result of members' delinquent and unpaid assessments constituted constructive notice to all persons. Kell v. Bella Vista Village Property Owners' Ass'n, 258 Ark. 757, 528 S.W.2d 651 (1975).

Facts in bankruptcy trustee's preferential transfer action against two creditor banks demonstrated clearly that the bank's mortgages were granted by and recorded against entities which were not record owners of the property mortgaged; thus, absent any other argument, since the banks' mortgages were not properly recorded against the entities which possessed legal interests in the properties, those mortgages did not affect title to the properties and would not operate as constructive notice under § 18-40-102 and subsection (a) of this section. Rice v. First Ark. Valley Bank (In re May), 310 B.R. 405 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2004).

Although the farm argued that, even if the notice was constitutionally insufficient, the railroad's claim to the mineral rights was barred by the one-year limitations period in § 26-37-203, the court found that: (1) this section, which provided that subsequent purchasers of real estate were put on constructive notice of a properly recorded deed, this section did not govern the running of the statute of limitations as to the railroad because it was not a subsequent purchaser of the mineral rights; and (2) imposition of § 26-37-203 presupposed adequate notice to the landowner, and due process required notice reasonably calculated under all of the circumstances to inform the property owner of the taking so that he may object, and if that notice was lacking, the passage of one year from the taking, without more, would not satisfy the requirements of due process. Linn Farms Timber Ltd. P'ship v. Union Pac. R.R., No. 4:09CV00663 JLH, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51714 (E.D. Ark. May 25, 2010), aff'd, 661 F.3d 354 (8th Cir. 2011) (decided under prior version of statute).

Recorded affidavit of lost mortgage, with a copy of the mortgage appended, was not constructive notice to a bankruptcy trustee of the mortgagee's interest in the subject property because the affidavit was not an “instrument of writing affecting title,” under subdivision (a)(1) of this section, as (1) the affidavit did not affect title, since the affidavit's purpose was to give notice that there was a mortgage executed which was lost, and (2) an instrument affecting real estate had to be acknowledged before being admitted to record, under § 16-47-101, but the grantor did not acknowledge the affidavit, nor was the grantor required to, as the affidavit was witnessed and notarized only for the purpose of attesting to the signature of the lender's employee who stated the mortgage was lost and the bank claimed an interest in the property, so the trustee, as a bona fide purchaser for value, under 11 U.S.C.S. § 544, could avoid the mortgagee's lien. Wetzel v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., 2010 Ark. 242 (2010).

Transaction between the city and debtor appeared without doubt a deed absolute on its face intended by the parties to be a mortgage, and was treated as such under Arkansas law. Under the provisions of this section, the Lease and Agreement between the City and debtor which was duly recorded was “an instrument of writing affecting title, in law or equity, to any real or personal property” and constituted notice of the writing and was binding on the Trustee; therefore, the Trustee had constructive notice of the deed from debtor to the city and the Lease and Agreement containing the provision to repurchase the property back for a nominal sum because the documents were duly recorded in the records of White County, Arkansas. Ark. Dev. Fin. Auth. v. Rice (In re Yarnell's Ice Cream Co.), 486 B.R. 918 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2013).

Chapter 7 trustee was not allowed under 11 U.S.C.S. § 544 to avoid liens which a mortgagee held on real property Chapter 7 debtors owned in Arkansas because he was on notice of the mortgagee's interests; although two mortgages the mortgagee recorded contained only the street address of the debtors' property, the mortgages were not defective, they gave the trustee constructive notice of the mortgagee's liens and imposed a duty on the trustee to conduct an inquiry concerning the mortgagee's interests, and the trustee could have discovered the mortgagee's interests by making an inquiry to the assessor's office where the mortgages were recorded. Lee v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (In re Savage), 504 B.R. 921 (Bankr. W.D. Ark. 2014).

Fraud.

In fraud actions, for purposes of determining when the statute of limitations begins to run, parties alleging fraud are charged with knowledge of any pertinent real estate conveyances from the time such conveyances are placed in public records, since filing for public record and concealment are mutually exclusive. Hughes v. McCann, 13 Ark. App. 28, 678 S.W.2d 784 (1984).

Although Debtor deeded 600 acres of land to his son for $10 in 1986, for purposes of the Arkansas fraudulent transfer statute, the transfer and the effect upon the debtor and his insolvency status must be analyzed at the time the deed was recorded in 1995. Williams v. Marlar, 246 B.R. 606 (Bankr. W.D. Ark. 2000), aff'd, Williams v. Marlar (In re Marlar), 252 B.R. 743 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2000).

Implied Repeal.

Subsection (a) was repealed by the Uniform Commercial Code insofar as it refers to the recording of instruments concerning “goods and chattels” as giving notice to all persons. In re King Furn. City, Inc., 240 F. Supp. 453 (E.D. Ark. 1965).

Instruments Not Recorded.

Grant of mineral deed from person in possession under recorded deed that apparently conveyed title would not be set aside on ground that prior to such deed, the title had been conveyed to the deceased husband of grantor, where deed was lost and never placed of record. Henry v. Texas Co., 201 Ark. 996, 147 S.W.2d 742 (1941).

In suit to establish title to mortgaged land against purchaser at foreclosure sale on ground that, prior to execution of mortgage, plaintiff had deeded land to his wife, evidence was held to show that alleged deed was not recorded and that mortgagee knew nothing about it. Teel v. Harnden, 204 Ark. 103, 161 S.W.2d 1 (1942).

One who takes a deed with knowledge of a prior unrecorded deed to another is in the same position as though the prior deed had been of record. Skelly Oil Co. v. Johnson, 209 Ark. 1107, 194 S.W.2d 425 (1946).

Agreement accepting a new survey as correct property line, notwithstanding existence of fences located elsewhere, which was not recorded until after litigation had arisen, was not valid against persons who had no other knowledge of such agreement. Rindeikis v. Coffman, 231 Ark. 422, 329 S.W.2d 550 (1959).

An assignment of a mortgage need not be recorded to be valid against later claims against the assignor. Bryan v. Easton Tire Co., 262 Ark. 731, 561 S.W.2d 79 (1978).

Obligation to Inquire Not Satisfied.

Where subsequent purchaser was put on notice of prior interest in the property, he did not satisfy his obligation to inquire by consulting his own attorney, or by searching the records. There was no evidence that his attorney had any knowledge of the circumstances, and subsequent purchaser's search of the records was not a diligent inquiry as the “actual notice” exception to the protection afforded by subsection (b) covers situations in which a property interest does not appear in the records. Massey v. Wynne, 302 Ark. 589, 791 S.W.2d 368 (1990).

Recording.

Record of an unacknowledged mortgage is not notice. Challis v. German Nat'l Bank, 56 Ark. 88, 19 S.W. 115 (1892).

In case of contemporaneous conveyances of same land, deed first recorded holds. Penrose v. Doherty, 70 Ark. 256, 67 S.W. 398 (1902); Storthz v. Chapline, 71 Ark. 31, 70 S.W. 465 (1902).

Presumption of delivery of deed from its being recorded was not rebutted by proof that deed was in grantor's possession. Estes v. German Nat'l Bank, 62 Ark. 7, 34 S.W. 85 (1896).

Where purchaser of lands records a deed absolute, and the intent of the parties is established by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that the deed is intended to be a mortgage, the court properly declares the deed a mortgage. Gunnels v. Machen, 213 Ark. 800, 212 S.W.2d 702 (1948).

When a properly executed and properly acknowledged lease is filed for recording, it protects the parties to the lease against intervening rights of third parties, even though it is not properly recorded. Wasp Oil, Inc. v. Arkansas Oil & Gas, Inc., 280 Ark. 420, 658 S.W.2d 397 (1983).

To the extent the borrowers argued that the creditor had a duty to record any assignment of the note or mortgage, there was no such duty, given that a mortgage's efficacy as to the original parties was not diminished if the mortgage went unrecorded, as the purpose of recording was to give constructive notice to subsequent purchasers. Anderson v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 2014 Ark. App. 683, 450 S.W.3d 251 (2014).

In a declaratory judgment action, even if the five-year statute of limitations did not begin to run until there was notice that a first lease was being relied on, a complaint was time-barred due to a recordation of an assignment; the recording served as constructive notice from the time the instrument was filed for record, and the case was filed more than 5 years after an assignment was recorded. The circuit court did not err by treating the claim as raising contract enforcement issues and applying the relevant statutory period of limitations. McDougal v. Sabine River Land Co., 2015 Ark. App. 281, 461 S.W.3d 359 (2015).

Subsequent Purchasers.

A bona fide purchaser of real estate for a valuable consideration who enters into possession acquires a good title against a prior, unrecorded conveyance from the same vendor. Long v. Langsdale, 56 Ark. 239, 19 S.W. 603 (1892).

A subsequent purchaser is not charged with notice of any fact not connected with the course of his title. Abbott v. Parker, 103 Ark. 425, 147 S.W. 70 (1912).

Subsequent purchasers take subject to a lien mentioned in a recorded deed; assignment of such lien need not be recorded. Hebert v. Fellheimer, 115 Ark. 366, 171 S.W. 144 (1914).

Where range was omitted from description, purchaser would not be held to have had notice. Neas v. Whitener-London Realty Co., 119 Ark. 301, 178 S.W. 390 (1915).

Where purchaser quitclaimed back to grantor land erroneously included in his deed and quitclaim deed was recorded prior to the recording of purchaser's deed to a third person and without knowledge of it, original grantor should be regarded as an innocent purchaser for value without notice and entitled to the land. Davis v. Burford, 197 Ark. 965, 125 S.W.2d 789 (1939).

Where warranty deeds executed in 1932 and 1935 were not recorded until December, 1940, grantee who had obtained a deed in March, 1940, without notice of prior deeds, was an innocent purchaser under subsection (b). Sturgis v. Nunn, 203 Ark. 693, 158 S.W.2d 673 (1942).

A deed is effective to convey title upon its delivery to the grantee, whether recorded or not, and is good and valid against a subsequent purchaser for a valuable consideration who has actual knowledge of the deed. Halbrook v. Lewis, 204 Ark. 579, 163 S.W.2d 171 (1942).

A subsequent purchaser who places his deed on record acquires a title superior to a prior purchaser who does not file his deed for record until after the subsequent purchaser has filed his deed for record, if the subsequent purchase was for a valuable consideration and without actual knowledge of the prior conveyance. Halbrook v. Lewis, 204 Ark. 579, 163 S.W.2d 171 (1942).

Under subsection (b), a subsequent purchaser acquires a superior title when he places his title of record before a previous purchaser records his title only where the purchasers derived their interests from a common grantor. Richardson v. Fisher, 236 Ark. 612, 367 S.W.2d 440 (1963).

Where there was an executed contract by both deceased husband and widow that would be specifically enforced in equity against the prior unrecorded deed with deceased remaining in possession of the property and with widow having no knowledge of the unrecorded deed, it placed the widow in the position of being an innocent purchaser for value in possession and with title to her vested by the will relating back to death of decedent and prior to recording of unrecorded deed, and rule that a parol contract to execute a will may be enforced in equity only where the agreement is established by clear, cogent, and convincing testimony would not apply. Hogan v. Hogan, 241 Ark. 377, 407 S.W.2d 735 (1966).

Purchasers held to be innocent purchasers for value and, therefore, not bound by the terms of an unrecorded lease where lease was not recorded and because the circumstances were not such as to put purchasers on notice of the lease. Garmon v. Mitchell, 53 Ark. App. 10, 918 S.W.2d 201 (1996).

Trial court properly quieted title in the subsequent purchasers under the escrow contracts, which were also contracts of sale, because the subsequent purchasers' interests in the property was filed of record before the mortgage holder's later foreclosure action against the original purchaser, who executed a first mortgage which was released, then executed a subsequent mortgage, and the subsequent purchasers were thereby protected by this section. Hatchett v. Terry, 87 Ark. App. 276, 190 S.W.3d 302 (2004).

Court doubts that the principle that an unrecorded deed is not valid against a subsequent purchaser unless he had actual notice of the prior interest applies in mortgage priority disputes, given that every mortgage of real estate shall be a lien on the mortgaged property from the time it is filed in the recorder's office for record, and not before, and case law held that a defective mortgage constituted no notice to third parties of the existence of the mortgage. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC v. Summit Bank, N.A. (In re Francis), 750 F.3d 754 (8th Cir. 2014).

Sufficiency of Notice.

Evidence sufficient to find that subsequent purchasers of mineral leases had sufficient notice of prior interest to put them on guard for an inquiry. Killam v. Texas Oil & Gas Corp., 303 Ark. 547, 798 S.W.2d 419 (1990).

Subsequent purchasers were not bona fide purchasers because a prior purchaser's possession of the property provided actual notice, and the subsequent purchasers were charged with notice when the land was in possession of someone other than the record owner, even though the subsequent purchasers were not aware of such. However, a fact issue remained as to whether the prior purchaser was in exclusive possession of the property. Walls v. Humphries, 2013 Ark. 286, 428 S.W.3d 517 (2013).

Tax Deeds.

Subsection (b) gives priority to the first recording only as between purchasers deriving their interest from a common grantor. It has no application to an intervening tax deed obtained from a county clerk. Thorne v. Magness, 34 Ark. App. 39, 805 S.W.2d 95 (1991).

Cited: Roach v. Terry, 263 Ark. 774, 567 S.W.2d 286 (1978); Reichenbach v. Kizer, 174 B.R. 997 (Bankr. E.D. Ark 1994).

14-15-405. Master Mortgage or Deed of Trust Recording Act of 1967.

  1. This section may be known and cited as the “Master Mortgage or Deed of Trust Recording Act of 1967”.
    1. An instrument containing a form or forms of covenants, conditions, obligations, powers, and other clauses of a mortgage or deed of trust may be recorded in the registry of deeds or mortgages of any county.
    2. The recorder of the county, upon the request of any person, on tender of the lawful fees therefor shall record the instrument in his or her registry.
    3. Every such instrument shall be entitled on the face thereof as a “Master form recorded by
    4. The instrument need not be acknowledged to be entitled to record.
  2. When the instrument is recorded, the recorder shall index the instrument under the name of the person causing it to be recorded in the manner provided for miscellaneous instruments relating to real estate.
    1. Thereafter any of the provisions of the master form instrument may be incorporated by reference in any mortgage or deed of trust of real estate situated within this state if the reference in the mortgage or deed of trust states:
      1. That the master form instrument was recorded in the county in which the mortgage or deed of trust is offered for record;
      2. The date when and the book and page where the master form instrument was recorded; and
      3. That a copy of the master form instrument was furnished to the person executing the mortgage or deed of trust.
    2. The recording of any mortgage or deed of trust which has so incorporated by reference therein any of the provisions of a master form instrument recorded as provided in this subsection shall have the same effect as if the provision of the master form so incorporated by reference had been set forth fully in the mortgage or deed of trust.
  3. Whenever a mortgage or deed of trust is presented for recording, on which is set forth matter purporting to be a copy or reproduction of the master form instrument or of part thereof, identified by its title as provided in subdivision (b)(3) of this section and stating the date when it was recorded and the book and page where it was recorded, preceded by the words “do not record” or “not to be recorded”, and plainly separated from the matter to be recorded as a part of the mortgage or deed of trust in such manner that it will not appear upon a photographic reproduction of any page containing any part of the mortgage or deed of trust, the matter shall not be recorded by the recorder to whom the instrument is presented for recording. In such a case the recorder shall record only the mortgage or deed of trust apart from the matter and shall not be liable for so doing, any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding.
  4. This section shall be cumulative and supplemental to the laws of this state regarding the recording of instruments and shall repeal only such laws or parts of laws as are specifically in conflict herewith.

(name of person causing the instrument to be recorded).”

History. Acts 1967, No. 237, §§ 1-6; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-121 — 16-125, 16-125n.

14-15-406. Recording certified copies of bankruptcy proceedings.

  1. The recorder of deeds of any county where any land in which a bankrupt or a debtor in any proceeding under the act of United States Congress relating to bankruptcy has any interest is located shall receive for record, and record, a certified copy of any pleading, decree, order, or other paper filed in the proceeding which any act of the United States Congress provides may be recorded in the records of such a county.
  2. The record shall impart notice to all persons of the bankruptcy proceeding and of the contents of the certified copy.
  3. The certified copy of the pleading, decree, order, or other paper shall be recorded and indexed in the record of deeds in the office of the recorder in the name of the bankrupt or debtor as grantor, and in the name of the trustee or receiver in bankruptcy or other person, if any, to whom the interest, or any part thereof, may pass by virtue of law or of the decree, order, or other paper as grantee.
  4. The recorder shall charge and collect the same fee for filing and recording any such document as is provided by law for filing, indexing, and recording deeds.

History. Acts 1959, No. 110, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-120.

14-15-407. Manner of recording.

Without delay, each recorder shall record every deed, mortgage, conveyance, deed of trust, bond, or other writing delivered to him or her for record with the acknowledgment, proofs, and certificates written on or attached to the writing and all other papers therein referred to and annexed thereto in the order and as of the time when the writing has been delivered for record by:

  1. Entering them word for word and letter for letter;
  2. Noting at the foot of each record all interlineations, erasures, and words visibly written on erasures; and
  3. Noting at the foot of the record the date of the month and year when the instrument so recorded was delivered to him or her or deposited in his or her office for record.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 11; C. & M. Dig., § 8629; Pope's Dig., § 11221; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-105.

Case Notes

Acknowledgment.

Fact that recorder fails to record acknowledgment is not a valid reason to strike instrument from record book. Wasp Oil, Inc. v. Arkansas Oil & Gas, Inc., 280 Ark. 420, 658 S.W.2d 397 (1983).

