Chapter 47 Townships, Removal of County Seats and Division of Counties

47.080 - County seat commissioners to select new county seat, where.

Steven Groce, Attorney Advertisement

When the commissioners, or a majority of them, shall have been duly qualified, they shall select the most suitable place in said county, within one mile of the place designated in the petition, whereon to erect the public buildings.

(RSMo 1939 § 13738)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12079; 1919 § 9479; 1909 § 3700

47.180 - Bond, where deposited, recorded.

Such bond shall be deposited with the clerk of the county commission of such county, and shall be by him recorded; and such record, or a copy thereof, certified under the seal of such tribunal, shall be evidence in any court of this state, with the same effect as the original.

(RSMo 1939 § 13680)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12021; 1919 § 9423; 1909 § 3640

47.280 - County commission to supervise commissioner for removal of the county seat.

The county commission of each county in which a commissioner of county seat shall be appointed shall have a superintending control over such commissioner, and may make such orders, from time to time, in relation to the duties of his office, as to it shall seem expedient, and may enforce obedience thereto by attachment; and in case of any willful disobedience of such order or other willful neglect or misconduct of such commissioner, may remove him from office; and in case of the death, resignation or removal from office of any such commissioner, such county commission shall supply such vacancy by appointing another, who shall take the like oath, give like bond, perform the like duties and be subject to the like proceedings against him as his predecessor; and such county commission may compel the commissioner so resigning or removed, or in case of his death, his executor or administrator, to make settlement of his accounts, and pay and deliver over to such successor, or county treasurer, as the case may require, all moneys, books, papers, notes, bonds and other securities received by such commissioner, by virtue of his office.

(RSMo 1939 § 13690)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12031; 1919 § 9433; 1909 § 3650

47.190 - Town may be laid off into lots.

If no town shall have been laid off at the place selected as the permanent county seat, the county commission shall order the same, or so much thereof as it shall deem expedient, to be laid off; or if such tribunal shall deem it expedient to lay off additional lots where a town shall have previously been laid off, it may order the same to be done, and in either case the commissioner of such county seat shall proceed to lay off such land, or so much thereof as such county commission shall direct, into lots, squares, avenues, streets, lanes and alleys, in such manner and under such regulations as such county commission shall prescribe, and make report thereof to such county commission, with a plat of the town, or part of a town, so laid off, which, if approved by such county commission, shall be deposited in the office of the recorder of the county, and by him carefully preserved and recorded.

(RSMo 1939 § 13681)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12022; 1919 § 9424; 1909 § 3641

47.090 - May purchase land.

The commissioners, or a majority of them, may purchase not less than fifty nor more than one hundred and sixty acres of land, and may receive as a donation such parcels of land or town lots, including the place selected as a seat of justice for said county, as they shall judge most expedient.

(RSMo 1939 § 13739)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12080; 1919 § 9480; 1909 § 3701

47.290 - Compensation of commissioner to find new county seat.

The commissioner of the county seat shall receive for his services such compensation for laying out lots as such county commission shall deem just and reasonable, and a commission of four percent upon all moneys accruing from the sale of lots, and by him paid into the county treasury, to be paid out of the county treasury.

(RSMo 1939 § 13691, A. 1949 H.B. 2005)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12032; 1919 § 9434; 1909 § 365l

47.230 - Proceedings on default of payment for lots.

If default be made in the payment of the purchase money of any lot, or any part thereof, according to the terms of sale, or the tenor and effect of any bond or note given to secure the same, such lot shall be forfeited to the use of the county, and the commissioner shall resell the same, for ready money, at public auction, to the highest bidder, at the place of holding courts for such county for the time being, on some day during the sitting of the county commission, giving ten days' previous notice of the time and place of sale, and the property to be sold, by advertisements put up at four of the most public places in the county; and on receiving the purchase money, the commissioner shall make a deed to the purchaser, in the manner and with like effect as in cases of other sales under this chapter, and the purchase money shall be accounted for as other moneys received by the commissioner, and the amount thereof, after paying the expenses of the sale, shall be credited upon the bonds or notes of such delinquent purchaser; and if it be sufficient to pay the whole, such bonds or notes shall be cancelled but no part shall be paid to such purchaser, although there may be more than sufficient to pay the debt due by him; and if the proceeds of such sale shall not be sufficient to satisfy the whole of the debt due by such purchaser, the commissioner shall proceed to enforce the payment of the residue by suit.

