2021 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 16 - Sheriffs
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 15-16-8. How Vacancies Filled; Failure to Appoint; Certification Required

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-16-8 (2021)
  1. Except as otherwise provided by local law, vacancies in the office of sheriff shall be filled by the chief deputy sheriff if a chief deputy has been appointed. In any county in which a chief deputy sheriff has not been appointed, the probate judge shall, within three days of the vacancy, appoint a qualified person to serve as the interim sheriff.
    1. If less than six months of the sheriff's term of office remains at the time the vacancy occurs, the chief deputy sheriff or the interim sheriff, as the case may be, shall hold office for the unexpired term of the sheriff.
    2. If more than six months of the sheriff's term of office remains at the time the vacancy occurs, the election superintendent for the county shall call a special election to fill such vacancy. Such official shall give notice in one or more of the public newspapers of the county, if any; in the official legal organ of the county; at the courthouse; and at three or more of the most public places of the county at least 30 days prior to the date of such special election. Such special election shall be held at the next available special election date provided in Code Section 21-2-540 that is at least 60 days after the date the vacancy occurred. The person elected at such special election shall hold office for the unexpired term. The election shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 2 of Title 21.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 45-5-1, the office of sheriff shall by operation of law be deemed vacant upon certification by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council to the judge of the probate court of the county that the certification required to be a peace officer has been revoked for the sheriff of said county. Such vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1853-54, p. 28, § 1; Code 1863, § 322; Code 1868, § 383; Code 1873, § 347; Code 1882, § 347; Civil Code 1895, § 4370; Civil Code 1910, § 4904; Code 1933, § 24-2803; Ga. L. 1982, p. 544, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1389, § 2; Ga. L. 1994, p. 237, § 2; Ga. L. 1994, p. 521, § 2; Ga. L. 2005, p. 531, § 1/HB 521; Ga. L. 2012, p. 173, § 2-6/HB 665; Ga. L. 2012, p. 815, § 1/HB 991.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section28-9-3, in 2012, the amendment of subsection (b) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2012, p. 173, § 2-6/HB 665, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2012, p. 815, § 1/HB 991, due to irreconcilable conflict. See County of Butts v. Strahan, 151 Ga. 417 (1921); Keener v. McDougall, 232 Ga. 273 (1974).


Special election may be held to fill vacancy in office of sheriff which will occur by the resignation of the sheriff to become effective on the day of the special election. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 93.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 70 Am. Jur. 2d, Sheriffs, Police, and Constables, § 12.


- 80 C.J.S., Sheriffs and Constables, § 8.

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