Interlineations.

Where record establishing a lost deed shows no interlineations, none will be presumed to have been made. Wasson v. Lillard, 189 Ark. 546, 74 S.W.2d 637 (1934).

14-15-408. Tender of fees required.

No recorder shall be required to endorse any instrument presented to him or her for record as filed or to record the instrument unless the fees for recording and the tax thereon, if any, are first tendered to him or her, nor shall any recorder be subject to any action or liable in any manner for a failure or refusal to record any instrument unless the fees are first tendered.

History. Acts 1875, No. 77, § 16, p. 167; C. & M. Dig., § 4584; Pope's Dig., § 5670; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-113.

Cross References. Credit for fees prohibited — Exception, § 21-7-209.

Fees of recorder, § 21-6-306.

Case Notes

Cited: First Nat'l Bank v. Bedford, 83 Ark. 109, 102 S.W. 683 (1907).

14-15-409. Entry of instruments.

When any deed, mortgage, deed of trust, bond, conveyance, or other instrument of writing authorized by law to be recorded is deposited in the recorder's office for record, the recorder shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose in alphabetical order:

  1. The names of the persons;
  2. The date and the nature of the instrument; and
  3. The time of delivery for record.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 10; C. & M. Dig., § 8628; Pope's Dig., § 11220; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-103.

14-15-410. Receipt for instrument filed.

When any deed, mortgage, deed of trust, bond, conveyance, or other instrument of writing authorized by law to be recorded shall be deposited in the recorder's office for record, the recorder shall give to the person delivering the instrument, if required, a receipt specifying the particulars of it.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 10; C. & M. Dig., § 8628; Pope's Dig., § 11220; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-103.

14-15-411. Endorsement of filing time.

  1. It shall be the duty of the recorder to endorse the precise time the instrument is filed for record in his or her office on every deed, bond, or instrument of writing affecting the title in law or equity to any property, real or personal, within this state which is or may be required by law to be acknowledged or proved and recorded.
  2. It shall be the duty of the recorder to endorse on every mortgage filed in his or her office for record, and note in the record, the precise time the mortgage was filed for record.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 101, § 3; Acts 1846, § 1, p. 77; 1846, § 1, p. 108; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1536, 7383; Pope's Dig., §§ 1846, 9437; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-104, 16-114.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1846, § 3, p. 77, and Acts 1846, § 3, p. 108, provided that nothing contained in the acts would be construed to change, or in any manner affect this section or §§ 18-40-101 and 18-40-102.

Case Notes

Acknowledgment.

Fact that recorder fails to record acknowledgment is not a valid reason to strike instrument from record book. Wasp Oil, Inc. v. Arkansas Oil & Gas, Inc., 280 Ark. 420, 658 S.W.2d 397 (1983).

14-15-412. Certification of recording.

  1. Every deed, mortgage, conveyance, deed of trust, bond, or other instrument of writing shall be considered as recorded from the time it was delivered for record.
  2. The recorder shall certify and attach to every such deed, mortgage, conveyance, deed of trust, bond, and other instrument of writing so recorded:
    1. The day, month, and year when he or she received it; and
    2. The book and page in which it is recorded.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 12; C. & M. Dig., § 8630; Pope's Dig., § 11222; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-106.

Cross References. Attachment of mortgage liens when recorded, § 18-40-102.

Case Notes

Delivered for Record.

A mortgage is filed within the meaning of this section when it is delivered to the proper officer and by him received for the purpose of being recorded. Case & Co. v. Hargadine, 43 Ark. 144 (1884).

In counties where there are two districts, delivery to the recorder or his deputy without instructions is prima facie delivery for filing in the district where delivered. Beaver v. Frick Co., 53 Ark. 18, 13 S.W. 134 (1890).

14-15-413. Return of instrument.

When recorded, the recorder shall deliver the deed, mortgage, conveyance, deed of trust, bond, or other instrument of writing to the party entitled to the instrument on his or her order.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 12; C. & M. Dig., § 8630; Pope's Dig., § 11222; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-106.

14-15-414. Indexes to record books.

    1. Each recorder shall provide and keep in the recorder's office a well-bound book and make and enter in alphabetical order in the book an index to all books of record wherein deeds, mortgages, or other instruments in writing concerning lands and tenements are recorded, distinguishing the books and pages in which every deed or writing is recorded.
    2. The index shall contain:
      1. The names of the several grantors and grantees in alphabetical order;
      2. In case the deed is made by a sheriff, the name of the sheriff and the defendant in the execution;
      3. If by executors or administrators, their names and the names of their testator or intestate;
      4. If by attorney, the name of the attorney and his or her constituent; and
      5. If by a commissioner, the name of the commissioner and the person whose estate is conveyed.
    3. Each recorder shall make a reference in the several indexes of all deeds and conveyances that may be recorded, so as to afford, at all times, an easy reference to the records.
      1. If an assignment or a satisfaction or release of a mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien is presented for recording, the assignment, satisfaction, or release shall state:
        1. The date the mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien was recorded; and
        2. The instrument number, book and page numbers, or other recording reference at which the mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien appears of record.
      2. The recorder shall note in the index of the book or record in which the assignment, satisfaction, or release is recorded:
        1. The book and page numbers, instrument number, or other recording reference for the mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien assigned, satisfied, or released; and
        2. The name of the mortgagor or grantor under which the mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien is indexed.
  1. In a similar manner, each recorder shall make, keep, and preserve:
    1. A full and perfect alphabetical index to all books of record in his or her office in which all deeds and instruments of writing in relation to personal property, marriage contracts, certificates of marriage, and all other papers are recorded; and
    2. A similar index of all the books of record in which commissions and official bonds are recorded, the name of the officers appointed, the obligors in any bond recorded, and a reference to the book and page where they are recorded.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, §§ 13-16; C. & M. Dig., §§ 8631-8634; Pope's Dig., §§ 11223-11226; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-107 — 16-110; Acts 2003, No. 1173, § 1.

Cross References. Index of lis pendens notices, § 16-59-104.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev.

Survey of Legislation, 2003 Arkansas General Assembly, Local Government, Information Regarding Assignment of Liens, 26 U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev. 434.

14-15-415. Destruction of chattel mortgages.

Circuit clerks are authorized to destroy all chattel mortgages previously filed where the due date of the obligation secured has expired six (6) years or more prior to date of destruction, together with all bound records of the chattel mortgages containing the index or abstract thereof, except such records as are utilized for the purpose of abstracting claims of wheelwright liens.

History. Acts 1975, No. 296, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-101n.

Publisher's Notes. Clerk of the circuit court is ex officio recorder. See Publisher's Notes at beginning of this subchapter.

14-15-416. Failure to perform duty.

Any recorder to whom any deed or other writing proved or acknowledged according to law is delivered for record shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), to be recovered by action on his or her official bond, one-half (½) to the use of the county and one-half (½) to the use of the person who shall sue for it, and he or she shall also be liable to any person injured for all damages he or she may have sustained thereby, to be recovered by action on the official bond of the recorder if the recorder:

  1. Neglects or refuses to make an entry or give a receipt therefor, as required by §§ 14-15-402, 14-15-409, and 14-15-410;
  2. Neglects or refuses to record the deed or writing within a reasonable time after receiving the deed or writing;
  3. Records any deed or instrument of writing before another first deposited in his or her office and entitled to be recorded;
  4. Records any deed or other writing incorrectly; or
  5. Neglects or refuses to provide and keep in his or her office such indices as required by § 14-15-414.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 17; C. & M. Dig., § 8635; Pope's Dig., § 11227; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-111.

14-15-417. Willful neglect of duty.

If any recorder willfully neglects to perform any of the duties required of him or her by §§ 14-15-401, 14-15-402, 14-15-407, 14-15-40914-15-414, and 14-14-41614-15-420 or willfully performs them in any other manner than is required by law, he or she shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor in office and shall be proceeded against accordingly.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 18; C. & M. Dig., § 8636; Pope's Dig., § 11228; A.S.A. 1947, § 16-112.

14-15-418. Action on bond.

If any person shall be damaged by the conduct of the recorder, that person may commence an action on his or her official bond in the name of the state to his or her use.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 3; C. & M. Dig., § 8619; Pope's Dig., § 11211; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1003.

Cross References. Actions on official bonds, § 16-107-201 et seq.

14-15-419. Seal.

The seal of the circuit court shall be the seal of the recorder and shall be used as such in all cases in which his or her official seal may be required.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 6; C. & M. Dig., § 8622; Pope's Dig., § 11214; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1006.

Cross References. Seal of circuit court, § 16-10-110.

14-15-420. Books and accounts.

Each recorder shall provide suitable books for his or her office and keep regular and faithful accounts of the expenses thereof. These accounts shall be audited by the county court and be paid out of the county treasury.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 124, § 7; C. & M. Dig., § 8623; Pope's Dig., § 11215; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1007.

Cross References. Bonds of state, county, and district officers generally, § 21-2-107.

Subchapter 5 — Sheriffs — Generally

Effective Dates. Acts 1883, No. 114, § 226: effective on passage.

Acts 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1172, § 3: Feb. 11, 1976. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that new and expanded jail facilities have recently been constructed and placed into use in certain counties in the State; that the operation of such new and expanded facilities was not taken into consideration in prescribing the number of positions and compensation of deputies and other employees of the county sheriff's office when Act 830 of 1975 was enacted; that in such counties, it is essential that the sheriff's office be provided additional personnel in order that the new and expanded facilities may be utilized to their fullest capability; that this Act is designed to authorize the quorum court in such counties to provide such necessary additional positions and to prescribe the compensation therefor and should be given effect immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1977, No. 237, § 3: Feb. 23, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that due to the increase in crime rate, especially in suburban areas, it is necessary to expand the authority of deputy sheriffs to provide more adequate protection to the citizens of this State, and that crime protection can be afforded planned communities by their employment of deputy sheriffs as security officers. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall take effect and be in force from the date of its approval.”

Acts 1983, No. 171, § 3: Feb. 14, 1983. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that Arkansas Statue 12-1107(b) presently provides that deputy sheriffs are authorized to exercise all powers as deputy sheriffs while in the course of their employment as security officers for property owners associations; that the wording regarding their employment as security officers has resulted in confusion regarding the authority and duty of the Law Enforcement Training Academy to accept and train such deputies; that the elimination of such wording will result in the Law Enforcement Training Academy clearly having the authority and duty to train such deputy sheriffs; and that this Act is immediately necessary to clarify this law. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

Am. Jur. 70 Am. Jur. 2d, Sheriff, § 1 et seq.

C.J.S. 80 C.J.S., Sheriffs & C., § 1 et seq.

14-15-501. Conservator of peace — Recognizances.

  1. Each sheriff shall be a conservator of the peace in his or her county and shall cause all offenders against the laws of this state, in his or her view or hearing, to enter into recognizance to keep the peace and appear at the next term of the circuit court of the county and, on the failure of the offender to enter into recognizance, to commit him or her to jail.
  2. The sheriff shall certify to the clerk of the circuit court all recognizances taken by him or her.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 140, §§ 8, 9; C. & M. Dig., §§ 9156, 9157; Pope's Dig., §§ 11817, 11818; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1108, 12-1109.

Case Notes

Municipal Courts.

Sheriff may serve process of municipal court. Miller County v. Magee, 177 Ark. 752, 7 S.W.2d 973 (1928).

14-15-502. Validity of bonds.

No bond entered into by a sheriff shall be deemed void for not having the approval of the court or clerk endorsed thereon.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 140, § 4; C. & M. Dig., § 9150; Pope's Dig., § 11812; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1103.

14-15-503. Powers of deputies.

  1. Every deputy sheriff appointed as provided by law shall possess all the powers of his or her principal and may perform any of the duties required by law to be performed by the sheriff.
  2. Deputy sheriffs are authorized to make arrests for misdemeanor offenses and felony offenses and exercise all other powers as deputy sheriffs while in the course of their employment for planned community property owners' associations or suburban improvement districts.
  3. Every deputy sheriff so appointed shall possess the minimum qualifications as provided by law.
  4. Planned community property owners' associations shall purchase and maintain liability insurance to protect deputy sheriffs employed by such associations. Liability insurance coverage shall be in a principal amount of no less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for each deputy sheriff employed by the association.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 140, § 7; C. & M. Dig., § 9155; Pope's Dig., § 11816; Acts 1977, No. 237, § 1; 1983, No. 171, § 1; 1985, No. 561, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1107.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Seventeenth Annual Survey of Arkansas Law — Criminal Law, 17 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 448.

Case Notes

In General.

This section is merely declaratory of the common law. Davidson v. Chandler, 206 Ark. 375, 175 S.W.2d 567 (1943) (decision prior to 1977 amendment).

Appointment of Deputies.

Appointment of deputy expires with the term of the principal; on reelection of principal, new appointment is necessary. Greenwood v. State, 17 Ark. 332 (1856).

This section refers to general deputies and does not take away the common law right of a sheriff to depute his authority to another for a particular service. Putman v. State, 49 Ark. 449, 5 S.W. 715 (1887).

Sheriff was entitled to appoint deputy to work with Junior Deputy Sheriffs League if quorum court made an appropriation to pay the salary of the deputy, and county court was required to allow deputy's claim for salary. Parker v. Adkins, 223 Ark. 455, 266 S.W.2d 799 (1954).

Following a controlled-drug buy, defendant was arrested by Monticello, Arkansas, officers outside county limits; cocaine, the buy money, and drug paraphernalia were retrieved by the officers. Defendant was not entitled to suppress the evidence even though the officers were outside their jurisdiction; the officers carried commission cards which appointed them to act as deputies in Drew County, Arkansas, under § 14-15-503. Trotter v. State, 99 Ark. App. 37, 256 S.W.3d 521 (2007).

Authority of Deputies.

A deputy sheriff is not, by reason of such appointment, authorized to act as deputy collector, although both offices are held by his principal. Crowell v. Barham, 57 Ark. 195, 21 S.W. 33 (1893); Boone County Bank v. Eoff, 66 Ark. 321, 50 S.W. 688 (1899).

A deputy sheriff cannot, as such, engage to guard the property of a private person not in the custody of the law. Saint Louis, I.M. & S. Ry. v. Hackett, 58 Ark. 381, 24 S.W. 881 (1894).

Where sheriff appointed a deputy and signed a card for identification purposes, the introduction of the card in evidence was not prejudicial when the evidence showed that the deputy acted and assumed he had authority to make an arrest for a traffic violation. Wilkerson v. State, 212 Ark. 603, 206 S.W.2d 758 (1947).

As a sheriff is given the legislative authority to be a conservator of the peace in his county under § 14-15-501, the same is true of a deputy sheriff employed by a planned community, for he is likewise authorized to stand in the stead of his sheriff and discharge his duties throughout his county. Gritts v. State, 315 Ark. 1, 864 S.W.2d 859 (1993).

Deputies employed by planned communities have the authority to arrest. Gritts v. State, 315 Ark. 1, 864 S.W.2d 859 (1993).

Lieutenant did not have a letter from the director of the Arkansas State Police authorizing his activities, but he was working interdiction on the interstate to locate drugs in vehicles as a deputy sheriff commissioned by the county sheriff's department, he produced his identification card showing his commission dates, and he testified that when he discovered defendant appeared to be intoxicated, he notified another lieutenant who was specifically working driving while intoxicated investigations; there was no clear error in the trial court's finding that the lieutenant was acting on behalf of the county when he conducted the traffic stop. Batchelor v. State, 2014 Ark. App. 682, 450 S.W.3d 245 (2014).

Legislative Intent.

The legislature intended to provide all deputy sheriffs with the power to perform all duties as required by law to be performed by a sheriff, and, in addition, these powers are specifically provided to deputy sheriffs while in the course of their employment for planned community property owners associations. Gritts v. State, 315 Ark. 1, 864 S.W.2d 859 (1993).

Liability of Sheriffs.

Sheriff is liable for unjustifiable assault of his deputy while in discharge of his duty. Edgin v. Talley, 169 Ark. 662, 276 S.W. 591 (1925), overruled in part, Dillard v. State, 260 Ark. 743, 543 S.W.2d 925 (Ark. 1976).

Sheriff is not liable on account of his deputy's negligence in driving car on way to make an arrest. Usrey v. Yarnell, 181 Ark. 804, 27 S.W.2d 988 (1930).

The general rule is that for all civil purposes, the acts of a deputy sheriff are those of his principal; hence, a sheriff is liable for the act, default, tort, or other misconduct done or committed by his deputy, colore officii. Davidson v. Chandler, 206 Ark. 375, 175 S.W.2d 567 (1943).

Where citizen, who attempted to stop unjustified beating of elderly man by deputy sheriff following automobile collision while deputy was transporting prisoners to court, was killed by the deputy, sheriff was held not liable, since the act of the deputy was not, on the facts presented, done under the color of his office. Davidson v. Chandler, 206 Ark. 375, 175 S.W.2d 567 (1943).

Under the common law, a sheriff is liable for the actions of his appointed deputies and has control over their selection and retention. Dilday v. State, 300 Ark. 249, 778 S.W.2d 618 (1989).

Cited: Brenneman v. State, 264 Ark. 460, 573 S.W.2d 47 (1978); Pipes v. State, 22 Ark. App. 235, 738 S.W.2d 423 (1987).

14-15-504. Additional personnel for new jails.

In any county in this state in which newly constructed jail facilities have been put into use since November 1, 1975, the quorum court of the county is authorized to provide additional positions for the county sheriff's office, in addition to those positions authorized in Acts 1975, No. 830 [repealed], and to prescribe the compensation and allowances for persons holding such positions.

