Records Retention Schedule
County Clerk

Description of Records Retention Period Comments
Bonds and County Officials Records        
Bonds, Administrators, Executors and Fiduciary

Copies of all bonds given by persons who act in a fiduciary capacity. Shows name of person bonded, estate or person for whom he acts, date, amount, condition of bond, name of surety and date bond rescinded. 6-2-12, 44-5-2

General Bonds

Miscellaneous original bonds which are given by county officials to county court upon election or appointment to office, and which have been recorded. Includes bonds of county officials, fiduciaries, ministers, proprietors of liquor establishments, notaries public and trustees. 44-1-16

Retain three (3) years after termination, then destroy    
Judgments Bonds

Show name of person giving bond, capacity in which he serves, date, amount and conditions of bond, and name of surety. 44-1-16

Minute Book, Minutes and Index

Record of all County Commission meetings of the county.

Notary Public Bonds

Copies of bonds executed by notaries public to insure the perfomance of duties, showing names of principal and sureties, amount of bond, date bond executed, date of election by the court, signatures of principal and sureties, judge's approval of the bond, date of commission expiration, and oath of office sworn to. 44-1-16

Official Bonds

Record of bonds given to County Court by county officials upon appointment or election to office. Shows name of officer, capacity in which he acts, name of surety, date, amount, and condition of bond. 44-1-16

Official Oaths of Office

Original oaths administered to county officers upon assumption of duties. Includes original oaths of all magisterial district and county officers and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction; and certified copies of oaths of members of school boards, other school officials and municipal offices. 6-1-6

Election Records        
Absentee Voting Records

Includes application for absent voter's ballots and rejected absent voter's ballots. 3-3-5

Retain one (1) year after election unless further preservation required by court. If so, destroy at end of court requirements.    
Candidate's Expense Accounts

Sworn statements filed with clerk by financial agent or treasurer of political organization of all receipts and disbursements in connection with elections. Shows all contributions to each candidate's campaign fund, from whom received, amount and purpose of each expenditure and date of each transaction. 3-8-2, 3-8-6

Retain five (5) years after election. Destroy unless ordered preserved by the order of any court.    
Election Officers and Ballots Commissioners Record

Written designations of the above named officers. 3-1-43

Retain two (2) years after election, then destroy, unless longer preservation required by court.    
Election Record

A record of votes cast in each district of the county during primary and/or general elections. States name of candidate, office, political affiliation, number of votes cast for each and date. Primary and general elections may be in different books in some instances. Also contains a record of proceedings in ascertaining and declaring the result of every election in the county. 3-6-9

Retain twenty (20) years, then destroy. Offer to State Archives
Poll Books
Destroy 22 months after election unless contest pending or preservation required by court order. If so, preserve until contest or court requirements have ended.    
Precinct Certificates

Certificate filed by precinct election officials as to results of their precinct. 3-6-9

Destroy 22 months after election unless contest pending or preservation required by court order. If so, preserve until contest or court requirements have ended.    
Tally Sheets
Destroy 22 months after election unless contest pending or preservation required by court order. If so, preserve until contest or court requirements have ended.    
Voting Ballots
3-6-9, 3-6-10
Destroy 22 months after election unless contest pending or preservation required by court order. If so, preserve until contest or court requirements have ended.    
Voters Registration (includes Cancellation and Reinstatements)

Application to County Court made by person desiring registration or transfer. Gives name of applicant, precinct, political affiliation, age, place of birth, time of residence in state, county, and precinct and signature. Two (2) copies are kept, one alphabetical and one by precinct. 3-2-29

Retain five (5) years after last recorded activity.    
Financial Records        
Audit Books

Books on what was audited by state agencies in the county. Health and all offices in the County Court. 11-1- 2

Retain fifteen (15) years, then destroy.    
Copies of Cancelled Checks and Bank Statements

General Relief Fund, General County, etc. 7-6-6, 9-4-4

Retain ten (10) years, then destroy.    
Dog Fund or Sheep Fund

Dog fees which are used to pay sheep kill claims out of, also may be titled Sheep Fund. 19-20-10

Retain until after Tax Commissioner's audit and exceptions cleared, then destroy.    
Fee Books