(RSMo 1939 § 13685)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12026; 1919 § 9428; 1909 § 3645

47.330 - Actions — where and how prosecuted in case of division of county.

When a new county shall be established, or any county line altered, all suits, actions, process, prosecutions and proceedings, civil and criminal, commenced before any court before the time of separation or alteration, shall be proceeded to final judgment and execution; and all writs and process before that time issued out of any court shall be executed and returned in all respects as if such division, separation or alteration had not taken place; and all judgments then rendered or which may be rendered, in any proceedings, civil or criminal, then commenced, all fees, fines, penalties and forfeitures which have been accrued or become due or which accrued in pursuance of any suit, process or proceeding then commenced, all taxes then due or assessed, and all balances and arrearages shall be collected, and the collection thereof be enforced, in the same manner as if such new county had not been established, or such alteration had not been made; and the sheriffs, coroners, constables and collectors, respectively, shall have full power and authority to execute all writs and process, original and judicial, and to collect all moneys, fines, penalties and forfeitures, fees, taxes, balances and arrearages which may be due or become due, and to enforce the payment thereof from any person within their county, as it stood before such division or alteration, in the same manner that they might have done respectively, if such new county had not been established, or such alteration had not been made.

(RSMo 1939 § 13693, A. 1949 H.B. 2005)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12034; 1919 § 9436; 1909 § 3653

47.130 - Purchase money, how paid.

If the land or any part thereof was purchased, the county commission shall make an order that the consideration money be paid out of the first proceeds of the sale of the lots to be laid out on such lands, and the clerk shall grant to the vendor a certificate accordingly.

(RSMo 1939 § 13742)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12083; 1919 § 9483; 1909 § 3704

47.030 - Removal of county seat — vote of people.

Whenever one-fourth of the voters of any county shall petition the county commission for a removal of the seat of justice of such county to any other designated place, the commission shall make an order directing that the question be submitted to the voters of the county at the next municipal election.

(RSMo 1939 § 13732, A.L. 1978 H.B. 971)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12073; 1919 § 9473; 1909 § 3694

47.320 - Upon division — payment of indebtedness.

Whenever any new county is formed from territory taken from one or more older counties, or whenever any territory is taken from one county and attached to another, the new county so formed, or the territory so stricken off, shall be liable for its part of all the indebtedness or liabilities of the older county from which the same was detached, unless where, by contract between such new and old county, it is otherwise provided, and shall cause the same to be levied and collected as other taxes, and paid into the county treasury; and the county clerk of such county shall draw his warrant on the treasurer of his own county in favor of the treasurer of the old county from which the territory was taken for the amount so collected and paid in; and if any such detached territory shall fail to make provisions for paying the same, the county commission of the old county from which the same was taken shall cause the same to be levied and collected from the territory detached, in the same manner and to the same extent as if said detached territory had remained a part of the original county.In all cases where it is desired to strike territory from one county and attach the same to another, the county to which any such territory is to be attached may assume the payment of that portion of the indebtedness due to the older county, and which would otherwise have to be paid by the territory detached; but such fact shall be specified in the petition to the county commission and published in the notice of the election for the proposed change, and if not so stated in the notice, said county shall not be deemed to have assumed the payment of such liabilities, but the same shall be paid by the territory so detached as herein specified.

(RSMo 1939 § 13698)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12039; 1919 § 9441; 1909 § 3662

47.220 - Commissioner for removal of the county seat to make deed, when.

When any payment shall be made, the commissioner shall endorse the receipt on such certificate, if required, and give credit for such amount on the bond or note, and when full payment shall be made of the purchase money, the purchaser shall deliver up the certificate of purchase, and the commissioner shall make to him a deed in the manner prescribed in section 47.200.