History. Acts 1975 (Extended Sess., 1976), No. 1172, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1119.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1975, No. 830, referred to in this section, was repealed by Acts 1977, No. 742, § 117.

14-15-505. Settlement moneys received or due.

  1. It shall be the duty of a clerk of a court of record, at each term thereof, to settle with the sheriff of each county for all moneys received by him or her, or which he or she ought to have collected for the use of the county and which have not been accounted for. He or she shall make out two (2) separate lists of all sums chargeable to any sheriff and payable to any county, specifying on what account, and certify them under the seal of the court.
  2. One (1) of the lists so certified shall be immediately transmitted to the clerk of the county court to which the sums are payable, who shall immediately charge it accordingly, and the other shall be transmitted to the treasurer of the county.

History. Acts 1883, No. 114, §§ 182, 183, p. 199; C. & M. Dig., §§ 9163, 9164, 10144, 10145; Pope's Dig., §§ 11824, 11825, 13926, 13927; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1111, 12-1112.

Cross References. State and local officers — Income and expenditures, § 21-7-201 et seq.

Subchapter 6 — Sheriffs — Civil Service System

14-15-601 — 14-15-619. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This subchapter was repealed by Acts 1987, No. 657, § 1. The subchapter was derived from the following sources:

14-15-601. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 17; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1136.

14-15-602. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 1; 1981, No. 705, § 1; 1981, No. 966, § 1; 1983, No. 190, § 1; 1985, No. 395, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1120.

14-15-603. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 14; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1133.

14-15-604. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 18; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1137.

14-15-605. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 1; 1981, No. 705, § 1; 1981, No. 966, § 1; 1983, No. 190, § 1; 1985, No. 395, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1120.

14-15-606. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 1; 1981, No. 705, § 1; 1981, No. 966, § 1; 1983, No. 190, § 1; 1985, No. 395, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1120.

14-15-607. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 2; 1983, No. 190, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1121.

14-15-608. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1122.

14-15-609. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1123.

14-15-610. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1124; Acts 1987, No. 332, § 1.

14-15-611. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 6; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1125.

14-15-612. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 10; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1129.

14-15-613. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 9; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1128.

14-15-614. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 8; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1127.

14-15-615. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 13; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1132.

14-15-616. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 16; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1135.

14-15-617. Acts 1977, No. 952, §§ 7, 15; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1126, 12-1134.

14-15-618. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 12; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1131.

14-15-619. Acts 1977, No. 952, § 11; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1130.

Subchapter 7 — County Surveyors

Cross References. State and local officers — Income and expenditures, § 21-7-201 et seq.

Field Notes and records — Fees for copies, § 22-5-704.

Delivery of records to successor, § 21-12-401 et seq.

Fees for county surveyors, § 21-6-303.

Furnishing accurate description of all tracts by county assessor, § 26-26-717.

County timber inspector, § 15-32-201 et seq.

14-15-701. Qualifications.

No person shall be eligible to seek or hold the office of county surveyor unless the person is registered as a professional surveyor by the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors.

History. Acts 1963, No. 193, § 1; 1985, No. 549, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1222; Acts 2005, No. 1178, § 2.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1985, No. 549, § 2, provided that any person having held the office of county surveyor in any county in this state on June 28, 1985, shall be registered as a land surveyor by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors if the person: (1) Files an application with the board for registration; (2) Furnishes satisfactory proof that the applicant is either registered as a professional engineer or has had at least two years of experience as a practical surveyor; and (3) Pays an application fee of $35.00.

Cross References. Surveyors, § 17-48-101 et seq.

14-15-702. Duties generally.

It shall be the duty of the county surveyor to execute all orders directed to him or her by any court of record for surveying or resurveying any tract of land, the title of which is in dispute or in litigation before the court, and to obey all orders of survey for the partition of real estate, and also to accompany viewers and reviewers of roads for the purpose of running and measuring any proposed road, whenever required by the viewers or reviewers.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 5; C. & M. Dig., § 1888; Pope's Dig., § 2405; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1205.

14-15-703. Chainmen.

The necessary chainmen shall be employed by the person wanting surveying done, but they shall be good and disinterested persons, to be approved by the surveyor, and shall be sworn by the surveyor to measure justly and exactly, according to the best of their abilities.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 17; C. & M. Dig., § 1900; Pope's Dig., § 2417; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1204.

14-15-704. Appointment of another surveyor.

In all cases where the county surveyor may be interested in any survey which is required to be made by any court, the court shall direct the survey to be made by some competent person. The person so appointed shall have power to administer the necessary oaths to the chainmen, and shall return the survey under oath, and shall be entitled to the same fees for his or her services as the county surveyor would be entitled to receive for similar services.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 19; C. & M. Dig., § 1902; Pope's Dig., § 2419; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1206.

14-15-705. Survey of lands sold for taxes.

It shall be the duty of the county surveyor to survey all lands sold for taxes in his or her county on the application of any person producing to him or her a certificate of purchase from the officer by whom the lands may have been sold.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 4; C. & M. Dig., § 1887; Pope's Dig., § 2404; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1207.

14-15-706. Survey of public land.

  1. Any person who may have entered any of the public lands of the United States, having received from the proper officer a certificate of entry and desiring his or her lands surveyed and laid off according to the certificate, may apply to the county surveyor for that purpose, and the county surveyor shall make a survey in accordance with the entry.
  2. Before the county surveyor shall proceed to survey any such tract of land, he or she shall be satisfied that all persons owning lands adjoining and who may be in any manner affected by the survey have been notified to attend and be present at the surveying thereof.
  3. It shall be the duty of each county surveyor, when subdividing any section or part of a section of land originally surveyed under the authority of the United States, to make his or her survey conformably to the original survey.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, §§ 6-8; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1889-1891; Pope's Dig., §§ 2406-2408; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1208 — 12-1210.

Case Notes

Applicability.

Where facts are such as to lead to the conclusion that a government survey, if made at all, was made on paper only, this section does not apply. Luther v. Denny, 175 Ark. 846, 1 S.W.2d 6 (1927).

Errors.

Where the official government survey establishes the section and quarter-section corners, the sections will stand though erroneous, but a deficiency or overplus in a quarter section will be apportioned among the subdivisions of which it is composed. Tolson v. Southwestern Imp. Ass'n, 97 Ark. 193, 133 S.W. 603 (1911).

Evidence.

The plaintiffs in a boundary line dispute failed to satisfy their burden of persuasion by a preponderance of the evidence where their surveyor did not consult original field notes before making his survey and the survey offered in evidence by the defendants was a certified copy of a survey by the county surveyor and was consistent with two earlier surveys by two previous county surveyors. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

14-15-707. Establishment of corners.

For the purpose of perpetuating every survey, the surveyor shall establish his or her corners by taking bearings on trees and noting particularly their course and distance from the corner. When there are no trees within a reasonable distance, he or she shall perpetuate his or her corners by erecting mounds of turf at least two and one-half feet (2½') at the base and two feet (2') high. In lieu of mounds, stones may be planted in the ground to a depth not less than twelve inches (12"), which shall not be less than eighteen inches (18") long, eight inches (8") wide, and three inches (3") thick. The stones shall be described in the field book.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 9; C. & M. Dig., § 1892; Pope's Dig., § 2409; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1211.

14-15-708. Calculating tract contents.

All calculations to ascertain the content of any tract of land by any county surveyor or other person shall be made by differences of latitude and departure.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 20; C. & M. Dig., § 1903; Pope's Dig., § 2420; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1212.

14-15-709. Instruments required — Record book.

  1. It shall be the duty of each county surveyor to furnish himself or herself with a compass of approved construction, having a nonius division; also, a two-pole chain of fifty (50) links, and a well-bound book, in which he or she shall carefully and legibly record and note down every survey made by him or her, giving the name of the person the survey of whose lands is recorded, and describing as near as practicable, the metes and bounds of the tract, and noting the date on which the survey was made.
  2. The record book required by this section to be kept by each county surveyor shall be furnished at the expense of the county.
  3. The record shall be subject to the inspection of every person who may deem himself or herself interested in the land record.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, §§ 10, 11, 21; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1893, 1894, 1904; Pope's Dig., §§ 2410, 2411, 2421; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1215 — 12-1217.

Publisher's Notes. Revised Stat., ch. 40, § 22, provided that the provisions of the act should extend to all county surveyors who had previously been, as those who were thereafter, elected.

Case Notes

Cited: Sherrin v. Coffman, 143 Ark. 8, 219 S.W. 348 (1920).

14-15-710. Delivery of records to successor.

  1. It shall be the duty of the county surveyor, or other person having the official record of the surveyor in his or her possession, to deliver up the record to his or her successor whenever he or she may be applied to for that purpose.
  2. If the surveyor, or the person having the possession of the record, shall refuse to deliver it to such successor when demanded, he or she shall forfeit and pay the sum of one dollar ($1.00) per day for every day he or she may retain it after demanded, to be recovered by a civil action before any justice of the peace, in the name of any person who may sue for it, one-half (½) to the use of the person suing and one-half (½) to the use of the county.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, §§ 12, 13; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1895, 1896; Pope's Dig., §§ 2412, 2413; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1218, 12-1219.

14-15-711. Conclusiveness of official survey.

No act or record by any county surveyor, or his or her deputy, shall be conclusive, but may be reviewed by any competent tribunal in any case where the correctness thereof may be disputed.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 15; C. & M. Dig., § 1898; Pope's Dig., § 2415; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1221.

Case Notes

Prima Facie Evidence.

Preponderance of evidence, including survey by a duly qualified surveyor, overcomes the prima facie evidence of the correctness of a boundary line established by the introduction of the certificate of survey by a county surveyor. Mason v. Peck, 239 Ark. 208, 388 S.W.2d 84 (1965).

A state statute specifying that a certain record shall be prima facie evidence is binding upon a federal court, where the statute concerns not merely the admissibility of evidence (the certified copy of the county surveyor's record would be admissible whether such a state statute existed or not), but rather the legal effect of a certain type of survey in a case involving the title to land, traditionally a matter of state concern. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

If a certified copy of the official record of a county surveyor, as distinguished from his testimony only or a mere plat signed by him, is offered in evidence, then the corners and lines shown therein are established, unless the other party shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the location of the true line is other than as shown in the survey thus certified. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

The plaintiffs in a boundary line dispute failed to satisfy their burden of persuasion by a preponderance of the evidence where their surveyor did not consult original field notes before making his survey and the survey offered in evidence by the defendants was a certified copy of a survey by the county surveyor and was consistent with two earlier surveys by two previous county surveyors. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

14-15-712. Admissibility of certified copy.

A certified copy of the record of any county surveyor, under the hand of the surveyor, shall be admitted as prima facie evidence in any court of record in this state.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 40, § 14; C. & M. Dig., § 1897; Pope's Dig., § 2414; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1220.

Cross References. Surveys admissible in evidence, § 16-46-103.

Research References

Ark. L. Rev.

Documentary Evidence — Arkansas, 15 Ark. L. Rev. 79.

Case Notes

Certified Copy.

Where plaintiff introduced into evidence a plat with signature of surveyor thereon, defendant did not have burden of proof to show plat was erroneous, since plat introduced was not a certified copy of official record kept by the surveyor. Horn v. Hays, 219 Ark. 450, 243 S.W.2d 3 (1951).

Instructions.

In case involving dispute over boundary line in which county surveyor testified as to the actual survey line, an instruction by the court, which stated that testimony of surveyor and documentary evidence introduced by him along with stipulation of the parties constituted prima facie evidence of the correct line as it appears from the survey unless the defendant could prove by a preponderance of evidence a different line, was not erroneous. Polk v. Willey, 220 Ark. 506, 248 S.W.2d 693 (1952).

Prima Facie Evidence.

A certified copy of an official survey made by a county surveyor is prima facie correct, but any duly qualified surveyor may testify as to its correctness. Russell v. State, 97 Ark. 92, 133 S.W. 188 (1910).

Where a party to a controversy over a certain boundary line introduces the surveyor's record in evidence making a prima facie case, it becomes the duty of the other party to show that the location of the true line is otherwise than as shown in the survey thus certified. Buffalo Zinc & Copper Co. v. McCarty, 125 Ark. 582, 189 S.W. 355 (1916).

Oral testimony as to location of property line is properly excluded. Mason v. Mason, 167 Ark. 304, 267 S.W. 772 (1925).

A state statute specifying that a certain record shall be prima facie evidence is binding upon a federal court, where the statute concerns not merely the admissibility of evidence (the certified copy of the county surveyor's record would be admissible whether such a state statute existed or not), but rather the legal effect of a certain type of survey in a case involving the title to land, traditionally a matter of state concern. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

If a certified copy of the official record of a county surveyor, as distinguished from his testimony only or a mere plat signed by him, is offered in evidence, then the corners and lines shown therein are established, unless the other party shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the location of the true line is other than as shown in the survey thus certified. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

The plaintiffs in a boundary line dispute failed to satisfy their burden of persuasion by a preponderance of the evidence where their surveyor did not consult original field notes before making his survey and the survey offered in evidence by the defendants was a certified copy of a survey by the county surveyor and was consistent with two earlier surveys by two previous county surveyors. Forshee v. Canard, 488 F. Supp. 521 (E.D. Ark. 1980).

Unofficial Surveys.

A conviction for the wrongful cutting of timber was set aside where the evidence showed that an unofficial surveyor had surveyed the land and plainly marked the boundaries, but a subsequent official survey showed that the unofficial survey was less favorable to the defendant than the official survey. Sawyer & Austin Lumber Co. v. State, 75 Ark. 309, 87 S.W. 431 (1905).

Subchapter 8 — County Treasurers

Cross References. Fees — County treasurers, § 21-6-302.

Sale of county property generally, § 14-16-105.

Effective Dates. Acts 1877, No. 15, § 4: effective on passage.

Acts 1907, No. 190, § 7: effective on passage.

Acts 1989 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 178, § 6: July 1, 1989. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Seventh General Assembly, that the Constitution of the State of Arkansas prohibits the appropriation of funds for more than a two (2) year period; that the effectiveness of this Act on July 1, 1989 is essential to the operation of the agency for which the appropriations in this Act are provided, and that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this Act beyond July 1, 1989 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1989.”

Acts 1999, No. 342, § 12: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that the current contribution level for continuing education for county officials is insufficient and when the contribution level is raised, the appropriation for this purpose is insufficient. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 348, § 10: Feb. 21, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly, that the Constitution of the State of Arkansas prohibits the appropriation of funds for more than a two (2) year period; that the effectiveness of this Act on July 1, 2001 is essential to the operation of the agency for which the appropriations in this Act are provided, and that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this Act beyond July 1, 2001 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 2001.”

14-15-801. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning eligibility, was repealed by Acts 1993, No. 1279, § 1. The section was derived from Rev. Stat., ch. 41, § 39; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1318.

14-15-802. Office.

County treasurers shall keep their offices at their respective county sites.

History. Acts 1877, No. 15, § 3, p. 10; C. & M. Dig., § 1909; Pope's Dig., § 2426; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1304.

14-15-803. Counties having two judicial districts.

The treasurer shall keep in his or her office at each county site in counties having two (2) judicial districts, except Prairie, Woodruff, Lawrence, Yell, and Logan, the funds belonging to the school districts and road districts of the respective judicial districts for the purpose of paying warrants drawn thereon.

History. Acts 1907, No. 190, § 6, p. 446; C. & M. Dig., §§ 2044, 8360; Pope's Dig., §§ 2591, 10956; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1305; Acts 1991, No. 183, § 1; 1995, No. 354, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. Pursuant to § 1-2-207, this section is set out above as amended by Acts 1995, No. 354. Acts 1995, No. 334, § 1 purported to repeal this section.

14-15-804. Appointment of a deputy treasurer.

  1. Appointment of a deputy treasurer shall be:
    1. In writing;
    2. Signed by the county treasurer; and
    3. Recorded in the county recorder's office.
  2. A deputy treasurer shall possess powers as authorized by the county treasurer.

History. Acts 1883, No. 42, §§ 2-4, p. 65; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1911-1913; Pope's Dig., §§ 2428-2430; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1307 — 12-1309; Acts 2007, No. 122, § 1.

14-15-805. Duties generally.

It shall be the duty of each county treasurer to:

    1. Receive and give receipt for all moneys payable into the county treasury and to pay and disburse the moneys on warrants or checks drawn by order of the county court.
    2. Any nonrevenue receipts as defined in § 21-6-302(f)(2) shall be deposited into the same county fund from which the original expenditure was made;
    1. Refuse payment of any warrant or check that would cause a deficit balance in any special revenue account without an appropriated transfer of general funds to cover the deficit, except as provided in this section.
      1. A grant account that operates as a reimbursable grant fund may operate with a deficit balance if there is a county general fund cash balance or an appropriate special revenue fund cash balance sufficient to support the deficit.
      2. When the grant moneys are received by the county, the moneys shall be receipted to the proper grant fund by the county treasurer.
      3. Any remaining deficit balance at the conclusion of the grant cycle shall be brought to a zero balance with an appropriated transfer of general funds or an appropriated transfer from the applicable special revenue fund; and
    1. Maintain a positive general fund balance.
    2. The general fund shall include county general and any other ledger account on the treasurer's books accruable to county general.
    3. The treasurer shall refuse payment of any warrant or check that would cause a deficit balance of the general fund in aggregate.

History. Special Acts of 1923, No. 240, § 3; Rev. Stat., ch. 41, § 5; C. & M. Dig., § 1914; Pope's Dig., § 2431; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1310; Acts 1993, No. 200, § 1; 2019, No. 310, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. This section was amended as to certain counties by Special Acts of 1923, p. 487.