Record of all fees for all services performed by Clerk of County Court including acknowledgments, recordings, filing, administering oaths, transcripts, and copying. Shows dates, names of parties for whom service was rendered, names of parties to instrument, kind of service charged, date of collection. 59-1-19

Retain until after Tax Commissioner's audit and exceptions cleared, then destroy.    
General County Fund

Procurement records of the County Clerk's Office containing vouchers, invoices paid from General County Fund. 7-7-9

Retain ten (10) years, then destroy.    
State General Relief Fund

General relief cases made up for frequent use. Shows name, case number, alias if any, address, remarks, date of investigation and name of investigator, application number and date. 9-4-4

Retain ten (10) years, then destroy.    
General School Fund

Sheriff's record of payment to and disbursement of funds allocated to operation, construction and maintenance of schools. Shows source of funds and date received, to whom orders payable, purpose, date, amount and number of order. 18-9-5

Hunting and Fishing Licenses Report

Stubs or receipts of licenses issued by the Clerk of the County Court. Shows name of person receiving license, kind of license, date issued, amount of fee and signature of clerk. 20-2-34

Retain until after Tax Commissioner and Div. of Natural Resources audits and exceptions cleared, then destroy.    
Index to Old Age Benefits

Record of assignments made to secure payment of old age pensions; assignment of future income, real or personal property, or insurance. Shows name of pensioner, amount and description of tangible property, date of agreement, description of tangible property, date of agreement, amount to be received by pensioner, date of recordation. (obsolete)

Retain ten (10) years after case is closed, then destroy.    
Insurance on County Vehicles and Buildings

Insurance policies showing type of coverages the county has on all vehicles and property.

Retain until policies terminated and Tax Commissioner's audit has been completed and exceptions cleared, then destroy.    
Justice Fines

Reports of fines and costs collected by justices of the peace with name of district, date of report, date and amount of fine, receipt number, charge, from whom collected , docketing reference to book and page, date and amount of fine collected, date fine paid to Sheriff by justice, amount of fee, and name of justice. (obsolete) 50-17-15

Justice of the Peace Quarterly Reports

Reports of fines and costs collected by Justices of the Peace with name of district, date of report, date and amount of fine, receipt number, charge, from whom collected, docketing reference to book and page, date and amount collected, and name of justice. (obsolete) 50-17-16

Levy Estimates

Levy estimates made by County Court for various funds in administration of county affairs. Shows amount and allocation of levy, date of meeting. 11-8-10, 11-8-10A

Monthly Reports of County Officers

Reports from certain county officials on budget, list of expenses, salaries, etc. 7-5-16

Retain until after Tax Commissioner's audit and exceptions cleared, then destroy.    
Personnel Payroll Journal

Lists names of personnel and salary payments made to each. 7-7-6 (Repealed 1996)

Retain for 25 years all payrolls prior to county entering Public Employees Retirement System, then destroy.    
Procurement Records

Requisitions, shipping documents, invoices, statements, and related correspondence regarding purchases.

Retain ten (10) years, then destroy.    
Receipts of the County Clerk

Receipts given to Clerk of County Court by county officers upon receipt of order for payment of salaries for employees services and county bills. Shows name of person receiving payment, position, amount received, date, and number of check. 7-7-9

Retain ten (10) years, then destroy.    
Receipts and Disbursements

Record of receipts and disbursements made by Clerk in administration of office. Receipts show source and amount of fund, date received and allocation. Disbursements to whom paid, date, amount, explanation of payment and to what fund charged. 7-5-16

Retain ten (10) years, then destroy.    
Revenue Sharing

Records of expenditures by the county paid from Federal Sharing Money given to the county by the Federal Government. Contains invoices, receipts, etc.

Retain until after federal audit and exceptions cleared, then destroy.    
Road Order Books

Record of allowance made by county court to be drawn from each district fund for construction and maintenance of roads. Gives name of road, amount spent, date, to whom paid and reason for payment. (Obsolete, discontinued, 1933) 17-10-4

Destroy. Offer to State Archives.
Sheriff's Settlements Record

Original annual settlements made by Sheriff and submitted to County Court for approval. Report shows source of all funds, date of receipt and fund to which allocated with itemized list of all disbursements, date, amount, to whom paid, fund to which charged, number of order, and explanation of payment. 6-8-6

State Road Commission Contract Proposals

This deals with State Road Commission contracts for improving highways and building new ones in that county. 17-10-4

Permanent (Suggest review)
Worker's Compensation Fund

Quarterly reports to the Worker's Compensation Commissioner by the County 7-7-3

Claims 7-5-16

Retain until after Tax Commissioner's audit and exceptions cleared, then destroy.

