CHAPTER 351. RESIGNATIONS, VACANCIES, REMOVALS
Table of Sections
|351.03||Repealed, 1986 c 418 s 11
|351.04||Repealed, 1986 c 418 s 11
|351.05||VACANCY DURING RECESS OF LEGISLATURE.|
|351.055||PREPARATIONS FOR SPECIAL ELECTIONS.|
|351.06||APPOINTMENT; CONTINUANCE OF TERM; IMPEACHMENT.|
|351.08||Repealed, 1986 c 418 s 11
|351.09||Repealed, 1986 c 418 s 11
|351.10||Repealed, 1986 c 418 s 11
|351.11||Repealed, 1986 c 418 s 11
REMOVAL OF ELECTED
|351.15||REMOVAL OF ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIAL.|
|351.17||CHIEF JUSTICE REVIEW; ASSIGNMENT TO SPECIAL MASTER.|
|351.22||REMOVAL ELECTION; DISQUALIFICATION.|
|351.23||EXTENSION OF TIME.|
Subdivision 1. To whom made.
Resignations shall be made in writing signed by the
(1) By incumbents of elective offices, to the officer authorized by law to fill a vacancy in
such office by appointment, or to order a special election to fill the vacancy;
(2) By appointive officers, to the body, board, or officer appointing them, unless otherwise
Subd. 2. When effective.
Except as provided by subdivision 3 or other express provision
of law or charter to the contrary, a resignation is effective when it is received by the officer,
body, or board authorized to receive it.
Subd. 3. Contingent resignations prohibited; exception.
(a) Except as provided in
paragraph (b), no resignation may be made to take effect upon the occurrence of a future
contingency. Statements explaining the reasons for a resignation must not be considered to be
contingencies unless expressly stated as contingencies.
(b) A resignation may be made expressly to take effect at a stated future date. Unless it is
withdrawn as provided under subdivision 4, a resignation is effective at 12:01 a.m. on the stated
Subd. 4. Withdrawal of resignation.
A prospective resignation permitted by subdivision 3
may only be withdrawn by a written statement signed by the officer and submitted in the same
manner as the resignation, and may only be withdrawn before it has been accepted by resolution
of the body or board or before a written acceptance of the resignation by an officer authorized to
History: (6952) RL s 2666; 1987 c 200 s 2; 2004 c 293 art 2 s 44
Every office shall become vacant on the happening of either of the following events, before
the expiration of the term of such office:
(1) the death of the incumbent;
(2) the incumbent's resignation;
(3) the incumbent's removal;
(4) the incumbent's ceasing to be an inhabitant of the state, or, if the office is local, of the
district, county or city for which the incumbent was elected or appointed, or within which the
duties of the office are required to be discharged;
(5) the incumbent's conviction of any infamous crime, or of any offense involving a violation
of the official oath;
(6) the incumbent's refusal or neglect to take the oath of office, or to give or renew the official
bond, or to deposit or file such oath or bond within the time prescribed;
(7) the decision of a competent tribunal declaring the incumbent's election or appointment
(8) the death of the person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy, or for a full term, before
the person qualifies, or before the time when by law the person should enter upon the duties of
the office, in which case the vacancy shall be deemed to take place at the time when the term of
office would have begun had the person lived.
History: (6953) RL s 2667; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1986 c 444
351.05 VACANCY DURING RECESS OF LEGISLATURE.
When a vacancy occurs during the recess of the legislature, in any office which the
legislature, or the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate, or of both branches
of the legislature, is authorized to fill by appointment, unless otherwise specially provided, the
governor may appoint some suitable person to perform the duties of such office for the time being.
The person so appointed, before proceeding to execute the duties, shall qualify in the manner
required by law of the officer in whose place the person is appointed and hold office until the
vacancy is regularly filled, as provided by law.