Amendments. The 2019 amendment restructured former (a) as the introductory language and (1)(A); added (1)(B); redesignated former (b) as (2)(A); redesignated the three sentences of former (c) as (3)(A)-(C); added “except as provided in this section” in (2)(A); deleted “It shall be the duty of each county treasurer to” from the beginning of (2)(A) and (3)(A); and made stylistic changes.

Case Notes

Legal Actions.

Treasurer is authorized to sue a bank to recover public funds that he has deposited which the bank has to pay on demand. Warren v. Nix, 97 Ark. 374, 135 S.W. 896 (1911).

Ministerial Duties.

County treasurer is a ministerial officer not vested with discretion in payment and disbursement of county funds, but acts only at the order of the county court. Mackey v. McDonald, 255 Ark. 978, 504 S.W.2d 726 (1974).

14-15-806. Neglect or refusal to pay warrant.

  1. If any county treasurer shall neglect or refuse to pay any warrant or check drawn on him or her by order of the county court of his or her county, having cash available in the fund on which the warrant or check is drawn, he or she shall forfeit and pay to the holder of the warrant four (4) times the amount thereof.
  2. The forfeiture may be recovered by a civil action in the name of the party aggrieved against the treasurer and his or her securities, and the treasurer shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor in office and upon conviction shall be removed from office.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 41, §§ 10, 11; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1920, 1921; Pope's Dig., § 2437; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1311, 12-1312; Acts 1993, No. 200, § 2.

Cross References. Removal or suspension of local officers, § 21-12-301 et seq.

14-15-807. Accounting of moneys received and disbursed.

  1. A county treasurer shall keep a true and just account of all moneys received and disbursed and a regular abstract of all warrants paid by him or her.
  2. A treasurer shall make duplicate receipts in favor of the proper person for all moneys paid into the treasury and keep the books, papers, and money pertaining to his or her office at all times ready for the inspection of the county court or the presiding judge thereof.
  3. A treasurer shall furnish the county court with an account of the receipts and expenditures of the county not previously accounted for at each term of the county court, if required.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 41, §§ 6-8; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1915-1917; Pope's Dig., §§ 2432-2434; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 12-1313 — 12-1315.

Cross References. County clerks — Duties as to accounts, § 16-20-402.

Fraudulent statement of accounts by collecting officer, § 26-2-111.

Loan or use of public money by officials, § 26-2-103.

14-15-808. [Repealed.]

Publisher's Notes. This section, concerning annual settlements, was repealed by Acts 1993, No. 1279, § 1. The section was derived from Acts 1873, No. 124, § 189, p. 294; C. & M. Dig., §§ 1918, 10174; Pope's Dig., §§ 2435, 13955; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1316.

14-15-809. Resignation, removal, or death.

If he or she resigns, is removed from office, or dies, a county treasurer, or his or her executor or administrator, shall immediately make his or her settlement and deliver to his or her successor in office all things pertaining to the office, together with all the moneys belonging to the county.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 41, § 9; C. & M. Dig., § 1919; Pope's Dig., § 2436; A.S.A. 1947, § 12-1317.

Case Notes

Settlement.

When the administrator of a deceased treasurer makes settlement with the county court pursuant to this section, the settlement is binding upon the sureties upon the treasurer's bond, although they were not parties to the proceeding in county court. Wycough v. State, 50 Ark. 102, 6 S.W. 598 (1887).

14-15-810. Relief from liability.

In all cases where any funds in the hands of any county treasurer of this state have been lost or become unavailable by reason of the insolvency of any bank in which the funds were deposited, and not through defalcation of the county treasurer, the county treasurers and their bondsmen, in cases where the bondsmen have not become sureties on account of the payment of a cash consideration, and in such cases only, are released and relieved from any and all liability for loss of the funds.

History. Acts 1935, No. 16, § 1.

14-15-811. Continuing education — Board and fund.

  1. There is created the County Treasurer's Continuing Education Board, which shall be composed of the following members:
    1. Eight (8) members of the Arkansas County Treasurers' Association, designated by the Arkansas County Treasurers' Association;
    2. One (1) member designated by the Association of Arkansas Counties; and
    3. The Auditor of State or a person designated by the Auditor of State.
    1. It shall be the responsibility of the board to establish a continuing education program for county treasurers of the various counties in the state. This program shall be designed to better equip persons elected to serve as county treasurers to carry out their official responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner. The program shall include requirements and procedures for an effective certification program for county treasurers.
    2. It shall also be the responsibility of the board to disburse any funds made available to it from the County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund to establish and maintain a continuing education program and a certification program for county treasurers.
    1. There is created on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State the County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund.
      1. The quorum court of each county shall annually appropriate and pay into the County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund in the State Treasury the sum of seven hundred dollars ($700) from fees of the office of county treasurer.
      2. If any quorum court shall fail or refuse to appropriate and pay over the funds to the County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund in the State Treasury, the Treasurer of State shall withhold funds from the county aid due to the county and shall credit the funds to the County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund.
  2. The funds in the County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund shall be used exclusively for:
    1. Establishing and operating a continuing education program for county treasurers;
    2. Paying the meals, lodging, registration fees, and mileage at the rate prescribed in state travel rules of county treasurers who attend the continuing education program;
    3. Acquiring educational materials; and
    4. Paying presenter fees and expenses.

History. Acts 1987, No. 944, §§ 1-3; 1989 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 178, § 2; 1999, No. 342, § 1; 2001, No. 348, § 4; 2007, No. 246, § 1; 2013, No. 551, § 3; 2017, No. 443, §§ 1, 2; 2019, No. 315, § 987.

Publisher's Notes. For amount of appropriation for continuing education for county Treasurers of the Auditor of State - Continuing Education see Act 1999, No. 342, § 4.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment substituted “seven hundred dollars ($700)” for “six hundred dollars ($600)” in (c)(2)(A)

The 2017 amendment deleted “six (6)” preceding “members” in the introductory language of (a); in (a)(1), substituted “Eight (8)” for “Four (4)”; redesignated former (d) as the introductory language of (d), (d)(1), and (d)(2); deleted “the establishment and operation of” following “exclusively for” in the introductory language of (d); in (d)(1), inserted “Establishing and operating” and deleted “and for paying” following “treasurers” at the end; added “Paying” in (d)(2); added (d)(3) and (d)(4); and made stylistic changes.

The 2019 amendment substituted “rules” for “regulations” in (d)(2).

Cross References. County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund, § 19-5-947.

Publication Development and Resale Revolving Fund, § 19-5-1001.

Subchapter 9 — County Clerks

Effective Dates. Acts 1907, No. 190, § 7: effective on passage.

Acts 1919, No. 507, § 2: approved Mar. 28, 1919. Emergency declared.

14-15-901. Records — Multiple judicial districts.

  1. In counties having two (2) judicial districts, it shall be the duty of the county clerk to keep at each county site, in addition to the records now required by law to be kept, the following records:
    1. Record of marks and brands;
    2. Record of incorporations;
    3. Record of estrays;
    4. Record of advertisements and sale of delinquent lands;
    5. Record of lands sold to the state; and
    6. Record of lands sold to individuals.
  2. It shall be the duty of the county courts of such counties to immediately purchase such records for the use of the various counties as are required by this section, and all other expenses made necessary by the provisions of this section shall be borne by the respective counties embraced in this section.
  3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to Prairie, Woodruff, and Lawrence counties.

History. Acts 1907, No. 190, §§ 1, 2, 7, p. 446; 1911, No. 94, § 1; 1919, No. 507, § 1; C. & M. Dig., §§ 2039, 2040, 8355, 8356, 8361; Pope's Dig., §§ 2586, 2587, 10951, 10952, 10957; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 16-301 — 16-303.

Cross References. Brands and marks of animals generally, § 2-34-101 et seq.

Drivers — Certificate of compliance, § 2-34-303.

Marriage licenses — Issuance of certificate by clerk and duty of clerk upon return of license, §§ 9-11-203, 9-11-220.

Record of livestock running at large or straying, § 2-38-110.

Recording personalty in only one district, § 14-2-101.

Case Notes

Failure to Record.

Failure to record delinquent tax list and publication of notice of sale are not mere irregularities, but matters of substance, rendering tax sale invalid beyond the features of a curative act. Carle v. Gehl, 193 Ark. 1061, 104 S.W.2d 445 (1937).

Subchapter 10 — County Collectors

Effective Dates. Acts 1999, No. 342, § 12: July 1, 1999. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Eighty-second General Assembly, that the current contribution level for continuing education for county officials is insufficient and when the contribution level is raised, the appropriation for this purpose is insufficient. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 1999.”

Acts 2001, No. 348, § 10: Feb. 21, 2001. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly, that the Constitution of the State of Arkansas prohibits the appropriation of funds for more than a two (2) year period; that the effectiveness of this Act on July 1, 2001 is essential to the operation of the agency for which the appropriations in this Act are provided, and that in the event of an extension of the Regular Session, the delay in the effective date of this Act beyond July 1, 2001 could work irreparable harm upon the proper administration and provision of essential governmental programs. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after July 1, 2001.”

14-15-1001. Continuing education — Board and fund.

  1. There is created the County Collector's Continuing Education Board, which shall be composed of the following members:
    1. Eight (8) members of the Arkansas County Tax Collectors Association, designated by the Arkansas County Tax Collectors Association;
    2. One (1) member designated by the Association of Arkansas Counties; and
    3. The Auditor of State or a person designated by the Auditor of State.
    1. It shall be the responsibility of the board to establish a continuing education program for county collectors and sheriff-collectors of the various counties in the state. This program shall be designed to better equip persons elected to serve as county collectors and as sheriff-collectors to carry out their official responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner. The program shall include requirements and procedures for an effective certification program for county collectors.
    2. It shall also be the responsibility of the board to disburse any funds made available to it from the County Collectors' Continuing Education Trust Fund to establish and maintain a continuing education program and a certification program for county collectors.
      1. There is created on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State the County Collectors’ Continuing Education Trust Fund.
      2. The quorum court of each county shall annually appropriate and pay into the fund in the State Treasury the sum of seven hundred dollars ($700) from fees of the office of county collector.
      3. If any quorum court shall fail or refuse to appropriate and pay over the funds to the County Collectors’ Continuing Education Trust Fund in the State Treasury, the Treasurer of State shall withhold funds from the county aid due to the county and shall credit the funds to the County Collectors’ Continuing Education Trust Fund.
    1. The County Collectors' Continuing Education Trust Fund shall consist of all moneys required to be paid in annually as set out herein, all interest earned from the investment of fund balances, and any remaining fund balances carried forward from year to year.
  2. The funds in the County Collectors' Continuing Education Trust Fund shall be used exclusively for:
    1. Establishing and operating a continuing education program for county collectors and sheriff-collectors;
    2. Paying the meals, lodging, registration fees, and mileage at the rate prescribed in state travel rules of county collectors and sheriff-collectors who attend the continuing education programs;
    3. Acquiring educational materials; and
    4. Paying presenter fees and expenses.

History. Acts 1989, No. 673, §§ 1-3; 1999, No. 342, § 2; 2001, No. 348, § 5; 2007, No. 246, § 2; 2013, No. 551, § 4; 2017, No. 443, §§ 3, 4; 2019, No. 315, § 988.

Publisher's Notes. For amount of appropriation for continuing education for county Collectors of the Auditor of State - Continuing Education see Act 1999, No. 342, § 5.

Amendments. The 2013 amendment substituted “seven hundred dollars ($700)” for “six hundred dollars ($600)” in (c)(1)(B).

The 2017 amendment, in the introductory language of (a), deleted “hereby” preceding “created” and deleted “six (6)” preceding “members” at the end; in (a)(1), substituted “Eight (8)” for “Four (4)” and twice substituted “Collectors” for “Collectors'”; redesignated former (d) as the introductory language of (d), (d)(1), and (d)(2); deleted “the establishment and operation of” following “exclusively for” in the introductory language of (d); in (d)(1), inserted “Establishing and operating” and deleted “and for paying” following “sheriff-collectors” at the end; added “Paying” in present (d)(2); added (d)(3) and (d)(4); and made stylistic changes.

The 2019 amendment substituted “rules” for “regulations” in (d)(2).

Cross References. Continuing education — Board and fund, § 14-15-811.

County Treasurers' Continuing Education Fund, § 19-5-947.

Publication Development and Resale Revolving Fund, § 19-5-1001.

Chapter 16 Powers of Counties Generally

Research References

Am. Jur. 4 Am. Jur. 2d, Animals, § 24.

22A Am. Jur. 2d, Dec. Judg., § 157.

56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp., §§ 98 et seq., 193-230, 423-578, 848.

C.J.S. 20 C.J.S., Counties, §§ 49, 50 and 165 et seq.

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey, Water and Environmental Law, 12 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 665.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

A.C.R.C. Notes. Acts 2015, No. 974, § 8, provided:

“MAXIMUM ANNUAL FUNDING FOR REAPPRAISALS/REVIEWS. Whether a county's reappraisal of real property is simply a review of existing data, or a more extensive reappraisal where every improvement is measured, funding to any county, provided through the Assessment Coordination Department, will be for the actual appraisal cost, up to a maximum of seven dollars per parcel, per year. Counties must use other taxing unit sources of revenue to provide for the cost of real property reappraisals if the cost to complete the reappraisal exceeds seven dollars per parcel.

“The provisions of this section shall be in effect only from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.”

Cross References. Jurdisdiction of county courts over county affairs, Ark. Const., Art. 7, § 28.

Supervisor of county courts and county, local and municipal boards or officers exercised by circuit courts, § 16-13-203.

Effective Dates. Acts 1879, No. 16, § 4: effective on passage.

Acts 1949, No. 64, § 5: approved Feb. 8, 1949. Emergency clause provided: “Whereas, the United States is willing to convey lands for hospital purposes and,

“Whereas, the erection of county hospitals vitally affects the public health needs of the people of the State of Arkansas and this Act being necessary to preserve the public peace, health and safety of the inhabitants of the State of Arkansas, an emergency is hereby declared and this Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage.”

Acts 1951, No. 26, § 4: Jan. 30, 1951. Emergency clause provided: “It being found and determined that there are counties owning real and personal property not needed for use by the county, and that the same is necessary to be used by nonprofit, nonsectarian educational institutions, which, because of the lack thereof, are unable properly to provide adequate facilities necessary for education and instruction, the passage of this Act is found necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, and an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1955, No. 73, § 2: Feb. 17, 1955. Emergency clause provided: “Whereas, the United States Government has made available funds to be used in the State of Arkansas for flood control purposes, and Whereas, it is necessary that Counties be given the authority to acquire land in order that such Federal funds may be used, and Whereas, it is important to the protection of the lives and property of the people of this State that such flood control projects be immediately commenced, Now Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1957, No. 37, § 2: Feb. 12, 1957. Emergency clause provided: “It being found and determined that there are counties in this state owning real and personal property not needed for use by the county, and that the same is necessary to be used by lawfully incorporated, nonprofit, nonsectarian Boys' Clubs or Girls' Clubs, in addition to educational institutions, which because of the lack thereof, are unable properly to provide adequate facilities for the welfare, betterment and recreation of boys or girls, the passage of this act having been found necessary for the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act shall be in full force and effect from and after its approval.”

Acts 1963, No. 213, § 3: Mar. 8, 1963. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the provisions of this Act will be of great benefit to the various counties in this State by making it possible for such counties to receive better value for used county equipment and other property which the county desires to trade in when purchasing new equipment or property, and that this Act is immediately necessary to permit said counties to make such savings. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in effect from the date of its passage and approval.”

Acts 1965, No. 115, § 6: Feb. 23, 1965. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that certain counties of this State have county-owned hospitals which are vitally needed by municipalities in such counties for use as municipal hospitals and/or nursing homes; and, whereas, the General Assembly determines that it is immediately necessary for the preservation of the public health in such communities that legislation be immediately passed to authorize such sales or leases, Now, Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 150, § 3: Feb. 22, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that there are certain counties in this State which are partially bordered by navigable streams or through which navigable streams flow, including Chicot County, that wish to establish and operate river port facilities on such navigable streams; that the establishment and operation of such facilities would be advantageous to and would promote industrial development in such county; that this Act is designed to authorize any such county, alone or in conjunction with another county or municipality as authorized in Act 310 of 1959, to establish, equip and operate such port facility and should be given effect immediately in order that any county desiring to take advantage of the provisions of this Act may do so immediately. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1971, No. 444, § 3: Mar. 29, 1971. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that under present law, counties in this State have the authority to sell lands to municipalities within the county but that there is presently no specific authority for a county to lease county-owned lands to municipalities; that certain counties in the State have lands which they desire to lease to various municipalities for particular uses and that the lease of such lands to municipalities by the county would be advantageous both to the county and to the leasing municipality and that this Act should be given effect immediately in order to permit the same. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1975, No. 192, § 3: Feb. 18, 1975. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that there is a dire need for legal authority for counties to lease lands to lawfully incorporated, quasipublic, nonprofit, nonsectarian organizations; and that such authority to lease county lands to such organizations is immediately necessary to encourage and promote the further protection of the public peace, health, welfare and safety of the citizens of this State; therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1980 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 41, § 3: Jan. 25, 1980. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is unclear whether surplus county personal property can now be sold by public auction; that sale by public auction would in most cases result in receiving the highest sale price for surplus property and that this Act is immediately necessary to authorize such public auctions. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1980 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 63, § 3: Feb. 4, 1980. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that it is unclear whether surplus county personal property can now be sold by public auction; that sale by public auction would in most cases result in receiving the highest sale price for surplus property and that this Act is immediately necessary to authorize such public auctions. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1993, No. 732, § 5: Mar. 26, 1993. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the Seventy-Ninth General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that county governments in Arkansas are operating recycling programs for solid waste; that county recycling programs generate recyclable materials which can technically be considered personal property of the county; that Arkansas law regulates the manner in which personal property of the county can be sold; and that, since the recycling markets are very time sensitive and price conscious, county government recycling programs should be exempt for these restrictions and procedures. Therefore, in order to permit county government to sell recyclable materials more rapidly and competitively, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, and this act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

14-16-101. Actions on behalf of counties.

