Ex Officio Duties

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Ex officio services are defined as “those duties performed by an officer for the compensation of which no express provision is made by law; services for which the law provides no remuneration.” Hagan v. Black, 17 S.W.2d 908, 909 (Tenn. 1929). In the case of George v. Harlan, 1998 WL 668637, *2 (Tenn. 1998), the Tennessee Supreme Court defined ex officio services as those services not required by statute and defined ex officio duties as nonstatutory duties. The Court noted that the “duties which the common law annexes to the office of sheriff for which no fee or charge is specified in payment are generally referred to as ‘ex officio’ duties or services. George at *3, citing State ex rel. Windham v. LaFever, 486 S.W.2d 740, 742 (Tenn. 1972); and Hagan v. Black, 17 S.W.2d 908, 909 (1929). The compensation of a sheriff for ex officio services is to be determined by the county legislative body. Shanks v. Hawkins, 22 S.W.2d 355 (Tenn. 1929).

Workhouse Superintendent

When the jail in any county has been declared a workhouse, as provided in T.C.A. § 41-2-102, the sheriff becomes the ex officio superintendent of the workhouse.  T.C.A. § 41-2-108. It is the duty of the workhouse superintendent to: (1) discharge each prisoner as soon as the prisoner's time is out, or upon order of the board of workhouse commissioners; (2) see that the prisoners are properly guarded to prevent escape; (3) see that they are kindly and humanely treated and properly provided with clothing, wholesome food properly cooked and prepared for eating three times a day when at work; (4) see that they are warmly and comfortably housed at night and in bad weather; (5) see that when sick they have proper medicine and medical treatment and, in case of death, are decently buried; and (6) keep the males separate from the females. T.C.A. § 41-2-109.