History: (6956) RL s 2670; 1986 c 444
351.055 PREPARATIONS FOR SPECIAL ELECTIONS.
If a future vacancy becomes certain to occur and the vacancy must be filled by a special
election, the appropriate authorities may begin procedures leading to the special election so that a
successor may be elected at the earliest possible time. For prospective vacancies that will occur as
a result of a resignation, preparations for the special election may begin immediately after the
written resignation is received by the official provided in section
351.01, subdivision 1
History: 1987 c 175 s 17; 1999 c 132 s 40
351.06 APPOINTMENT; CONTINUANCE OF TERM; IMPEACHMENT.
Unless otherwise provided for, when a vacancy in an elective office is authorized to be filled
by appointment, such appointment shall continue until the next general election occurring after
there is sufficient time to give the notice prescribed by law, and until a successor is elected and
has qualified. When any state officer, excepting the lieutenant governor, shall be temporarily
suspended from the performance of the duties of office by reason of having been impeached, the
governor shall appoint some suitable person to exercise the duties of such office during the
time of such suspension, and such person, before entering upon the duties, shall comply with
the requirements of law relating to the same, and during incumbency shall be governed in the
administration thereof by all laws enacted in reference thereto, and receive the compensation
provided by law for such office.
History: (6957) RL s 2671; 1986 c 444
351.07 HABITUAL DRUNKENNESS.
The habitual drunkenness of any person holding office under the Constitution or laws of this
state shall be good cause for removal from office by the authority and in the manner provided
History: (6958) RL s 2672; 1986 c 444
REMOVAL OF ELECTED
Subdivision 1. Applicability.
The definitions in this section apply to sections
Subd. 2. Malfeasance.
"Malfeasance" means the willful commission of an unlawful or
wrongful act in the performance of a public official's duties which is outside the scope of the
authority of the public official and which infringes on the rights of any person or entity.
Subd. 3. Nonfeasance.
"Nonfeasance" means the willful failure to perform a specific act
which is a required part of the duties of the public official.
Subd. 4. Misfeasance.
"Misfeasance" means the negligent performance of the duties of a
public official or the negligent failure to perform a specific act which is a required part of the
duties of the public official.
Subd. 5. Elected county official.
"Elected county official" means any public official who
is elected to countywide office or appointed to an elective countywide office, including county
attorney, county sheriff, county auditor, county recorder, county treasurer, and soil and water
conservation supervisor. "Elected county official" also means a county commissioner elected or
appointed from a commissioner district or a soil and water conservation district supervisor elected
or appointed from a supervisor district established under section
103C.311, subdivision 2
History: 1986 c 418 s 1; 2003 c 104 s 31
351.15 REMOVAL OF ELECTED COUNTY OFFICIAL.
An elected county official may be removed from office in accordance with the procedures
established in sections
History: 1986 c 418 s 2
351.16 PETITION; REVIEW.
Subdivision 1. Form of petition.
Any registered voter may petition the county auditor
requesting a removal election and setting forth facts which allege with specificity that an elected
county official committed malfeasance or nonfeasance in the performance of official duties during
the current or any previous term in the office held by the elected county official, except that a
petition may not be submitted during the 180 days immediately preceding a general election
for the office which is held by the county official named in the petition. The petitioner must
attach to the petition documents which contain the signatures of supporters who are registered
voters totaling at least 25 percent of the number of persons who voted in the preceding election
for the office which is held by the county official named in the petition. Each page on which
signatures are included must clearly identify the purpose of the petition. The registered voters
must be residents of the county or, in a removal election involving a county commissioner, of
the commissioner district which elected the named county commissioner. The signatures of
supporters must be on forms provided by the county auditor.
Subd. 2. County auditor's duties.
The county auditor shall examine the petition to
determine whether it contains the requisite number of valid signatures of registered voters. If so,
the county auditor shall forward the petition, but not the signatures, to the clerk of appellate courts
within 15 days of receipt of the petition. If the county auditor determines that the petition does
not include the requisite number of signatures, the county auditor shall deny the petition within
15 days of receipt of the petition.
Subd. 3. Removal of county auditor.
If the county auditor is the named elected county
official, the petition must be submitted to the chair of the county board of commissioners who
shall appoint a county official to perform the duties of the county auditor specified in sections
Subd. 4. Limitation.