When any county has any demand against any persons or corporations, suit thereon may be brought by the county judge.

History. Acts 1879, No. 16, § 3, p. 13; C. & M. Dig., § 2045; Pope's Dig., § 2596; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-302; Acts 2009, No. 678, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment substituted “by the county judge” for “in the name of the state for the use of the county” and deleted the last sentence, which read: “In all such actions, all costs and expenses not recovered from the defendant shall be paid by the county.”

Cross References. Claims against counties, § 14-23-101 et seq.

Case Notes

Applicability.

This section had no applicability to a cause in equity that accrued prior to its passage. Griffith v. Sebastian County, 49 Ark. 24, 3 S.W. 886 (1887).

Actions Allowed.

A suit could be prosecuted in the name of the state, for the use of a county, to annul and cancel an illegal and fraudulent lease made by the county judge of the county property. State ex rel. Garland County v. Baxter, 38 Ark. 462 (1882).

The state could bring an action on a county treasurer's bond in which the obligee was named for the use of a county for a defalcation of the treasurer. State ex rel. Benton County v. Wood, 51 Ark. 205, 10 S.W. 624 (1889).

Costs and Expenses.

Costs could not be taxed against a county in cases of failure of prosecution of suits by state against railroad companies for failure to maintain sufficient lights during nighttime on all their main line switches, the county not being a party to the suit, and in the absence of a statute making it so liable, could not properly be taxed with costs. Chicot County v. Matthews, 120 Ark. 505, 179 S.W. 1002 (1915).

Cited: Wade v. Moody, 255 Ark. 266, 500 S.W.2d 593 (1973).

14-16-102. Rights under contracts.

All notes, bonds, bills, contracts, covenants, agreements, or writings, made or to be made, whereby any person is, or shall be, bound to any county, or the commissioners of any county, or to any other person, in whatever form, for the payment of any debt or duty, or the performance of any matter or thing, to the use of any county, shall be valid and effectual to all intents and purposes to vest in the county all rights, interests, and actions which would be vested in any individual if any such contract had been made directly to him or her.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 35, § 6; C. & M. Dig., § 1975; Pope's Dig., § 2504; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-301.

14-16-103. Deeds, etc., to county.

All deeds, grants, and conveyances which are made and duly acknowledged and recorded as are other deeds of conveyance to any county, or to the commissioners of any county, or to any other person, by whatever form of conveyance, for the use and benefit of any county, for all intents and purposes shall be good and valid instruments for vesting in the county, in fee simple or otherwise, all such right, title, interest, and estate as the grantor in any such deed or conveyance had in the lands conveyed at the time of the execution of the instrument and was intended by that means to be conveyed.

History. Rev. Stat., ch. 35, § 4; C. & M. Dig., § 1948; Pope's Dig., § 2477; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-303.

Case Notes

Cancellation.

A conveyance to a county under a mutual mistake will be canceled. Griffith v. Sebastian County, 49 Ark. 24, 3 S.W. 886 (1887).

In Fee Simple or Otherwise.

A county is authorized to take title to land “in fee simple or otherwise,” and a deed accepted by the county conveys what was intended to be conveyed; a condition subsequent in a deed to a county does not convey a fee simple. Jeffries v. State ex rel. Woodruff County, 212 Ark. 213, 205 S.W.2d 194 (1947).

A county may acquire property for general county purposes by a deed that conveys less than the fee simple title; a condition subsequent in a deed to a county is in accordance with public policy and not void as against public policy. Jeffries v. State ex rel. Woodruff County, 212 Ark. 213, 205 S.W.2d 194 (1947).

In order to determine the validity of a condition subsequent in a deed to a county, the sources that must be consulted to determine an issue of public policy are the federal and state constitutions, the statutes, and court decisions. Jeffries v. State ex rel. Woodruff County, 212 Ark. 213, 205 S.W.2d 194 (1947).

14-16-104. Conveyances from federal government.

    1. Any and all counties of the State of Arkansas are authorized and empowered to accept conveyances of real estate from the federal government, or any authorized agency thereof, whether that conveyance contains reservations to oil, mineral, or fissionable material rights in the United States or not, and subject to such terms and conditions as the federal government, or an agency thereof, may reasonably require.
    2. Counties are authorized to accept conveyances containing reversion clauses providing for reversion of real estate to the federal government in case the real estate ceases to be used for the purposes for which conveyed.
  1. The word “conveyance” as used herein shall be construed to refer to either quit-claim or warranty deeds.
  2. The provisions of this section shall apply only to conveyances from the United States or from any authorized agency of the federal government.

History. Acts 1949, No. 64, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-310 — 17-312.

14-16-105. Sale of county property generally.

  1. The county court of each county shall have power and jurisdiction to sell and cause to be conveyed any real estate or personal property belonging to the county and to appropriate the proceeds of the sale for the use of the county by proceeding in the manner set forth in this section.
    1. When the county judge of a county shall consider it advisable and to the best interest of the county to sell and convey any real or personal property belonging to the county, he or she shall cause an order to be entered in the county court setting forth:
      1. A description of the property to be sold;
      2. The reason for the sale; and
      3. An order directing the county assessor to cause the property to be appraised at its fair market value and to certify his or her appraisal of the property to the county court within a time to be specified in the order.
    2. A certified copy of the order shall be delivered to the county assessor by the county clerk, and the county clerk shall certify the date of the delivery of the copy on the margin of the record where the order is recorded.
    3. An order and the procedures as used in this section shall not be required for any sale by the county of any materials separated, collected, recovered, or created by a recycling program authorized and operated by the county. However, the county judge shall maintain a record of the recyclable materials sold, whether they were sold at public or private sale, a description of the recyclables sold, the name of the purchaser, and the terms of the sale. All the proceeds of the sale shall be deposited with the county treasurer.
    4. An order and the procedures described in this section shall not be required for any conveyance by the county of a conservation easement as described in the Conservation Easement Act, § 15-20-401 et seq. However, this conveyance shall not be made unless authorized by a majority vote of the quorum court.
    5. If property is sold under § 14-16-106, the requirements of this section are not applicable.
    1. Upon receipt of the certified copy of the order, the county assessor shall view the property described in the order and shall cause the property to be appraised at its fair market value.
    2. Within the time specified in the order, the assessor shall file with the county clerk his or her written certificate of appraisal of the property.
    1. If the appraised value of the property described in the order is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), the property may thereafter be sold and conveyed by the county judge, either at public or private sale, by sealed bids or internet sale for not less than three-fourths (¾) of the appraised value as shown by the certificate of appraisal filed by the assessor.
      1. If the property will be sold by internet sale, the notice of sale shall be placed on the website of the internet vendor for no less than eight (8) consecutive days before the date of sale and shall contain a description of the property to be sold and the time of the sale.
      2. An additional notice may be posted on a county-owned or county-affiliated website, trade website, or business website for no less than eight (8) consecutive days before the date of sale.
      1. When the sale has been completed, the county court shall enter its order approving the sale.
      2. The order shall set forth:
        1. The description of the property sold;
        2. The name of the purchaser;
        3. The terms of the sale;
        4. That the proceeds of the sale have been deposited with the county treasurer; and
        5. The fund or funds to which the proceeds were credited by the county treasurer.
      1. If the appraised value of the property to be sold exceeds five thousand dollars ($5,000), the county judge may sell the property to the highest bidder, upon sealed bids received by the judge or by internet sale.
      2. The county judge shall not sell property under subdivision (e)(1)(A) of this section for less than three-fourths (¾) of the appraised value of the property as determined by the certificate of the assessor.
      1. Notice of the sale shall be published for two (2) consecutive weekly insertions in some newspaper published and having a general circulation in the county.
      2. The notice shall specify:
        1. The description of the property to be sold;
        2. The time and place for submitting written bids; and
        3. The appraised value of the property to be sold.
      3. The notice shall be dated and signed by the judge.
      4. If the sale is conducted on the internet, the notice shall be placed on the internet under this section, and the invoice from the internet vendor or publisher shall be accompanied by a statement from the internet vendor or publisher that the sale was published and conducted on the internet.
    1. The judge shall have the right to reject any bids received by him or her under the notice.
      1. When the judge has accepted a bid for the property, the judge may sell and convey the property to the highest bidder.
      2. When the sale has been approved and completed, the county court shall enter an order approving the sale, which shall set forth the details of the sale as provided in subdivision (d)(3)(B) of this section.
      1. Any sale or conveyance of real or personal property belonging to any county not made under the terms of this section shall be null and void.
      2. The county fixed asset listing shall be amended to reflect all sales or conveyances made by the county under this section.
        1. Any taxpayer of the county may bring an action to cancel the sale and to recover possession of the property sold within two (2) years from the date a sale is consummated.
        2. This action for the use and benefit of the county is to be taken in the circuit court of the county in which the sale is made or in any county where personal property so sold may be found.
        3. In the event the property is recovered for the county in the action, the purchaser shall not be entitled to a refund of the consideration paid by him or her for the sale.
    1. The procedures for sale and conveyance of county property set forth in this section shall not apply in these instances:
      1. When personal property of the county is traded in on new or used equipment and credit approximating the fair market price of the personal property is given to the county toward the purchase price of new equipment;
      2. When the sale of the personal property of the county involves the sale by the county of any materials separated, collected, recovered, or created by a recycling program authorized and operated by the county;
      3. When the county is conveying an easement, including, but not limited to, easements granted upon county lands for water improvements, sewer improvements, gas lines, electric lines, phone lines, utilities, railways, public roads, highways, and conservation easements as described in the Conservation Easement Act, § 15-20-401 et seq., for any of the purposes enumerated in the Conservation Easement Act, § 15-20-401 et seq., as the same may be amended from time to time;
      4. When the county is leasing county property, including, but not limited to, leasing county lands or property under §§ 14-16-108 — 14-16-110, or the Municipalities and Counties Industrial Development Revenue Bond Law, § 14-164-201 et seq.; or
      5. When a sale or disposal of property is conducted under another section of the Arkansas Code.
    1. County hospitals constructed or maintained in whole or part by taxes approved by the voters shall not be sold unless the sale is approved by the majority of electors voting on the issue at a general or special election. This subsection is applicable to county hospitals constructed before and after July 20, 1987.
    2. An election shall not be required for the sale of a county hospital that has been vacant or not used as a county hospital for more than one hundred twenty (120) days.

History. Acts 1945, No. 193, §§ 1-6; 1963, No. 213, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-304 — 17-309; Acts 1987, No. 448, § 1; 1993, No. 732, § 1; 1997, No. 1107, §§ 1, 2; 2001, No. 1050, §§ 1, 2; 2005, No. 1240, § 1; 2009, No. 410, §§ 3 — 5; 2011, No. 614, § 3; 2011, No. 1014, § 1; 2019, No. 212, § 1.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment substituted “two thousand dollars ($2,000)” for “one thousand dollars ($1,000)” in (d)(1); in (e), substituted “two thousand dollars ($2,000)” for “one thousand dollars ($1,000)” in (e)(1)(A)(i) and (e)(1)(B), inserted “including that the sale may be conducted on the Internet” in (e)(2)(B)(ii) and made a related change, and inserted (e)(2)(D); and in (g), inserted (g)(2) and redesignated the remaining text accordingly.

The 2011 amendment by No. 614 inserted “or by Internet sale” in (e)(1)(A)(i); inserted “the notice shall be placed on the Internet under this section, and” in (e)(2)(D); redesignated former (e)(4)(A) and (e)(4)(B)(i) as (e)(4)(A); deleted “he or she, as chair of the approval board, shall immediately call a meeting of the board, and the proposals to sell at the acceptable bid shall be submitted to the board for its approval” following “bid for the property” in (e)(4)(A); redesignated former (e)(4)(B)(ii) as (e)(4)(B); added (f)(1)(B) and redesignated former (f)(1)(B) as (f)(1)(C); and substituted “§§ 14-16-10814-16-110” for “§ 14-16-108, § 14-16-109, § 14-16-110” in (f)(2)(D).

The 2011 amendment by No. 1014 substituted “as used” for “prescribed” in (b)(3); inserted “the Conservation Easement Act” in (b)(4); inserted (b)(5); inserted “by sealed bids or Internet sales” in (d)(1); and inserted present (d)(2) and redesignated the remaining subdivisions accordingly.

The 2019 amendment substituted “five thousand dollars ($5,000)” for “the sum of two thousand dollars ($2,000)” in (d)(1) and (e)(1)(A); in (e)(1), deleted the former (e)(1)(A)(i) designation and deleted (e)(1)(A)(ii); deleted “and best” following “highest” in (e)(1)(A); in (e)(1)(B), substituted “The county judge shall not sell property under subdivision (e)(1)(A) of this section” for “The property, when it exceeds the appraised value of two thousand dollars ($2,000), shall not be sold”, and inserted “of the property”; deleted “including that the sale may be conducted on the Internet” following “bids” in (e)(2)(B)(ii); deleted “and if a majority of the board approves the sale” preceding “the judge may sell” in (e)(4)(A), and made stylistic changes.

Cross References. Arkansas Governmental Compliance Act, § 10-4-301 et seq.

Disposition of public use property, § 22-4-501.

Exercise of powers by county judge, § 14-14-1102.

Sale of county issued firearms to deputies, § 12-15-301.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev.

Survey of Legislation, 2005 Arkansas General Assembly, Local Government, 28 U. Ark. Little Rock. L. Rev. 373.

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

The right of a county court to order sale of county property for such a consideration as it deemed proper did not conflict with Ark. Const., Art. 12, § 5. Little Rock Chamber of Commerce v. Pulaski County, 113 Ark. 439, 168 S.W. 848 (1914) (decision under prior law).

Purpose.

Purpose in providing procedure for sale of county property is to make public all dispositions of county property. State ex rel. Miller County v. Eason, 219 Ark. 36, 240 S.W.2d 36 (1951).

Applicability.

This section is superseded with respect to cases coming within the purview of § 14-164-201 et seq. relating to county industrial development revenue bonds. Dumas v. Jerry, 257 Ark. 1031, 521 S.W.2d 539 (1975).

County judge complied with the procedures set forth in § 14-16-106(c) when he sold a gravel crusher belonging to the county after he conferred with the county assessor and they agreed it was junk that should be sold for scrap. The general assembly did not intend for the provisions of this section for sales of county property generally to apply to sales or disposal of surplus property under § 14-16-106. Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov't v. Hinchey, 2013 Ark. 84 (2013).

Authority to Sell.

When agent for commissioner for sale of county property delivered the commissioner's deed to the purchaser without receiving the purchase price, he would be personally responsible to the county therefor. Jacks v. State, 44 Ark. 61 (1884) (decision under prior law).

When county court had authority to sell the property of the county, nothing short of fraud or grossly inadequate consideration as would amount to fraud would invalidate an order of the court in directing a conveyance. Little Rock Chamber of Commerce v. Pulaski County, 113 Ark. 439, 168 S.W. 848 (1914) (decision under prior law).

The consideration for the sale of county property could have been something other than money, and the county court in exercising its power could have determined what was to the best interests of the county. Little Rock Chamber of Commerce v. Pulaski County, 113 Ark. 439, 168 S.W. 848 (1914); Washington County v. Lynn Shelton Post, 201 Ark. 301, 144 S.W.2d 20 (1940) (decisions under prior law).

Former similar statute conferred power upon the county court to sell and convey property of the county not held in trust for specific purposes. Washington County v. Lynn Shelton Post, 201 Ark. 301, 144 S.W.2d 20 (1940) (decision under prior law).

“New.”

The word “new,” as used in the second clause of subdivision (f)(2), means new to the county, although it may be second-hand equipment; although this interpretation renders two different meanings of the term within the same sentence, it is nevertheless a reasonable and proper interpretation of this section. Robinson v. Clark Contracting Co., 992 F.2d 154 (8th Cir. 1993).

Procedure for Sale.

There was no substantial compliance by the county court with procedure for sale of county auto where it merely orally requested an appraisement by county assessor without entering an order describing the property to be sold for delivery by clerk to the assessor. State ex rel. Miller County v. Eason, 219 Ark. 36, 240 S.W.2d 36 (1951).

Allowance of claim by county court for purchase of new truck by county less allowance for old truck did not constitute ratification where county court had not substantially complied with law in having old truck appraised. State ex rel. Miller County v. Eason, 219 Ark. 36, 240 S.W.2d 36 (1951).

A judge has no right to sell county property without complying with this section. Goodwin v. State, 235 Ark. 457, 360 S.W.2d 490 (1962).

Timeliness.

Steel manufacturer's counterclaims against a gas corporation, which challenged easements that were granted to the gas corporation by a county, were procedurally barred under § 14-16-105(f)(1)(A) because they were not brought within two years from the date the sales were consummated. MacSteel Div. of Quanex v. Ark. Okla. Gas Corp., 363 Ark. 22, 210 S.W.3d 878 (2005).

Void or Voidable Transactions.

Lease made contrary to former similar statute was held void for that and other reasons. State ex rel. Garland County v. Baxter, 50 Ark. 447, 8 S.W. 188 (1888) (decision under prior law).

County was not estopped to deny validity of sale of used truck owned by county in suit by taxpayer in behalf of county where procedure for appraisement of county property was not substantially complied with by the county court, since sale was void. State ex rel. Miller County v. Eason, 219 Ark. 36, 240 S.W.2d 36 (1951).