Two (2) years after settlement, then destroy.

Pauper Book

Record of care of poor in county, showing minutes of meetings of overseers of poor, claims paid for food and supplies in the care of poor. (Obsolete)

Transfer to State Archives.    
Budget Statement filed by County Officials
Two (2) years, then destroy.    
Financing Statements        
Conditional Sales Contracts and Index

Original conditional sales contracts filed, not recorded. Shows name of vendee and vendor, date of sale, condition of sale, amount of deferred payments, interest or carrying charges, description of property purchased, date contract admitted to record, contract number. (Obsolete, repealed) 40-3-1,40-3-32

Three (3) years after termination of contract, then destroy.    
Financing Statements and Indexes
Reimbursement Agreements

Original conditional sales contracts for recordation and filed without recordation. Shows name of vendee and vendor, date of sale, condition of sale, amount of deferred payment, interest or carrying charges, description of property purchased, date contract admitted to record, date of release of other action and file number. 46-1-101 et seq

Retain until released by termination of agreement, then destroy.    
Land Related        
Annual Report of Deputy Commissioner Delinquent Lands to Auditor

Yearly reports prepared by Deputy Commissioner Delinquent Lands on forms to be furnished by the Auditor, of all lands previously certified to the Circuit Court of the county. 11A-4-35 (Obsolete, repealed)

Blueprints of Courthouse and Maps

Maps to county lands and blueprints of important county buildings and facilities.

Book of Assessments

Tables of tracts of land containing same information as in Land Book. It is arranged alphabetically by districts and by names of property owners thereunder. 11-3 et seq

Permanent Created by Assessor, copies to Sheriff, County Clerk, and Auditor.
Certificate of Transfer

List prepared for Assessor by County Clerk of all transfer of real property during past year. Shows whether transfer made by deed, judgment or decree, names of grantors and grantees and names of the parties in whose favor of and against whom such a decree was rendered. 11-4-8

One (1) year after transfer, then destroy.    
Circuit Court Orders Redemption of Delinquent Lands

Receipts of redemption of delinquent lands which have been forfeited to State. Shows name of owner charged with tax, period for which delinquent, amount of tax due, name of redemptioner, date and amount paid. 11A-3-26, 11A-3-44

Correction of Erroneous Assessments

Record of orders of corrections of tax assessments on real property after hearing has been conducted before County Court acting as board of review and equalization. 11A-3-27

Five (5) years, then destroy.    

Copies of original deed filed with the County for safekeeping. Shows names of grantees and grantors, location and description of property, acreage, warranty, granting works, reservations if any liens, date of instrument, execution, acknowledgment, consideration, recital, estates conveyed and date of recordation. 11A-3-27, 11A-3-28, 11A-3-29, 39-1-2

Deed Books

Contains copies of the above mentioned item bound in book form. 11A-3 et seq

Delinquent Land Book

Record of delinquent lands showing names of property owner, acreage, description and location, years for which real estate delinquent. 11-8-11

Delinquent Property Tax List

Prepared by Sheriff each year. 11A-2-14

Division of Highways Maps

West Virginia Division of Highways public utilities, pipelines and other maps pertaining to right-of-way. 17-4-7, 17 10-4

Homesteads and Exemptions

Record of real property and appurtenances thereto set aside to the amount of $5,000 and which cannot be attached for debts contracted after record is made. 38-9-4

Land Books

List of real estate owners showing names of owners, location, description, acreage of property, assessed value and allocation of tax to various county and state funds. 11-3-19

Ten (10) years, if and upon transfer of Assessor's office copy.    
Lis Pendens

Record of memorandum or notice of the pendency of a suit, action, or other proceeding, whether at law or equity, to enforce any lien upon, right to, or interest in designated real estate. Have original in files and a copy in book form. 55-11-1, 55-11-2

Retain original one (1) year after settlement, then destroy.

Retain Lis Pendens book permanently.

