officer

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Officer

An individual with the responsibility of performing the duties and functions of an office, that is a duty or charge, a position of trust, or a right to exercise a public or private employment.

A public officer is ordinarily defined as an individual who has been elected or appointed to exercise the functions of an office for the benefit of the public. Executive officers, such as the president or state governors, are public officers charged with the duty to ascertain that the law is enforced and obeyed. A legislative officer, such as a member of Congress, has the duty of making the laws. A public officer whose duties include administering justice, adjudicating controversies, and interpreting the laws is called a judicial officer. A de jure officer is one who is legally appointed and qualified to exercise the office. A de facto officer is an individual who appears to be legally qualified and appointed to an office but is not due to some legal technicality, such as failure to file a financial disclosure statement within the time prescribed by statute.

A public office must be created either by statute or by constitutional provision. Public officers are distinguishable from employees in that they are required to take an oath of office and are appointed or elected to specified terms of office. The eligibility, duties, and compensation of public officers are defined by statute.

Removal from office occurs when an officer is dismissed from his or her position by a superior officer acting according to law. Sufficient cause must exist to justify the removal. When an individual is wrongfully removed from office, he or she may seek reinstatement.

A military officer is one who has been commissioned as such in the Armed Services.An officer of a corporation is someone, such as the president, vice-president, treasurer, or secretary, whose main duties are to oversee the efficient operation of the business.

Cross-references

Officers of the Court.

officer

n. 1) a high-level management official of a corporation, or an unincorporated business, hired by the board of directors of a corporation or the owner of a business, such as a president, vice president, secretary, financial officer, or chief executive officer (CEO). Such officers have the actual or apparent authority to contract or otherwise act on behalf of the corporation or business. 2) a public official with executive authority ranging from City Manager to Governor. 3) a law enforcement person such as a policeman or woman, deputy sheriff, or Federal marshal.

officer

noun elected representative, functionary, named representative, officeholder, official
Associated concepts: officer of the court, officer of the law
See also: caretaker, functionary, incumbent, key man, magistrate, marshal, official, peace officer, proctor

OFFICER. He who is lawfully invested with an office.
     2. Officers may be classed into, 1. Executive; as the president of the United States of America, the several governors of the different states. Their duties are pointed out in the national constitution, and the constitutions of the several states, but they are required mainly to cause the laws to be executed and obeyed.
     3.-2. The legislative; such as members of congress; and of the several state legislatures. These officers are confined in their duties by the constitution, generally to make laws, though sometimes in cases of impeachment, one of the houses of the legislature exercises judicial functions, somewhat similar to those of a grand jury by presenting to the other articles of impeachment; and the other house acts as a court in trying such impeachments. The legislatures have, besides the power to inquire into the conduct of their members, judge of their elections, and the like.
     4.-3. Judicial officers; whose duties are to decide controversies between individuals, and accusations made in the name of the public against persons charged with a violation of the law.
     5.-4. Ministerial officers, or those whose duty it is to execute the mandates, lawfully issued, of their superiors.
     6.-5. Military officers, who have commands in the army; and
     7.-6. Naval officers, who are in command in the navy.
     8. Officers are required to exercise the functions which belong to their respective offices. The neglect to do so, may, in some cases, subject the offender to an indictment; 1 Yeates, R. 519; and in others, he will be liable to the party injured. 1 Yeates, R. 506.
     9. Officers are also divided into public officers and those who are not public. Some officers may bear both characters; for example, a clergyman is a public officer when he acts in the performance of such a public duty as the marriage of two individuals; 4 Conn. 209; and he is merely a private person when he acts in his more ordinary calling of teaching his congregation. See 4 Conn. 134; 1 Apple. 155.

References in classic literature ?
Somewhat calmer, D'Artagnan made every preparation for the journey, and took the greatest care that the military household of the king, as yet very inconsiderable in numbers, should be well officered and well disciplined in its meager and limited proportions.
If the institution had been officered by white persons, and had failed, it would have injured the cause of Negro education; but I knew that the failure of our institution, officered by Negroes, would not only mean the loss of a school, but would cause people, in a large degree, to lose faith in the ability of the entire race.
Less than ten blacks had been known to rush a blackbirder officered by no more than two white men, and Van Horn's hand closed on the butt of his automatic, although he did not pull it clear of the holster, and although, with his left hand, he directed the cigar to his mouth and puffed it lively alight.

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