Car belonging to a county and sold to a dealer who, after expending money in repairs on it, resold it to the county, was properly excluded from lien on all other property purchased from the dealer, since this sale could have been found to be a part of an overall scheme to defraud the county with the dealer a part of that scheme. Goodwin v. State, 235 Ark. 457, 360 S.W.2d 490 (1962).

Where sale of county property was not contrary to provisions of this section, but was subject to attack for stifling of bidding, the sale was merely voidable, and equity could mold a remedy to fit the case. State ex rel. Peevy v. Cate, 236 Ark. 836, 371 S.W.2d 541 (1963).

Provision giving lessee of county property option to purchase was void, as was provision giving him right to any money received in any eminent domain proceeding, such provisions failing to comply with this section governing disposition of county property; however, with the two provisions stricken, the lease was valid. State ex rel. Peevy v. Cate, 236 Ark. 836, 371 S.W.2d 541 (1963).

Where taxpayer, before protesting sale of county property, allowed purchaser to expend over $28,000 for improvements, to sell a small parcel to others who built a home thereon, and to receive proceeds from condemnation proceedings, resale would not be decreed unless or until purchaser failed to pay the actual value of the property at time of sale, with interest and costs. State ex rel. Peevy v. Cate, 236 Ark. 836, 371 S.W.2d 541 (1963).

The Arkansas Constitution vests exclusive jurisdiction over county property in the county court so that a deed executed by the county judge purporting to convey a tract of county property was void from the outset, and two-year limitation in subsection (f) on bringing taxpayer's suits to cancel improperly made conveyances, being curative in nature, could not remedy such a defect. Maroney v. Universal Leasing Corp., 263 Ark. 8, 562 S.W.2d 77 (1978).

Summary judgment for gas company in its declaratory action was proper as the county's grant of a pipeline easement to manufacturer was null and void due to the county's failure to follow the appraisal, notice, and bidding procedures required in this section, and the exemptions set out in subdivision (f)(2) for conservation easements did not include the pipeline easement; further, the 2005 amendment to this section, which exempted all easements, could not be applied retroactively because the amendment changed prior law rather than merely clarifying it. MacSteel Div. of Quanex v. Ark. Okla. Gas Corp., 363 Ark. 22, 210 S.W.3d 878 (2005).

Judgment was properly awarded to a gas corporation in its action for a declaratory judgment that the grant of a pipeline easement by a county, so that a steel manufacturer could obtain gas from the interstate natural gas market, was null and void pursuant to § 14-16-105(f)(1)(A) where the conveyance was not made pursuant to the procedures of the statute. MacSteel Div. of Quanex v. Ark. Okla. Gas Corp., 363 Ark. 22, 210 S.W.3d 878 (2005).

Cited: Daniels v. City of Ft. Smith, 268 Ark. 157, 594 S.W.2d 238 (1980); Bell v. Crawford County, 287 Ark. 251, 697 S.W.2d 910 (1985); Dudley v. Little River County, 305 Ark. 102, 805 S.W.2d 645 (1991); Ark. Okla. Gas Corp. v. MacSteel Div. of Quanex, 370 Ark. 481, 262 S.W.3d 147 (2007); Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov't v. Hinchey, 2011 Ark. 533 (2011).

14-16-106. Sale or disposal of surplus property.

  1. If it is determined by the county judge to be surplus, any personal or real property owned by a county may be sold at public auction or by internet sale to the highest bidder.
    1. Notice of the public auction shall be published at least one (1) time a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the county.
    2. The notice shall specify the description of the property to be sold and the time and place of the public auction or internet sale.
      1. If the property will be sold by internet sale, the notice of sale shall be placed on the website of the internet vendor for no less than eight (8) consecutive days before the date of sale and shall contain a description of the property to be sold and the time of the sale.
      2. An additional notice may be posted on a county-owned or county-affiliated website, trade website, or business website for no less than eight (8) consecutive days before the date of sale.
    1. If it is determined by the county judge and the county assessor that any personal property owned by a county is junk, scrap, discarded, or otherwise of no value to the county, then the property may be disposed of in any manner deemed appropriate by the county judge.
    2. However, the county judge shall report monthly to the quorum court any property that has been disposed of under subdivision (c)(1) of this section.
  2. The county fixed asset listing shall be amended to reflect all sales or disposal of county property made by the county under this section.
  3. If the sale is conducted on the internet, the invoice from the internet vendor or publisher shall be accompanied by a statement from the internet vendor or publisher that the sale was published and conducted on the internet.
    1. When the sale is complete, the county court shall enter an order approving the sale.
    2. The order shall set forth:
      1. The description of the property sold;
      2. The name of the purchaser;
      3. The terms of the sale;
      4. That the proceeds of the sale have been deposited with the county treasurer; and
      5. The funds to which the proceeds were credited by the county treasurer.

History. Acts 1980 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 41, § 1; 1980 (1st Ex. Sess.), No. 63, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-322; Acts 1997, No. 364, § 1; 2005, No. 725, § 1; 2011, No. 614, § 4; 2011, No. 1014, § 2; 2019, No. 880, § 1.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment by No. 614 inserted “or by Internet sale” in (a), (b)(1) and (2); and added (d).

The 2011 amendment by No. 1014 added (b)(3), (e), and (f).

The 2019 amendment deleted “or Internet sale” following “public auction” in (b)(1).

Case Notes

Compliance.

County judge complied with the procedures set forth in subsection (c) of this section when he sold a gravel crusher belonging to the county after he conferred with the county assessor and they agreed it was junk that should be sold for scrap. The general assembly did not intend for the provisions of § 14-16-105 for sales of county property generally to apply to sales or disposal of surplus property under this section. Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov't v. Hinchey, 2013 Ark. 84 (2013).

Cited: Searcy County Counsel for Ethical Gov't v. Hinchey, 2011 Ark. 533 (2011).

14-16-107. Sale of realty to certain organizations.

Whenever a portion of county lands are dedicated for the benefit of any lawfully incorporated, quasi-public, nonprofit, nonsectarian organizations including, but not limited to, medical clinics, that county real property may be sold to any buyer, upon the approval of the county judge and a two-thirds vote of the quorum court of the county, without the necessity of soliciting for competitive bids.

History. Acts 1977, No. 750, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-321.

14-16-108. Sale or lease of county hospital to municipality.

  1. Any other law notwithstanding in this state, from and after the passage of this act, the county court of each county of the State of Arkansas shall have the right to sell or lease any county-owned hospital, where there is no outstanding bonded indebtedness, upon such terms and conditions as the court may deem advisable for the best interests of the county, to any municipality located within the county.
    1. Before any such sale or lease shall be entered into, the proposition shall be submitted to the county quorum court for approval or rejection.
    2. If a majority of the county quorum court voting thereon approves it, then the county court is authorized to execute other instruments that may be necessary to facilitate the sale or lease.
  2. Each sale or lease shall recite in the instrument of conveyance that should the municipality that has been granted the sale or lease of the county-owned hospital have any reason to discontinue to use it for hospital or nursing home purposes, then, in that event, the property shall revert back to the county, and title to the hospital shall be revested in the county.

History. Acts 1965, No. 115, §§ 1-3; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-316 — 17-318.

Publisher's Notes. In reference to the term “passage of this act,” Acts 1965, No. 115, was signed by the Governor and became effective on February 23, 1965.

Cross References. Sale of county property generally, § 14-16-105.

14-16-109. Lease of county lands to municipality.

  1. Any county in this state may lease any lands owned by the county to any municipality in the county to be used for such purposes, subject to such restrictions, and for such consideration or compensation as shall be agreed upon by the contracting county and municipality.
  2. In addition to other terms the county court finds reasonable and proper, the contract for the lease of county property shall provide that when the leased property ceases to be used for the purpose expressed in the lease or needs to be used by the county, the lease may be cancelled by the county court after reasonable notice.

History. Acts 1971, No. 444, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-319; Acts 2009, No. 410, § 6.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment in (a) substituted “may” for “is authorized and empowered to”, and added (b), redesignated the remaining text accordingly, and made a minor stylistic change.

14-16-110. Lease of county property to educational institutions.

  1. Any lawfully incorporated nonprofit, nonsectarian educational institution; any lawfully incorporated nonprofit, nonsectarian boys' club or girls' club; or any lawfully incorporated quasi-public, nonprofit, nonsectarian organizations including, but not limited to community mental health centers, may petition the county court of any county or county district in which the institution, club, or organization is located to lease to it real or personal property belonging to the county for use by the institution, club, or organization.
    1. Immediately upon the filing of the petition, the judge of the county court shall make an order fixing a time and place for a public hearing on the petition, notice of which order shall be given by the county clerk by publication one (1) time in a legal newspaper having a bona fide legal circulation in the county or county district at least ten (10) days prior to the date fixed for the hearing.
      1. The notice shall state the time of filing, the substance and purpose of the petition, and the time and place of hearing it.
        1. The hearing shall be public, and all persons having an interest in the subject matter of the petition shall be entitled to be heard either in person or by attorney.
        2. The hearing may be continued or adjourned to a further date, at the discretion of the court, but no further notice thereof by publication shall be required.
    1. When satisfied from the petition or the evidence, if any, at the hearing that any real or personal property belonging to the county or county district is not, and in the future will not be, needed for use by the county and that the property may be used by any lawfully incorporated, quasi-public, nonprofit, nonsectarian institution, club, or organization in the county or county district, then the county court may order the lease of any property to the legally constituted directors or trustees of the institution, club, or organization for such time and upon such terms and conditions as the county court, in its discretion, shall find just, reasonable, and proper.
    2. The lease shall be signed and approved by the judge of the county court and by the directors or trustees of the institution, club, or organization and shall thereafter be and become a binding and valid contract when the order authorizing it shall have become final as provided in this section.
    3. Any such lease shall provide, in addition to any other terms as the county court shall deem reasonable and proper, that when the property ceases to be used for the foregoing purposes or needs to be used by the county, the lease may be cancelled by the county court, after reasonable notice.
      1. When a hearing shall have been had pursuant to notice, as provided in this section, and an order granting or denying the petition shall have been made, the order shall become final and binding thirty (30) days after entry unless within that thirty (30) days any interested person or taxpayer of the county or county district shall appeal to the circuit court of the county or county district, the appeal from the order to be prosecuted and determined in the same manner as provided by law for appeals from the county court to the circuit court in municipal annexation cases.
      2. In like manner, the final judgment of the circuit court may be appealed by any interested person or taxpayer to the Supreme Court likewise as in such cases.
    1. Any appeal to the circuit court or from the circuit court to the Supreme Court must be taken and transcript lodged in the appellate court not later than thirty (30) days after the judgment or order of the court appealed from, and that appeal shall be advanced on motion of any party thereto.
    2. In the event of any appeal from the order of the county court as provided in this subsection, the order shall not become final until the appeal is finally determined.

History. Acts 1951, No. 26, §§ 1, 2; 1957, No. 37, § 1; 1975, No. 192, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-313, 17-314; Acts 2009, No. 410, § 7.

Amendments. The 2009 amendment in (c)(3) inserted “or needs to be used by the county” and made minor stylistic changes.

Case Notes

Appeals.

Appeal from action of county court denying petition for order nunc pro tunc because of loss of original order under subsections (a)-(c) granting lease to chamber of commerce by county was governed by general provisions of § 16-67-201 rather than subsection (d). Piggott Junior Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v. Hollis, 242 Ark. 205, 412 S.W.2d 595 (1967).

Cited: Piggott Junior Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v. Hollis, 242 Ark. 205, 412 S.W.2d 595 (1967); Hollis v. Piggott Junior Chamber of Commerce, 248 Ark. 725, 453 S.W.2d 410 (1970).

14-16-111. Development of port facilities.

  1. Any county in this state which is partially bounded by a navigable stream or through which a navigable stream flows may independently, or jointly with another county, or with one (1) or more municipalities, establish, equip, maintain, and operate a river port or port facility at an appropriate place in the county. The county may issue bonds to provide funds for the construction and operation of the port facility in the manner and under the conditions and requirements as prescribed in §§ 14-186-401 — 14-186-417.
  2. The provisions of this section shall be supplemental to and shall not repeal, modify, or otherwise affect any other laws of this state relating to the establishment of port facilities by counties and cities in this state.

History. Acts 1971, No. 150, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 17-320, 17-320n.

Cross References. Harbors and port facilities generally, § 14-186-101 et seq.

14-16-112. Flood control.

    1. The counties of this state are authorized and empowered to enter upon, take, and hold any lands or interest, easement, or servitude therein, whether by purchase, grant, donation, devise, or otherwise, that may be necessary and proper for the location, construction, operation, repair, or maintenance of any floodway, reservoir, spillway, levee or diversion, or other flood control improvements.
      1. In order to acquire such rights, easements, and servitudes, the counties are given the authority and power to condemn lands or interest therein for these purposes.
      2. In the event it becomes necessary for counties to exercise the right of eminent domain, condemnation proceedings shall be instituted and conducted in the same manner as provided in §§ 18-15-304 — 18-15-307.
  1. Nothing in this section shall ever be so construed or applied as to relieve the federal government of any liability or responsibility which it has assumed by the passage of the Flood Control Act of May 15, 1928, or the Flood Control Act of June 15, 1936, or any other existing law, or any law that may hereafter be passed by the United States Congress.

History. Acts 1955, No. 73, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-315.

U.S. Code. The Flood Control Act of Congress approved May 15, 1928, referred to in this section, is codified as 33 U.S.C. §§ 702a, 702b-702d, 702e-702g, 702h-702j, 702k, 702l, 702m, and 704.

The Flood Control Act of Congress approved June 15, 1936, referred to in this section, is codified as 33 U.S.C. §§ 702a-1, 702a-2 — 702a-11, 702g-1, 702j-1, 702j-2, 702k-1, and 702k-2.

Cross References. Distribution of federal funds received for lease of lands for flood control purposes, § 19-7-403.

14-16-113. Sale proceeds paid into county road fund.

Upon the sale of county property which the county purchased with funds from the county road fund, the proceeds of the sale shall be paid into the county road fund. If, in addition to county road funds, other funds were used by the county to purchase the property, then the amount to be paid into the county road fund shall be a portion of the proceeds determined by using the ratio of the amount of county road funds used by the county in purchasing the property to the full purchase price paid by the county.

History. Acts 1989, No. 169, § 1.

14-16-114. Financial aid.

  1. Counties, pursuant to an ordinance properly and lawfully adopted by their quorum courts, are empowered and authorized to annually grant financial aid to any public postsecondary educational institution located within their borders for the purpose of assisting the institution in paying its lawful expenses of operation.
  2. The ordinance shall be effective for a period of twelve (12) months.

History. Acts 1993, No. 866, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1993, No. 866, § 1, is also codified as § 14-58-505.

14-16-115. Resident bidding preference limitation.

Unless a bidding preference for firms resident in the county or in the state is authorized by state law, no county shall allow such a preference in the awarding of a construction contract.

History. Acts 1997, No. 1161, § 1.

14-16-116. Property exchange or transfer by counties.

  1. A county may:
    1. Exchange or transfer properties, real or personal, with other counties, municipalities, community colleges, or institutions of higher education; and
    2. Exchange real property with individuals or nonprofit corporations when in the best interest of the county.
    1. An exchange or transfer under this section shall be:
      1. Authorized, approved, or confirmed by ordinance of the quorum court; and
      2. Accomplished in accordance with procedures prescribed or confirmed by the quorum court.
    2. An ordinance adopted by the quorum court under this section shall be:
      1. Confirmed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the quorum court; and
      2. Filed with the county clerk and include a copy of the bill of sale setting forth the terms and conditions of the sale, transfer, deed, or conveyance.
  2. An agreement for service, legal tender, or other consideration may be accepted in exchange for real or personal property under this section.
  3. A transfer made under this section is exempt from §§ 14-16-105 and 14-16-106, § 14-22-101 et seq., and the Arkansas Procurement Law, § 19-11-201 et seq.

History. Acts 1999, No. 1248, § 1; 2015, No. 98, § 1; 2019, No. 502, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1999, No. 1248 became law without the Governor's signature.

Amendments. The 2015 amendment designated the former section as (a) and (b); in (a), inserted “or transfer” and substituted “counties, municipalities, community colleges, or institutions of higher education” for “counties or with municipalities”; in (b), substituted “An exchange or transfer under this section” for “Provided, any such exchange,” deleted “shall be” preceding “accomplished,” and inserted “or confirmed”; added (c) and (d); and inserted “or transfer” in the section heading.

The 2019 amendment substituted “A county may” for “Counties are authorized to” in (a); added the (a)(1) designation; added “and” at the end of (a)(1); added (a)(2); added the (b)(1), (b)(1)(A), and (b)(1)(B) designations and made related changes; substituted “Authorized, approved, or confirmed by ordinance” for “approved by ordinances” in (b)(1)(A); and added (b)(2).

14-16-117. Controlled burns.

A property owner in an unincorporated area of a county may conduct a controlled burn of a residence or structure on the property owner's property in the county if:

  1. The property owner applies to the county judge of that county and the fire department that is responsible for providing fire protection services for the property for approval to conduct the controlled burn;
  2. The application under subdivision (1) of this section is approved by the county judge and the fire department; and
  3. Before the approval under subdivision (2) of this section, the property owner demonstrates to the county judge and the fire department that:
    1. The property owner has complied with applicable state and federal environmental laws, rules, and regulations regarding asbestos abatement;
    2. The property owner ensures that the residence or structure is free of asbestos-containing materials, is free of contents, and otherwise demonstrates compliance with applicable state and federal environmental laws, rules, and regulations regarding hazardous wastes; and
    3. Provisions are made for the proper disposal of any remaining debris.