Mortgagor Index to Trust Deeds

Original transfers of personal property and security for a debt or obligation in such form that upon failure of mortgagor to comply with the terms of the contract, the title of property will become the property of the mortgagee. Shows name of mortgagor, description and location of property affected, amount and description of chattels. 38-13-1

Mineral Resources Lease Book

Recorded copies of leases on mineral resources, shows name of lessor and lessee, consideration, location and description of property, terms of the agreement, acknowledgment before Notary Public and clerk's certificate of recordation.

Personal Property Books

List of personal property prepared by Assessor for tax assessment purposes. Shows name of property owner, description and assessed value of property with allocation of tax to various state, county, district and municipal funds. 11-3-19

Five (5) years, then destroy. Offer to State Archives if pre 1900.
Plat Books

Drawings and blueprints of forms, subdivision, cemeteries, city lots, and street improvements, showing name of subject, date of drawing, boundaries, scale used, location, name of engineer making survey, name of draftsman, and certificate of registration. 39-1-11

Report of Sales Commission of Forfeited and Delinquent Lands

Record of receipts issued by State Auditor for payment of delinquent taxes or redemption after land has been returned delinquent and taken over by State. Shows name of owner, name of person paying tax, amount and extent of time for which tax due, interest charged, amount and date paid. 11A-3-44, 11A-3-68

Report of Sales Under Trust Deeds

Recorded reports of sale of property at public auction by trustee. Shows inventory of property sold, date of sale, name of purchaser, and amount for which sold. 35-1-5

Twenty (20) years after sale, then destroy.    
Surveyor's Reports

Record of surveyor's plats of land showing name of owner, location and description of land with metes and bounds, names of adjacent owners, date of survey, and name of surveyor. 7-3-2

Tax Deeds Notices and Certificates

Copies of receipts of purchasers of delinquent land, which have been sold at public auction for delinquent taxes. Shows name of purchaser, name of former owner, location and description of property, date and place of sale, and amount of redemption price. 11A-3-68

Land Sales Record

List of sales and redemptions of advertised delinquent lands made by Sheriff to Clerk of County Court. Shows date of sale, years for which delinquent, name of person charged with taxes, etc. 11A-3-11

Delinquent Property Taxes

List of all real property returned delinquent after taxes have been unpaid for a period of one year. Prepared by the Sheriff and submitted to County Court. Shows name of owner, location, description and assessed value of property, total amount of tax and period for which due, date redeemed or sold. 11A-2-11, 11A-2-14

Permanent Sheriff created in May. Filed with County Clerk in June.
Certificates of Redemption filed by County Clerk
Quitclaim Deeds
36-3-7; 11A-3-27
List of Redemptions

Prepared by auditor and deputy commissioner. 11A-3-56

Certificate recorded/posted for estrays, drift, and derelict property
Retain ten (10) years. Should not require permanently but is a property record.
Consolidation Order Book
Liens and Assignments        
Assignment Records

Record of assignment of real and personal property to protect creditors. Shows same information as an Assignment Judgment. Shows name of person making assignment, nature and extent of property, date assignment made, and date of recordation. 38-12-9

Retain five (5) years after settlement of assignment, then destroy.    
Chattel Deeds of Trust and Crop Liens

Original chattel deeds of trust given against farm crops and livestock to secure advancement of Federal loans. Shows date of lien, name of grantor, trustee and beneficiary, amount advanced and limits. Original crop lien agreements made between West Virginia Rural Rehabilitation Corporation and individuals to secure advancement of funds. 38-10A-6 (Repealed) Chapter 46

Retain ten (10) years after release of lien, then destroy.    
Factor Liens

This is used whenever a bank, person, firm or corporation will advance money with security as accounts receivable, material goods in process or merchandise. Includes names of parties and general characteristics of merchandise. 38-14-3 (Repealed)

Retain until five (5) years after release of lien, then destroy.
Mechanic's Lien Record and Index

Record book showing names of parties, amount and character of claim, when filed, description of property to be charged by such lien, and notation of release; if contract and bond are filed it is entered in this record. 38-2-27

Retain two (2) years after cleared, then destroy.    
Public Assistance Lien Record