(RSMo 1939 § 13684)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12025; 1919 § 9427; 1909 § 3644

47.020 - Description of townships to be recorded — where.

The commission shall, within thirty days after establishing any township, transmit to the office of the secretary of state a description of such township, containing the name and boundaries thereof, and shall cause the clerk to enter such description of record.

(RSMo 1939 § 13701)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12042; 1919 § 13163; 1909 § 11651

47.120 - Report of county seat commissioners to circuit court — proceedings thereon.

The commissioners shall make report of their proceedings, accompanied by the deed, abstract and evidence of title to said land, to the circuit court, at the next term thereof; if the judge approve the same, he shall certify the decision of the court therein to the county commission; and if said court shall believe that the commissioners have selected the most suitable place for the erection of the public buildings, then the place so selected shall be the permanent seat of justice of the county, and the title to the land conveyed for that purpose shall be vested in the county.

(RSMo 1939 § 13741)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12082; 1919 § 9482; 1909 § 3703

47.100 - Donation of money or buildings may be accepted.

If the commissioners shall, in any case, select a place already laid out into town lots, they may accept a donation, in money or public buildings, in lieu of land or town lots.

(RSMo 1939 § 13744)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12085; 1919 § 9485; 1909 § 3706

47.300 - Notice of the holding of courts at new county seat.

As soon as convenient buildings for the holding of courts, together with a good and sufficient jail, can be had at such new seat of justice, the county commission shall notify the judges of the several courts holden in the county, at the next term thereof, who shall cause the sheriff to make proclamation at the courthouse door, in term time, that such court will thereafter be held at the place so selected.

(RSMo 1939 § 13748)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12089; 1919 § 9489; 1909 § 3710

47.200 - Sales and reservations of lots.

The county commission shall reserve from sale lots and squares of ground, wherever it may be necessary to erect county buildings, and shall, from time to time, order the sale of the residue, prescribing the terms of such sale, and the commissioner shall make such sales accordingly; and when the purchase money shall be paid in full, the commissioner shall execute a deed to the purchaser, as commissioner, for and on behalf of the county, conveying to the purchaser all the right, title and interest of the county to the premises so conveyed, and such deed shall be acknowledged and recorded as other deeds.

(RSMo 1939 § 13682)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12023; 1919 § 9425; 1909 § 3642

47.110 - Deed to be executed.

The vendor or donor shall execute and deliver to the commissioners a good and sufficient deed or deeds conveying to the county the land or lands so sold or given, in fee simple, without reservation or condition, and shall also deliver an abstract of the title papers, deeds, conveyances and assurances, by or through which the title thereto is derived.

(RSMo 1939 § 13740)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12081; 1919 § 9481; 1909 § 3702

47.010 - County may be subdivided into townships — changes.

Each county commission may divide the county into convenient townships, and as occasion may require erect new townships, subdivide townships already established, organize better township lines, and may, upon the petition in writing, of not less than twenty-five percent of the legally qualified voters of each township affected, as such vote was cast in the last preceding general election for the office receiving the greatest number of votes in the township or townships affected, consolidate two or more existing townships into one township, or otherwise reduce the number of townships, or change the boundary lines thereof, as may be deemed advisable.

(RSMo 1939 § 13700)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12041; 1919 § 13162; 1909 § 11650


Township boundaries and new townships, how changed and constituted, 65.530

Township organization, how adopted, 65.010 to 65.040

47.210 - Purchase money of lots, how secured.

When any credit shall be given upon the sale of any lot for any part of the purchase money, the purchaser shall give his note or bond with sufficient sureties to the commissioner, for the use of the county, to secure the payment of each installment; and the commissioner shall deliver to the purchaser a certificate describing the lots sold, the price, the amount paid, if any, the balance to be paid, when due and how secured.

(RSMo 1939 § 13683)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12024; 1919 § 9426; 1909 § 3643

47.310 - Proceedings for dividing counties.