An elected county official is not subject to a removal election on the
ground that misfeasance in the performance of official duties was committed, or on the ground
of disagreement with actions taken that were within the lawful discretion of the elected county
History: 1986 c 418 s 3
351.17 CHIEF JUSTICE REVIEW; ASSIGNMENT TO SPECIAL MASTER.
The clerk of appellate courts shall submit the petition to the chief justice. The chief justice
shall review the petition to determine whether the petition properly alleges facts which, if proven,
constitute malfeasance or nonfeasance in the performance of official duties. If the petition
properly contains factual allegations of malfeasance or nonfeasance, the chief justice shall
assign the case to a special master for a public hearing. The special master must be an active or
retired judge. The chief justice may issue an order denying the petition if it appears that the
petition does not contain allegations which, if proven, constitute malfeasance or nonfeasance in
the performance of official duties.
History: 1986 c 418 s 4
An elected county official who is the subject of a petition under section
in writing the right to a public hearing. If the hearing is waived, the case must be certified by
order of the chief justice to the county auditor for a removal election to be held within 30 days
of the receipt of the order.
History: 1986 c 418 s 5
351.19 PUBLIC HEARING.
Subdivision 1. Time; subpoenas; amendment of petition.
A public hearing into the
allegations of a petition under section
must be held within 60 days after issuance of the
order of the chief justice assigning the case to a special master. The special master may issue
subpoenas to compel the testimony of witnesses and the production of documents. The petition
may be amended of right by the petitioners at any time prior to 40 days before the scheduled
hearing. The special master may permit later amendment of the petition only for good cause.
Subd. 2. Determinations by special master.
The special master shall take evidence at a
public hearing under this section and determine:
(1) whether the petitioners have shown by clear and convincing evidence that the factual
allegations of malfeasance or nonfeasance are true; and
(2) if so, whether the facts found to be true constitute malfeasance or nonfeasance.
The special master shall dismiss the petition at any time if it appears that this standard
has not been met.
Subd. 3. Rules.
The public hearing under this section must be conducted using the Minnesota
Rules of Civil Procedure, unless modified in sections
, and the Minnesota Rules
Subd. 4. Legal counsel.
The petitioners and the elected county official shall be represented
by legal counsel at their own expense, and shall pay their costs associated with the hearing except
that the county may assume the legal costs incurred by the elected county official. The county
shall pay all other costs of the hearing.
Subd. 5. Decision.
The special master shall issue a decision within 60 days after the end of a
public hearing under this section.
Subd. 6. Appeal.
If a petition under this section is dismissed by the special master, either
before or after a public hearing, the petitioner may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court
within 30 days. The Supreme Court shall grant an expedited appeal.
History: 1986 c 418 s 6
351.20 DECISION; CERTIFICATION.
If the special master determines that the elected county official committed malfeasance or
nonfeasance in the performance of official duties, the case must be certified to the county auditor
for a removal election on a date to be fixed by the county auditor and held within 30 days of the
order of the special master.
History: 1986 c 418 s 7
An elected county official may appeal the decision of a special master under section
the Supreme Court within ten days. The removal election is stayed until 20 days after the Supreme
Court issues a decision on the appeal. The Supreme Court shall grant an expedited appeal.
History: 1986 c 418 s 8
351.22 REMOVAL ELECTION; DISQUALIFICATION.
Subdivision 1. Majority vote; form of question.
An elected county official may be removed
pursuant to sections
by majority vote. The removal election is a special election
conducted under applicable provisions of section
. The question submitted to the voters
"Should ..................................................(Name) elected (appointed) to the office of
..............................................(title) be removed from that office?
Any resulting vacancy must be filled as provided by law.
Subd. 2. Disqualification.
A removed county official may not thereafter hold the same office
for the remainder of the term to which the official was elected.
History: 1986 c 418 s 9
351.23 EXTENSION OF TIME.
The chief justice may extend the time limitations in sections
for good cause.
History: 1986 c 418 s 10