As a condition of receiving public assistance, an aged person shall submit to the county council a property acknowledged agreement granting to the state a lien upon all or any part of his real or personal property. 9-5-26 (Obsolete)

Release Book

Record of releases which consist of writing given and acknowledged before one authorized to acknowledge deeds releasing any lien upon real or personal property. Shows same information as the original document. Shows name of parties to instrument, description of lien to be released, full or partial release, and intent to discharge same. 38-12-9

Releases - Inheritance Tax

Original release writings recorded and filed. Shows description of lien to be released, whether full or partial release, names of both parties and intent to discharge some. 38-12-9

Tax Liens (Federal and State)

Contains a record of the State Tax liens against property for failure to pay taxes. Also lists a cross reference to the release if applicable. 38-10-1, 38-10C-2

Retain until two (2) years after release, then destroy.    
Trust Deed Books and Index

Original trust deeds held as a lien to secure debts or indemnifying sureties. Shows date, name of grantor and trustee, description of property, granting words, description of debts to be secured or indemnified, covenants or provisions, signature or grantor and witnesses. 11A-3-17

Sale of Subsequent Tax Liens
Deed to Purchaser, record of 11A-3-59 Permanent    
Compelling Service of Notice or Execution of Deed
Vital Statistics        
Death Certificates and Registers

This shows the name of decedent, date, cause and place of death, names of parents, date and place of birth and place of burial. Also shown is the age, color, sex, marital status, occupation, etc. 16-5-19

Delayed Birth Certificates

Various records to establish birth date for persons who never acquired a certificate until later in life. 16-5-12

Marriage Licenses and Marriage License Book

Original marriage licenses issued by Clerk of County Court. Shows name of county, authorization for marriage, names of parties, date of issue, signature of clerk, and endorsement of minister with date and place of marriage. 48-2-107, 48-2-203, 48-2-204

Military Discharge Record and Index

Record of discharges of officers and enlisted men in World War I and post from all branches of the service. Shows name, date and place of enlistment, service record, rank at time of discharge, date, place, and reason for discharge. 51-4-12A

Register of Births and Indexes

Record of birth certificates issued by Clerk of County Court and index to births. Index shows family name of children and the given name of child.16-5-12

Register of Marriages

Record of marriages performed and reported by ministers and of marriage licenses. Also is an index that gives the names of the bride and groom.16-5-33

Vital Statistics Records

This includes a register of births, deaths, marriages, and an index to all the books. 16-5-12, 16-5-19, 16-5-33

Fetal Death Registration
Court Records of Adoption
16-5-16, 16-5-18
Permanent Closed.
Court Records of Paternity
16-5-17, 16-5-18
Permanent Closed.
Correction/Amendment of Vital Records
Endorsement/Return of Licenses by persons solemnizing marriage; duties of clerk pertaining thereto 48-1-10 Permanent    
Wills, Fiduciaries and Related Documents        
Appraisements of Estates

Itemized list of all property in estates with appraised valuation as made by appraisers and reported to the Commissioner of Accounts who examines appraisement and certifies it to County Court for approval and release of appraisers. 44-5-2

Church Trustees

Record of notices of appointment or election of church and organization trustees as recorded in Church Trustees Orders. Shows name of officer making report, name of organization electing or appointing trustee, date and period of appointment, date of filing, signature of president or secretary making report, and signature of Clerk of County Court. 35-1-6

Distributes of Estates

Original receipts taken by the Clerk for disbursement of funds incident to estate settlements showing date of estate settlements showing date of receipt, amount and purpose of payment, signature of payee, and source from which funds were derived.

Estates Record

Records of closed and open estates and the sale of land under estates. 31-40-1 to 31-40-11

Power of Attorney Books

Record of appointment of person to act as principal with full legal power. Shows name of person to whom power of attorney is granted, name of principal, date of appointment, date of power rescinded and date of recordation, stating whether power be general or special. 39-1-1

Record of Fiduciaries

Record of fiduciaries and their appointments required to be kept by Clerk of County Court. Shows name of fiduciary, name of decedent, names of living person or persons for whom he is guardian, curator, etc. 44-5-1, 44-5-2

Record of Fiduciary Sales and Index

Original settlements made by fiduciary to Commissioner of Accounts and submitted by him to County Court for approval and release of fiduciary. Shows name of estate, name of personal representative, date and amounts of all receipts and disbursements and final total. 42-1-9