1. The question of dividing any county or of striking from any county any portion thereof, whether for the purpose of forming a new county or of adding to any other county, or of adding thereto any portion of any other county, may, by the order of the county commission of any county to be affected, made on the petition therefor of not less than one hundred voters of such county, duly entered of record, and setting out fully the proposed change, the reason and object thereof, and the boundaries of such county if the change were made, be submitted to a vote of the people of the county, being the voters thereof, at the next general election after the making of such order.

2.The question shall be submitted in substantially the following form:

Shall the proposed change in the ______ county boundary be made?

3.If the result shows a majority of the voters of the county voting on the question to have voted for the proposed change, the county clerk shall, at the time of certifying such returns to the secretary of state, also certify to that officer two copies of said order of the county commission, and of said publication, and of the affidavit of the publisher, one copy to be retained on file in said secretary's office, and one copy, with a certified statement of the vote on such question, to be by him transmitted to the senate or house of representatives during the first ten days of the first session of the general assembly after the receipt thereof, and thereupon the general assembly may take such action in the premises, subject to the provisions of the constitution, as may seem best.No submission of the question authorized under the provisions of this section shall be held upon substantially the same question more often than once in five years.

(RSMo 1939 § 13699, A.L. 1978 H.B. 971)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12040; 1919 § 9442; 1909 § 3663

47.040 - County seat commissioners to be appointed if proposition adopted.

If it shall appear by such election that two-thirds of the voters of the county, voting on the question, are in favor of the removal of the county seat of such county, then the county commission shall appoint five county seat removal commissioners to select a site whereon to locate the seat of justice.

(RSMo 1939 § 13734, A.L. 1978 H.B. 971, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1554 Revision)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12075; 1919 § 9475; 1909 § 3696

47.140 - Proceedings where title is not approved.

If the title to such lands be not approved by the circuit court, the deed shall be of no effect, and shall be returned, together with the title papers, to the donor or vendor, and the commissioners shall proceed to make some other selection within the designated limits, proceeding in all things as herein provided, except that no notice shall be required of their meeting for that purpose.

(RSMo 1939 § 13743)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12084; 1919 § 9484; 1909 § 3705

47.340 - Personal representatives of estate — conservators, settlements, where made.

All personal representatives and conservators, who by the establishment of a new county, or the alteration of county lines, shall cease to be inhabitants of the county in which they were appointed or received their letters, shall nevertheless continue to render their accounts and make settlements, and in all things proceed in the courts by which they were appointed, or their accounts remain to be settled, in all respects, and be subject to the like proceedings therein, as if such new county had not been established, or such alteration had not been made.

(RSMo 1939 § 13694, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12035; 1919 § 9437; 1909 § 3654

47.240 - Prosecuting attorney to prosecute actions.

The prosecuting attorneys, respectively, shall commence and prosecute all such actions within their respective counties.

(RSMo 1939 § 13686)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12027; 1919 § 9429; 1909 § 3646

47.150 - Vacancy in county seat commission, how filled.

If any of the commissioners die, resign, refuse or neglect to act, the county commission may appoint others in their stead, who shall take the same oath, possess the same powers and perform the like duties as if originally appointed.

(RSMo 1939 § 13745)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12086; 1919 § 9486; 1909 § 3707

47.050 - County seat commissioners — appointment — notice of meetings.

The county commission shall grant to each person so appointed a certificate thereof, under the seal of the county commission, appoint a time and place when and where the commissioners shall assemble, cause a notice thereof to be served on each commissioner, and cause advertisements to be put up by the sheriff in ten of the most public places in the county, one month before such meeting, notifying the inhabitants of the county of the time and purport of the meeting.

(RSMo 1939 § 13735)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12076; 1919 § 9476; 1909 § 3697

47.250 - Forfeited lots, how redeemed.

The holder of any certificate of sale of any such forfeited lot may redeem the lot at any time before the sale by paying the commissioner the whole amount then due, with interest, together with the expense of advertising, and compensation of the commissioner, as herein provided; in which case such lot shall not be sold, but the proceedings shall be in all things as if no such delinquency had occurred.