History. Acts 2015, No. 1274, § 1; 2017, No. 299, § 1; 2019, No. 315, § 989.

Amendments. The 2017 amendment inserted “in an unincorporated area of a county” in the introductory language; and substituted “county judge” for “quorum court” in (1), (2), and (3).

The 2019 amendment inserted “rules” following “laws” in (3)(A) and (3)(B).

Subchapter 2 — Public Recreation and Playgrounds

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1941, No. 291 is also codified as § 6-21-501 et seq. and § 14-54-1301 et seq.

Cross References. Parks annexed to city, § 14-40-204.

Title to parks not acquired by adverse possession, § 22-1-201.

Effective Dates. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 6: approved Mar. 26, 1941. Emergency clause provided: “This act being necessary for the promotion of an adequate National Defense and an able-bodied citizenry, an emergency is declared to exist and the same shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.”

Case Notes

Swimming Pools.

For cases discussing liability in operation of swimming pools by municipalities, see Handley v. City of Hope, 137 F. Supp. 442 (W.D. Ark. 1956), appeal dismissed, Handley v. Hope, 239 F.2d 647 (8th Cir. Ark. 1956); Cabbiness v. City of N. Little Rock, 228 Ark. 356, 307 S.W.2d 529 (1957).

Cited: Kendall v. Henderson, 238 Ark. 832, 384 S.W.2d 954, 384 S.W.2d 955 (1964).

14-16-201. Authority to operate.

  1. Any county or county board may:
    1. Operate a program of public recreation and playgrounds;
    2. Acquire, equip, and maintain land, buildings, or other recreational facilities; and
    3. Expend funds for the operation of the program pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter.
  2. The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to § 17-22-201 et seq.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-3601.

14-16-202. Operation of programs generally.

  1. Any county or county board may operate a program of public recreation and playgrounds independently; or they may cooperate in its conduct and in any manner in which they may mutually agree, including with cities, towns, or school districts; or they may delegate the cooperation of the program to a recreation board created by one or more of them and appropriate money voted for this purpose to the board.
  2. In the case of school districts, the right to enter into such agreements with any other public corporation, board, or body or the right to delegate power to a board for operating a program of recreation shall be authorized only by a majority vote cast at an annual school election.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-3602.

14-16-203. State aid not used.

State aid shall not be used for recreational purposes as provided in this subchapter.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-3602.

14-16-204. Use of school funds.

In all cases where school funds are utilized for programs under this subchapter, the State Board of Education shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, published, and distributed, adequate and appropriate manuals and other materials as it may deem necessary or suitable to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-3604.

14-16-205. Gifts and bequests.

Any corporation, board, or body given charge of a recreation program shall have authority to accept gifts and bequests for the benefit of the recreational service.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-3603.

14-16-206. Property used for activities.

Any corporation, board, or body given charge of a recreation program is authorized to conduct its activities on:

  1. Property under its custody and management;
  2. Other public property under the custody of any other public organization, body, or board, with the consent of the corporations, bodies, or boards; and
  3. Private property, with the consent of its owners.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-3603.

14-16-207. Use of school facilities.

  1. The facilities of any school district operating a recreation program pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter shall be used primarily for the purpose of conducting the regular school curriculum and related activities, and the use of school facilities for recreation purposes authorized by this subchapter shall be secondary.
  2. In all cases where school property is utilized for programs under this subchapter, the State Board of Education shall prepare or cause to be prepared, published, and distributed adequate and appropriate manuals and other materials as it may deem necessary or suitable to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, §§ 4, 5; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 19-3604, 19-3605.

14-16-208. Directors and instructors.

  1. Any corporation, board, or body given charge of a recreation program shall have authority to employ directors and instructors of recreational work.
  2. In all cases where school funds or property are utilized for programs under this subchapter, the State Board of Education shall establish minimum qualifications of local recreational directors and instructors.

History. Acts 1941, No. 291, §§ 3, 4; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 19-3603, 19-3604.

Subchapter 3 — Public Property for Processing Crude Biogenic Gases

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1983, No. 478, is also codified as § 14-54-401 et seq.

14-16-301. Authority to lease, etc.

Each county shall have the authority to lease, let, sell, or convey any real property owned or controlled by the county for the production, reclamation, and refining of crude biogenic gases pursuant to competitive sealed bidding procedures under this subchapter.

History. Acts 1983, No. 478, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2356.

14-16-302. Bidding process.

    1. The county judge shall publish a notice inviting sealed bids for the leasing, letting, selling, or conveying of real property for the production, reclamation, and refining of crude biogenic gases. This notice shall be published in a legal newspaper in the county where the property is located one (1) time each week for the four (4) weeks immediately prior to the date set for receiving bids.
    2. No bid shall be received, accepted, or considered when received after the date set for the receipt of bids.
    1. Within thirty (30) days after the date set for the receipt of bids, the bids shall be opened and read at a public meeting of the county quorum court.
      1. At the meeting, the county judge shall select and award the lease to the property or award the property to the highest, responsible, and best bidder.
      2. The county judge may reject all bids and begin the bidding process anew.

History. Acts 1983, No. 478, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2357.

14-16-303. Implementing legislation.

Each county may provide, by ordinance, for the implementation of this subchapter, but no provision shall be contrary to it.

History. Acts 1983, No. 478, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2358.

14-16-304. Authority to issue bonds.

This subchapter shall not limit the authority of any county to lease, let, sell, or convey any real property pursuant to the Arkansas Constitution and the laws of Arkansas concerning the issuance of bonds for the purpose of industrial development and other lawful purposes.

History. Acts 1983, No. 478, § 4; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2359.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey, Water and Environmental Law, 12 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 665.

Subchapter 4 — Areas Adjacent to Shopping Centers

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1973, No. 472, is also codified as § 14-54-501 et seq.

Effective Dates. Acts 1977, No. 796, § 3: Mar. 28, 1977. Emergency clause provided: “The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas hereby finds that the matters affected by this Act have a direct relation to the administration of justice and the preservation of public order and safety in the areas affected. Therefore, an emergency is hereby found and declared to exist, and this Act being necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval.”

14-16-401. Authority to control use.

The county courts of this state are delegated the power and authority to enter orders to limit and control the use of areas adjacent to shopping centers and other commercial enterprises which are privately owned but which are maintained for the convenience of the public so as to provide ingress and egress, loading and unloading areas, fire lanes, parking spaces, parking areas designated for the exclusive use of individuals with disabilities, and other measures for the safety and convenience of the public.

History. Acts 1973, No. 472, § 1; 1985, No. 527, § 1; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2350.

14-16-402. Plat of area.

  1. No order shall be entered unless and until the owner or lessee of an area sought to be regulated has presented to the county court a plat of the area upon which is shown the proposed limitations and controls.
  2. The plat shall in no way limit the power and authority of the county court but shall be advisory only.

History. Acts 1973, No. 472, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2351.

Research References

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Survey, Water and Environmental Law, 12 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 665.

14-16-403. Posting of signs, etc. — Penalty.

  1. When the county court has entered an order, at his or her expense the owner or lessee of the area to be controlled shall post the signs, paint the lines, arrows, and curbings in the required colors, and install the devices and signals to apprise the public of the existence of the court order.
  2. Thereafter, persons who violate these orders shall be punished as provided in the orders. However, no fine shall be less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than fifty dollars ($50.00).

History. Acts 1973, No. 472, § 3; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2352.

14-16-404. Policing of area.

  1. No county shall be required to patrol the area which is controlled as provided in this subchapter, but, upon being called, law enforcement officers shall come to the scene of the alleged violation and, where warranted by law or ordinance, issue citations or make arrests.
  2. This section is cumulative to other laws on this subject and specifically does not repeal § 16-81-108.

History. Acts 1973, No. 472, § 4; 1977, No. 796, §§ 1, 2; A.S.A. 1947, §§ 19-2353, 19-2353.1.

14-16-405. Tort liability unchanged.

Nothing in this subchapter shall limit or extend the law of this state with reference to tort liability of any person, firm, or corporation.

History. Acts 1973, No. 472, § 5; A.S.A. 1947, § 19-2354.

Subchapter 5 — Regulation of Use of Firearms and Archery Equipment

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this subchapter” in §§ 14-16-50114-16-503 may not apply to § 14-16-504 which was enacted subsequently.

Cross References. Sport shooting range noise pollution, § 16-105-501 et seq.

14-16-501. Regulation upon request of suburban improvement district.

  1. Upon the written request of the governing body of a suburban improvement district, a county may by ordinance regulate the discharge of firearms and the shooting of archery equipment within all or any part of the suburban improvement district.
  2. As used in this section, “suburban improvement district” means a suburban improvement district which includes as one of its purposes for organization the construction or maintenance of roads or streets and which is governed by § 14-92-201 et seq. or its predecessor acts.

History. Acts 1991, No. 385, § 1; 1991, No. 681, § 1.

14-16-502. Regulation upon request of property owners' association.

Upon the written request of a property owners' association which has a population at least equal to that prescribed for cities of the first class and which is located outside the boundaries of a municipality, a county may by ordinance regulate the discharge of firearms and the shooting of archery equipment within all or any part of the area included in the property owners' association.

History. Acts 1991, No. 385, § 2.

14-16-503. Exemptions.

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to prohibit:

  1. The discharge of a firearm or archery equipment in the defense of life or property;
  2. The discharge of a firearm or archery equipment at a public or private shooting range or gallery; or
  3. The discharge of a firearm by a law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duty.

History. Acts 1991, No. 385, § 3.

14-16-504. Regulation by local unit of government.

  1. As used in this section, “local unit of government” means a city, town, or county.
      1. A local unit of government shall not enact any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner, the ownership, transfer, transportation, carrying, or possession of firearms, ammunition for firearms, or components of firearms, except as otherwise provided in state or federal law.
      2. The provision in subdivision (b)(1)(A) of this section does not prevent the enactment of an ordinance regulating or forbidding the unsafe discharge of a firearm.
      1. A local unit of government shall not have the authority to bring suit and shall not have the right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer for damages, abatement, or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.
      2. The authority to bring any suit and the right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer for damages, abatement, or injunctive relief shall be reserved exclusively to the State of Arkansas.
      3. However, subdivisions (b)(1)(A) and (B) of this section do not prevent a local unit of government from bringing suit against a firearm or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the local unit of government.
    1. The governing body of a local unit of government, following the proclamation by the Governor of a state of emergency, is prohibited from enacting an emergency ordinance regulating the transfer, transportation, or carrying of firearms or components of firearms.
    2. A person who has his or her firearm seized in violation of subdivision (c)(1) of this section may bring an action in the circuit court having jurisdiction for the return of the seized firearm.

History. Acts 1993, No. 1100, §§ 1-3; 1999, No. 951, § 1; 2011, No. 165, § 1.

A.C.R.C. Notes. References to “this subchapter” in §§ 14-16-50114-16-503 may not apply to this section which was enacted subsequently.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1993, No. 1100, §§ 1-3, are also codified as § 14-54-1411.

Amendments. The 2011 amendment substituted “The provision in subdivision (b)(1)(A) of this section does” for “This shall” in (b)(1)(B); substituted “However, subdivisions (b)(1)(A) and (B) of this section do” for “Provided, this shall” in (b)(2)(C); in (c)(1), deleted “Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section” at the beginning and substituted “is prohibited from enacting” for “may enact”; and rewrote (c)(2).

Subchapter 6 — Rent Control Preemption

14-16-601. Rent control preemption.

  1. As used in this section, “local governmental unit” means a political subdivision of this state, including, but not limited to, a county, city, village, or township, if the political subdivision provides local government services for residents in a geographically limited area of this state as its primary purpose and has the power to act primarily on behalf of that area.
  2. A local governmental unit shall not enact, maintain, or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would have the effect of controlling the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential or commercial property.
  3. This section does not impair the right of any local governmental unit to manage and control residential property in which the local governmental unit has a property interest.

History. Acts 1993, No. 545, §§ 1-3.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1993, No. 545, §§ 1-3 are also codified as § 14-54-1409.

Subchapter 7 — Regulation of Dogs and Cats

14-16-701. Regulation by suburban improvement district.

  1. Upon the written request of the governing body of a suburban improvement district, a county may by ordinance control and regulate dogs and cats within all or any part of the suburban improvement district.
  2. As used in this section, “suburban improvement district” means a suburban improvement district which includes as one of its purposes for organization the construction or maintenance of roads or streets and which is governed by § 14-92-201 et seq. or its predecessor acts.

History. Acts 1993, No. 622, § 1.

Subchapter 8 — Preservation of Local Public Roads Act

Effective Dates. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 2: Apr. 3, 2009. Emergency clause provided: “It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that while oil or gas exploration has stimulated Arkansas's economy, the hauling operations for the disposal of materials and production fluids from oil or gas operations require the hauling of heavy loads that cause damage to roads; that the costs of repairing, resurfacing, and maintaining roads has increased dramatically in the last two (2) years, while many counties are facing declining revenue collections; and that this act is immediately necessary to provide a uniform procedure for counties that do not have road maintenance agreements with disposal haulers and disposal operators to use to ensure that adequate revenue is available to make repairs necessary to local public roads. Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist and this act being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety shall become effective on: (1) The date of its approval by the Governor; (2) If the bill is neither approved nor vetoed by the Governor, the expiration of the period of time during which the Governor may veto the bill; or (3) If the bill is vetoed by the Governor and the veto is overridden, the date the last house overrides the veto.”

14-16-801. Title.

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Preservation of Local Public Roads Act”.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-802. Purpose.

The purpose of this subchapter is to provide a procedure for addressing the anticipated damage to county roads caused by disposal hauling operations related to oil or gas exploration and to provide compensation for the anticipated damage to the roads from disposal haulers.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-803. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

  1. “Designated local road truck route” means a local public road established by the county judge as the route to be used by disposal haulers to transport materials and production fluids related to oil or gas exploration to and from a disposal facility;
  2. “Disposal facility” means a surface or injection well disposal facility designated for the disposal of materials and production fluids related to oil or gas exploration that is located on or off a local public road in the state;
  3. “Disposal hauler” means the driver, owner, or operator of a motor vehicle that is engaged in hauling materials or production fluids related to oil or gas exploration to a disposal facility;
  4. “Disposal operator” means the owner, manager, or operator of a disposal facility;
    1. “Local public road” means any public road that lies between the disposal facility and a road, street, or highway that is part of the state highway system.
    2. “Local public road” does not include a road, street, or highway that is part of the state highway system; and
  5. “Road maintenance agreement” means an agreement between the county and a disposal operator regarding compensation for damages caused by disposal haulers to any designated local road truck route.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-804. Evaluation by county judge.

  1. Notwithstanding any other procedure or authority available under law, if a county does not have a road maintenance agreement, the county judge may use the procedures under this section to evaluate the use and anticipated damage caused to local public roads in the county by disposal haulers.
  2. As part of the evaluation process, the county judge may:
    1. Receive and consider input from disposal operators on the designated local road truck route;
    2. Estimate the number of loads and damages to be sustained upon the designated local road truck route by disposal haulers;
    3. Estimate the total dedicated road revenues available to the county on an average per-mile basis for all of the local public roads in his or her respective county; and
    4. Estimate the additional revenue that may be necessary to repair and maintain the designated local road truck route because of anticipated damages.
  3. A county judge who has performed an evaluation under this section may file a report of the evaluation determinations with the quorum court.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-805. Recommendation for assessment ordinance.

  1. A county judge who has performed an evaluation under § 14-16-804 may submit to the quorum court a recommendation that an assessment be made by the county in the form of a proposed assessment ordinance as provided under this section.
    1. The proposed assessment ordinance shall include the amount that the county judge recommends to be assessed on a per-load basis for each load that is transported by a disposal hauler to a disposal facility.
    2. The maximum amount of the assessment in the proposed assessment ordinance is five dollars ($5.00) per load of materials or production fluids from oil or gas exploration.
  2. The proposed assessment ordinance shall include a penalty as provided under § 14-16-808.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-806. Assessment ordinance — Collection.

  1. If a quorum court enacts the proposed assessment ordinance recommended by the county judge under § 14-16-805, the assessment ordinance:
    1. Is limited to a maximum amount of five dollars ($5.00) per load of materials or production fluids from oil or gas exploration; and
    2. Shall include a penalty as provided under § 14-16-808.
    1. If a quorum court enacts an assessment ordinance under this subchapter, the assessment shall be collected by the disposal operator and remitted to the county treasurer on a monthly basis as provided in the ordinance.
    2. All revenue generated by this assessment shall be used exclusively to maintain and repair the designated local road truck route.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-807. Oversight.

  1. If a county judge makes recommendations under this subchapter, the county judge shall annually review his or her evaluation and recommendations as provided under this subchapter.
  2. If there is a significant change in conditions, the county judge shall file a revised evaluation and revised recommendations for consideration by the quorum court using the same procedures under which the original evaluation and recommendations were made under this subchapter.

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

14-16-808. Penalties.

The quorum court may provide penalties for the violation of an ordinance enacted under this subchapter to include a fine to be levied:

  1. For the failure of a disposal hauler to follow the designated local road truck route; and
  2. Against a disposal operator who fails to comply with § 14-16-806(b).

History. Acts 2009, No. 810, § 1.

Chapter 17 County Planning

Research References

ALR.

Zoning regulations prohibiting or limiting fences, hedges, or walls. 1 A.L.R.4th 373.

Validity of “war zone” ordinances restricting location of sex-oriented businesses. 1 A.L.R.4th 1297.

Enforcement of zoning regulation as affected by other violations. 4 A.L.R.4th 462.