Report of Settlement by Fiduciaries

Record of annual and final settlements made by fiduciaries. Shows name of estate, name of personal representative, list of all receipts and disbursements of funds in estate with date and explanation, certification of Commissioner, approval of court, and date of recording. 44-4-3

Will Books and Indexes

Register of all wills that have been filed with the county. Also there is an original of some wills and an index of all the wills of the offices. 41-5-17, 44-5-2

Fiduciary records of circuit court to be deposited in county clerk's office 44-5-2 Permanent    
Copy of judgement/order in probate appeals 41-5-8 Permanent    
Other Records        
Certificates of Incorporation

Original certificates of incorporations showing names of corporations, date, location, authorized capital stock and subscribers to same.

Certificate of Rabies Vaccination

A list of all the vaccinations done on dogs for rabies and owner's name. 19-20A-3

Three (3) years, then destroy.    
Coroner's Record

Original inquest forms made by Coroner's Jury to Coroner who submits the same with evidence to Circuit Court. Shows place and date of inquest, name of Coroner or Justice acting as Coroner, name of deceased, manner of death, persons involved, signatures of Coroner and jury. 61-12-10

If court action results, retain as long as other papers in case are retained, then destroy.

If no court action, retain ten (10) years, then destroy.

Execution Dockets

Record of original and abstracts of executions issued in any court in state upon property in county in which clerk serves. Shows name of plaintiff and defendant, amount and date of execution, day and hour received by Sheriff. 38-3-5

Judgment Dockets

Original abstracts filed by Clerk of County Court of all judgments rendered in Justice of the Peace, Circuit Court, or any other court in the state affecting property in the county for which he acts. Shows name of plaintiff and defendant; amount of judgment and costs; value of any specific property to be recovered by the judgment, and the damage for its detention. 38-3-4, 38-3-5

Justice Civil and Criminal Dockets

Record of all criminal and civil cases heard in Justice of the Peace court showing pleadings, title of action, names of parties to suit, date of action, crime charged, date of summons and return, names of attorneys appearing for plaintiff and defendant, filing of complaint, continuances if any, verdict, execution, satisfaction of judgment. 50-16-1 to 50-16-11 (obsolete)

Law Order Books

Law orders of the County Court and Circuit Court in all legal actions. Shows names of parties to suits, names of attorneys, style of case, order or decree issued, date of order and recordation. 56-3-6--Delivery of Process ,56-4-2 separates chancery cases

Lunacy Papers from Hearings

Record of examinations of alleged insane persons by mental hygiene commission. Shows name of person examined, name of person or persons making complaint, physicians reports, examination of patient by board, judgment by board, and whether admittance to state hospital is recommended. 27-5-4 (obsolete)

Transfer to Circuit Clerk.    
Record of Change of Name

Recording and indexing of all change in name orders, showing both old and new names. 48-5-613, 48-25- 104

Surety Company Statements

Financial statements of insurance companies, showing name of company, names of officers of firm, home office location, assets, liabilities and date.

Five (5) years, then destroy.    
Welfare Case Reports

Monthly computer listings of persons receiving public assistance, address, and amount of assistance is considered public information. 9-5-5

Two (2) years, then destroy.    
West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System

Listing of all deductions from employees of the county concerning a retirement fund sent to Charleston in report form. 5-10-16

Ten (10) years, then destroy.    
Applications for Employment (Persons not Employed by County) Two (2) years, then destroy.    
Attendance Reports

Includes time sheets/cards, compensatory time, monthly/weekly reports.

Five (5) years, then destroy.    
Correspondence - Administrative/Commissioners Five (5) years, then destroy correspondence having no further administrative value.    
Federal Tax Returns:

IRS Forms 940, 940a, 941, 942, W-2

W-4 Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate

Five (5) years, then destroy.

Four (4) years after superseded or obsolete, then destroy.

State Income Tax Reports - IT-101 and 102 Five (5) years, then destroy.    
Personnel Employment Record Cards

Cards on each employee showing name, birth date, date hired, staff position and date terminated, etc.

75 years from date of birth.    
Personnel Folders Five (5) years after termination, then destroy.    

Records Management and Preservation Board