(RSMo 1939 § 13687)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12028; 1919 § 9430; 1909 § 3647

47.350 - Transfer of unsettled accounts of personal representatives or conservators, when — procedure.

The courts in which the accounts of any such personal representative or conservator remain to be settled, upon good cause shown, may transfer such accounts to the proper court of the county in which such personal representative or conservator resides; in which case the clerk of such court shall make out a transcript of the records and copies of accounts and papers touching such administration or conservatorship, and cause the same to be transmitted by some safe conveyance to the clerk of the court to which the accounts are to be transferred; and the clerk receiving such papers shall file the same in his office, and proceedings shall be had thereon in all things in the court to which the accounts are transferred, as if they had originated in such court; and the party applying for such removal shall pay all costs for making out such transcript and copies and transmitting the same, before the same shall be delivered to be transmitted.

(RSMo 1939 § 13695, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12036; 1919 § 9438; 1909 § 3655

47.270 - Purchase money from sales of lots, how applied.

The money arising from the sales of lots, after paying all the expenses accruing in the selection of the county seat, in laying out the town and selling lots, shall be applied, first, to paying for the land purchased, if any, and the residue shall be set apart as a specific fund for the purpose of erecting county buildings, and shall be applied to no other purpose, until all the county buildings required by law to be erected, shall be fully completed and paid for.

(RSMo 1939 § 13689)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12030; 1919 § 9432; 1909 § 3649

47.170 - On removal of county seat, commissioner to be appointed.

Whenever any seat of justice shall be removed, the county commission shall appoint a commissioner thereof, who, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take an oath that he will faithfully demean himself in the office of commissioner, and render a true and just account of his proceedings, according to law, and he shall enter into bond to the state of Missouri, for the use of such county, in such sum and with such sureties as such tribunal shall approve, conditioned that he will faithfully demean himself in office, account for and pay over and deliver all moneys, bonds, notes, security or property that may come to his hands, possession or power, in virtue of his office, and will perform all the duties which may be enjoined on him by law as such commissioner.

(RSMo 1939 §§ 13679, 13747, A. 1949 H.B. 2005)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12020, 12088; 1919 §§ 9422, 9488; 1909 §§ 3639, 3709

47.070 - Oath of county seat commissioners.

It shall be the duty of each commissioner, before entering upon the duties herein assigned him, to take an oath that he will faithfully perform the duties of commissioner, a certificate of which shall be endorsed on the paper evidencing his appointment.

(RSMo 1939 § 13737)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12078; 1919 § 9478; 1909 § 3699

47.260 - Accounts to be kept by commissioner for removal of the county seat — settlements.

The commissioner of any county seat shall keep regular and systematic accounts of all sales by him made, showing the lots sold, the names of purchasers, the amount paid, the balance to be paid, at what time and how secured, and the expenses by him incurred.He shall make settlement with the county commission at each regular term thereof, and pay the balance that may be found against him into the county treasury; and when all the sales ordered by such county commission shall be completed, and payments made, and deeds executed for all the lots sold, or in case of the resignation or removal from office of such commissioner, he, or in case of the death of such commissioner, his executors or administrators, shall, at the first term after such sales shall be completed and payments made, or after such resignation, removal or death, settle with such county commission, and pay or deliver over, according to its order, all moneys, books, papers, notes, bonds or other securities belonging to such county.

(RSMo 1939 § 13688)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12029; 1919 § 9431; 1909 § 3648

47.060 - Meeting of commissioners to find new county seat.

It shall be the duty of the commissioners to assemble accordingly; and if a majority do not appear according to such notice, those appearing shall publicly adjourn to some other day, and so on, as often as may be necessary, until a majority shall assemble; but no such adjournment shall be for a longer period than ten days at a time.

(RSMo 1939 § 13736)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 12077; 1919 § 9477; 1909 § 3698

47.160 - Compensation of county seat commissioner.

Each commissioner shall be entitled to receive three dollars for each day he shall be employed in discharging any of the duties enjoined by this chapter.