Validity and construction of provisions of zoning statute or ordinance regarding protest by neighboring property owners. 7 A.L.R.4th 732.

Standing of civic or property owners' association to challenge zoning board decision (as aggrieved party). 8 A.L.R.4th 1087.

Construction of new building or structure on premises devoted to nonconforming use as zoning violation. 10 A.L.R.4th 1122.

Ordinance restricting number of unrelated persons who can live together in residential zone. 12 A.L.R.4th 238.

Standing of zoning board of appeals or similar body to appeal reversal of its decision. 13 A.L.R.4th 1130.

Validity and construction of statute or ordinance protecting historical landmarks. 18 A.L.R.4th 990.

Local use zoning of wetlands or flood plain as taking without compensation. 19 A.L.R.4th 756.

Applicability and application of zoning regulations to single residences employed for group living of mentally retarded persons. 32 A.L.R.4th 1018.

Am. Jur. 56 Am. Jur. 2d, Mun. Corp. & Coun., § 161.7.

83 Am. Jur. 2d, Zoning, §§ 7 et seq., 13, 17 et seq., 128 et seq.

Ark. L. Rev.

Burton, Predatory Municipal Zoning Practices: Changing the Presumption of Constitutionality in the Wake of the “Takings Trilogy,” 44 Ark. L. Rev. 65.

U. Ark. Little Rock L.J.

Note, Property — Zoning — The Courts Further Define Their Limited Role. City of Little Rock v. Breeding, 273 Ark. 437, 619 S.W.2d 664 (1981). 5 U. Ark. Little Rock L.J. 279.

Subchapter 1 — General Provisions

[Reserved]

Subchapter 2 — County Planning Boards

Effective Dates. Acts 1981, No. 516, § 4: Mar. 16, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the conflict contained in Section 1.0 of Act 422 of 1977 and in Section 103 of Chapter 6 of Act 742 of 1977 regarding the number of members of county planning boards has created considerable confusion and has been detrimental to the effective and efficient operation of planning boards in the respective counties; that this Act is designed to correct this conflict and to specifically provide that county planning boards shall consist of not less than five (5) nor more than twelve (12) members; and that this Act should be given effect immediately in order to enable the county planning board in the respective counties to carry out their functions and duties as prescribed by law. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 532, § 2: Mar. 17, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the filing of instruments transferring title to property is fundamental to protecting a person's title to such property, and that it is in the public interest that the county recorder accept such instruments as are presented for record, and that in order to assure said rights, it is immediately necessary to amend Act 422 of 1977 to clarify the provisions of the County Planning Law, and to prohibit the County Planning Board from adopting any regulation that might restrict a person's right to file deeds or other instruments of property transfer with the county recorder for record. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Acts 1981, No. 691, § 2: Mar. 23, 1981. Emergency clause provided: “It is hereby found and determined by the General Assembly that the filing of plats is fundamental to protecting a person's title to property, and that it is in the public interest that the County Recorder cooperate with the Planning Board in counties with populations of 300,000 or greater in acceptance of such plats as are presented for record, and that in order to assure said rights and cooperation, it is immediately necessary to amend Act 422 of 1977, to clarify the provisions of the County Planning Law. Therefore, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Act, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval.”

Research References

Ark. L. Notes.

Olson, Agricultural Zoning: A Remedy for Land Use Conflicts Between Poultry Production and Residential Development In Northwest Arkansas, 1997 Ark. L. Notes 119.

14-17-201. Construction.

This subchapter shall be construed liberally. The enumeration of any object, purpose, power, manner, method, or thing shall not be deemed to exclude like or similar objects, purposes, powers, manners, methods, or things.

History. Acts 1977, No. 422, § 10.0; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1116.

14-17-202. Applicability.

  1. Nothing in this subchapter shall invalidate any plans, ordinances, or regulations duly adopted in accordance with the statutes in effect at the time of adoption.
  2. No alteration or amendments shall be made to existing plans, ordinances, and regulations unless in conformity with the provisions of this subchapter.

History. Acts 1977, No. 422, § 8.0; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1114.

14-17-203. Creation and organization.

  1. With the approval of the majority of the members of the county quorum court, the county judge of any county may create a county planning board. The board shall consist of not less than five (5) members nor more than twelve (12) members appointed by the judge and confirmed by the court. At least one-third (1/3) of the members shall not hold any other elective office or appointment, except membership on a municipal or joint planning commission or a zoning board of adjustment.
  2. The term of each member shall be four (4) years. In the initial appointments to the board, a majority, but not exceeding three-fifths (3/5) of the total membership of the board, shall be appointed for two (2) years and the remaining members for four (4) years. A vacancy in the membership due to death, resignation, removal, or other cause shall be filled by an appointee of the judge, confirmed by the court, for the unexpired term. Any member of the board shall be subject to removal for cause upon recommendation of the judge and confirmation by the court.
  3. The board shall designate one (1) of its members as chair and select a vice chair and such other officers as it may require.
  4. A regular meeting date shall be established providing for at least one (1) regular meeting to be held in each quarter of each calendar year.
  5. The board shall adopt rules and regulations for the discharge of its duties and the transaction of business and shall keep a public record of all business, resolutions, transactions, findings, and determinations.
  6. County quorum courts may elect to assume the powers, duties, and functions of the board. Such a determination shall be implemented by ordinance. A court which elects to exercise this option shall not be bound by the provisions of this section and § 14-17-204, but may establish by ordinance such administrative changes as may be appropriate.
      1. A county quorum court may elect to act as a board of administrative appeal prior to an appeal to circuit court from a decision of the county planning board.
      2. The county judge shall be the chair of the board of administrative appeal but shall vote only in the event of a tie.
      3. The county quorum court shall determine the number of quorum court members who shall sit on the board of administrative appeal.
    1. Any appeal concerning roads shall be appealed directly to circuit court.

History. Acts 1981, No. 516, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1107; Acts 2007, No. 565, § 1.

Publisher's Notes. Acts 1981, No. 516, § 1, provided that it is found and determined by the General Assembly that Acts 1977, No. 422, § 1.0, provides that the county planning board in each county shall consist of not less than five (5) nor more than twelve (12) members; that Acts 1977, No. 742 provides that county administrative boards shall consist of five (5) members; that as a result of the conflict in the two acts regarding the number of members on county planning boards, there is considerable confusion and disagreement regarding the membership of county planning boards; that this conflict and confusion should be corrected in order to enable county planning boards to carry out their responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner; therefore, it is the purpose and intent of this act to reenact Acts 1977, No. 422, § 1.0, to clarify this conflict and to remove the confusion regarding county planning boards by specifically providing that county planning boards shall consist of not less than five (5) nor more than twelve (12) members.

Case Notes

Constitutionality.

The General Assembly has the authority to create county planning boards and to provide rules and regulations for their government. Newton v. American Sec. Co., 201 Ark. 943, 148 S.W.2d 311 (1941) (decision under prior law).

Due Process.

Planning board member did not abuse the member's discretion as a board member, after a recusal due to a conflict of interest, by voicing the member's opposition as a member of the public at meetings and a review regarding an application for a large-scale development permit because the applicants for the permit, thereby. were not denied due process. Lewis v. Benton County, 2014 Ark. App. 316, 436 S.W.3d 181 (2014).

14-17-204. Employees and facilities.

  1. The county judge may appoint such employees as he or she may deem necessary for the county planning board's work, whose appointment, promotion, demotion, or removal shall be subject to the same provisions of the law as govern other employees of the county. In the manner provided by law, the county may contract for services necessary to carry out the functions of the board.
  2. The county may receive and spend funds from federal, state, county, municipal, and other public and private sources for planning activities and may contract with respect thereto. All board expenditures shall be within the amounts appropriated by the county quorum court.
  3. Members of the board established pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter shall be entitled to receive such compensation, if any, for attendance at board meetings and the carrying out of board-related activities as may be authorized by ordinance duly adopted by the court.
  4. The board shall be supplied with necessary office space in the county courthouse or other suitable quarters and shall be provided with the necessary equipment to carry out its activities.

History. Acts 1977, No. 422, § 2.0; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1108.

14-17-205. Powers, duties, and functions.

  1. The general purpose of the county planning board is to promote public interest in planning, to prepare or have prepared plans for the county, to receive and make recommendations on public and private proposals for development, to prepare and transmit to the county quorum court recommended ordinances implementing plans, and to advise and counsel the county judge, the court, and other public bodies on planning-related matters.
  2. The board may prepare and recommend an official plan for the development of the county. The board shall have the authority to confer with federal, state, municipal, and other county and regional authorities regarding matters pertaining to or affecting the planning or development of the county, or vice versa, for the purpose of assuring proper coordination of county development with that of other political subdivisions.
  3. All public officials, departments, and agencies of the county, upon request and within a reasonable time, shall furnish the board with such available information as it may require for its work. The board may prepare and keep up-to-date a long-term coordinated program of public works and budgets therefor in conformity with an official county plan.
  4. The board, its members, officers, and employees, in the performance of their functions, may enter upon any land to make necessary inspections.
  5. For the purpose of special surveys, the county judge may assign or detail members of the staff or personnel of any county administrative department, bureau, or agency to the board or may direct any such department, bureau, or agency to make special surveys or studies for the board.
  6. The board shall have such powers, duties, and functions in the areas of plan adoption and enforcement, subdivision, and zoning as specified in §§ 14-17-207 — 14-17-209 and such other duties as may be assigned by the court.

History. Acts 1977, No. 422, § 3.0; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1109.

Case Notes

Jurisdiction.

Where there was a conflict over the exercise of jurisdiction over roads in an unincorporated portion of a county, between the county court and any creature of the General Assembly, the latter had to give way. Butler v. City of Little Rock, 231 Ark. 834, 332 S.W.2d 812 (1960) (decision under prior law).

Zoning.

While the county planning commission could recommend zoning of unincorporated areas as to land use, such recommendations were not binding until adopted by the county court, after a public hearing; and where this necessary action was not disclosed in the record, landowners who sought to enforce provisions of bill of assurance covering nearby subdivision did not have standing under precedents permitting owners of nearby property to challenge changes in zoning, even though they owned no property in the rezoned area. Rickman v. Mobbs, 253 Ark. 969, 490 S.W.2d 129 (1973) (decision under prior law).

14-17-206. Purpose and content of county plan.

  1. The county plan shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, efficient, and economic development of the county, or part thereof. In accordance with one (1) or more of the following criteria, the plan shall seek to best promote the health, safety, convenience, prosperity, and welfare of the people of the county.
  2. Each county plan shall reflect the county's development policies and shall contain a statement of the objectives and principles sought to be embodied therein. Each plan, with the accompanying maps, charts, and descriptive matter, may make recommendations, among other things, as to:
    1. The conservation of natural resources;
    2. The protection of areas of environmental concern;
    3. The development of land subject to flooding;
    4. The provision of adequate recreation, education, and community facilities, including water, sewer, solid waste, and drainage improvements;
    5. The development of transportation facilities, housing development, and redevelopment;
    6. The consideration of school district boundaries; and
    7. Other matters which are logically related to or form an integral part of a long-term plan for orderly development and redevelopment of the county.
    1. Areas of critical environmental concern include, among other things, aquifers and aquifer recharge areas, soils poorly suited to development, floodplains, wetlands, prime agricultural and forestlands, the natural habitat of rare or endangered species, areas with unique ecosystems, or areas recommended for protection in the Arkansas natural areas plan. Plans for these areas shall give consideration to protective mechanisms which seek to regulate activities or development in the areas.
    2. These mechanisms may include establishment of special zoning districts, adoption and enforcement of building codes, acquisition of easements or land through capital expenditures programming, and specialized development policies. Where appropriate, county management activities for areas of critical environmental concern shall involve cooperative agreements with interested state and federal agencies.
  3. In the preparation of all plans for the county or part of a county, the county planning board shall:
    1. Provide that plans are consistent with state plans and other related regional, county, and municipal plans, and school district boundaries in order to avoid inconvenience and economic waste and to assure a coordinated and harmonious development of the county, region, and state; and
    2. Notify by first-class mail the boards of directors of all school districts affected by a plan sufficiently in advance to allow representatives of all affected school districts to submit comments on any proposed plan.

History. Acts 1977, No. 422, § 4.0; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1110; Acts 2005, No. 2144, § 1.

14-17-207. Adoption, amendment, and enforcement of official plans and implementing ordinances.

  1. The county planning board, by majority vote of its entire membership, may recommend to the county quorum court the adoption, revision, or rescission of an official plan for the county or zoning, subdivision, setback, or entry control ordinances referred to as implementing ordinances in this subchapter.
    1. Before the adoption or revision of an official plan or implementing ordinance, or parts thereof, the board shall hold at least one (1) public meeting on the adoption or revision. The meeting may be adjourned from time to time. Prior to the meeting, the board chair shall notify the court of the purpose and intent of the meeting in sufficient time to allow the justices to attend the meeting if they so desire. At the same time, the public shall be notified of the meeting through the local newspapers and other media.
    2. In addition, the board of directors of each school district affected by a proposed official plan or implementing ordinance shall be notified of the meeting by first class mail sufficiently in advance to allow representatives of each affected school district a reasonable opportunity to attend the public meeting and submit comments on any proposed official plan or implementing ordinance.
  2. Following the public meeting and endorsement of the plan or implementing ordinances by the board, as provided in this section, it shall be forwarded to the quorum court for its consideration. The court may adopt the plan as the official plan for the county by ordinance, may modify the plan or parts of the plan, or may return the plan or parts of the plan to the board for further consideration. In the event the court modifies the plan or parts of the plan, it shall return the plan, as modified, to the board with instructions to conduct a public hearing on the modifications as provided in subsection (b) of this section. Following the hearing, the court may adopt, modify, or reject the plan as modified, whether or not the board endorses the modified plan. The same procedures shall be followed for any implementing ordinances enacted by the county. Planning and zoning recommendations initiated by the court shall be sent to the board for the public meeting as required by this subsection.
  3. From and after the adoption by the court of the official county plan, no improvements shall be made or authorized and no property shall be acquired, or its acquisition authorized, by any county or public agency which has, or is likely to have, definite part in or relation to the official county plan unless the proposed location, character, and extent thereof shall have been submitted by the agency concerned to the board and a report and recommendation of the board thereon shall have been received. If the board fails to initiate deliberation on such improvement or acquisition within thirty (30) days after receipt thereof and to furnish in writing its report and recommendations upon a proposal within sixty (60) days thereafter, the agency may proceed without the report and recommendation.
  4. In case any such improvement, ground, building, structure, or property is given a location or extent which does not accord with the report and recommendations of the board, the county official, department, or any other public agency having charge of the location, authorization, acquisition, or construction of it shall file in the office of the board a statement of its or his or her reasons for the departure from the report and recommendation, and such statement shall be open to public inspection.
  5. The quorum court shall provide for the means of enforcing the official plan or zoning, subdivision, setback, and entry control ordinances, shall provide penalties for violations, and may seek appropriate remedies for violations. Any individual aggrieved by a violation of any such plan or ordinance may request an injunction against any individual or property owner in violation or may mandamus any official to enforce the provisions of the ordinance.

History. Acts 1977, No. 422, § 5.0; 1981, No. 278, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 17-1111; Acts 2005, No. 2144, § 2.

14-17-208. Subdivision, setback, and entry control ordinances.

  1. The county planning board may prepare and, after approval by the county quorum court, shall administer the ordinance controlling the development of land. The development of land includes, but is not limited to, the provision of access to lots and parcels, the provision of utilities, the subdividing of land into lots and blocks, and the parceling of land resulting in the need for access and utilities.
  2. The ordinance controlling the development of land may establish or provide for minimum requirements as to:
    1. Information to be included on the plat filed for record;
    2. The design and layout of the subdivision, including standards for lots and blocks, streets, public rights-of-way, easements, utilities, consideration of school district boundaries, and other similar items; and
    3. The standards for improvements to be installed by the developer at his or her expense, such as street grading and paving, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, water, storm, and sewer mains, street lighting, and other amenities.
  3. The ordinance shall require that all plats of two (2) or more parcels be submitted to the county planning board for its approval and certification.
  4. The ordinance may require the installation or assurance of installation of required improvements before plat approval. Further, the regulations may provide for the dedication of all rights-of-way to the public.
  5. Neither the county planning board nor the court shall restrict nor limit the right of any person to file a deed or other instrument of transfer of property with the county recorder to be filed of record.
  6. The ordinance shall establish the procedure to be followed to secure plat approval by the county planning board.
  7. The ordinance shall require the development to conform to the official plan currently in effect. The ordinance may require the reservation or reasonable equivalent contribution of cash, other land, or considerations as approved by the county planning board for future public acquisition of land for community or public facilities indicated in the official plan. The reservation may extend over a period of not more than one (1) year from the date of recording the final plat with the county recorder.
  8. Adoption of a county subdivision ordinance shall be preceded by:
    1. The adoption of an official road plan for the unincorporated areas of the county. The plan shall include, as a minimum, designation of the general location, characteristics, and functions of roads, and the general location of roads to be reserved for future public acquisition. The plan may also recommend, among other things, the removal, relocation, widening, narrowing, vacating, abandonment, change of use, or extension of any public ways; and
    2. Notification by first class mail of the board of directors of each school district affected by a proposed county subdivision ordinance sufficiently in advance to allow representatives of all affected school districts a reasonable opportunity to submit comments on any proposed county subdivision ordinance.
  9. In unincorporated areas adjoining the corporate limits of a municipality in which the authority to control the subdivision of land is vested and is being exercised in accordance with and under the provisions of §§ 14-56-401 — 14-56-408 and 14-56-410 — 14-56-425, or any amendments thereto or thereof, or other acts of a similar nature enacted by the G