Section 6-5-4

Recovery of public moneys, funds or property.

(a) The Governor may cause actions to be commenced for the recovery of any public moneys, funds, or property of the state or of any county which have been lost by the neglect or default of any public officer, which have been wrongfully expended or disbursed by such officer, which have been wrongfully used by such officer, or which have been wrongfully received from him.

(b) In the event any public officer or agent of the state or any depositary or custodian of public funds or moneys has wrongfully used such funds or moneys, actions for the recovery thereof may be commenced before any court having jurisdiction of the subject matter; and it shall not be ground of objection to such an action that either, any, or all of the parties defendant do not reside within the county or within the district in which such action is commenced.

(c) Such action may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdiction; and such officer or agent, such depositary or custodian and the sureties on his official bond, or any one or more of them, may be joined as parties defendant; and any person who has wrongfully received such moneys or funds from such officer, agent, depositary, or custodian may also be joined as a party defendant.

(d) In aid of such an action and on application of the Governor, the Attorney General, district attorney, or attorney employed in the prosecution of such action showing just and legal cause, the court having jurisdiction shall direct the issue of writs of attachment, garnishment, seizure, ne exeat, or of any other proper writ or process which may be deemed necessary for the security of the state or to make effective the judgment in such action if it should be entered in favor of the state; and bond and security shall not be required of the state upon or for the issue of any such writ or process.

(e) Such writs may be levied on any and all property, real or personal, rights, or credits in which the party against whom the same may issue has any estate or any interest, legal or equitable, subject to the payment of the debt or demand preferred in such action and upon any and all property, real or personal, rights or credits which may have been conveyed, assigned, or transferred in fraud of creditors. The levy of such writ creates a lien from the day it is made. All property levied on may be replevied in the mode provided by law for the replevy of property on which an attachment is levied; and, if the property, or any part thereof, is not forthcoming to answer the judgment of the court, the replevin bond shall have the force and effect of a judgment for such sum as the court may order on motion, after notice to the obligors, any one or more of them, or their personal representatives if any one or more of them should be dead.

(f) The court shall have full power to make any and all such orders in reference to any other action which may be pending on the same claim or demand against any one or more of the defendants as justice may require, and the court may enter a final judgment against all of the defendants jointly or against them severally as the ends of justice may seem to require; and, for the making of all necessary orders or judgments in such an action, the court shall be deemed open at all times.

(g) If in the progress of such an action any matter of fact arises or any issue is presented which is properly triable by jury at any time within 10 days after such matter of fact or issue is shown by the pleadings, a trial by jury may be claimed by filing a written demand therefor. Such demand being filed, the court must order a jury to be summoned and impaneled at such time as it may appoint for the trial and determination of such matter of fact or issue, which trial shall in all respects be conducted as trials by jury are conducted in other civil cases. The verdict of the jury shall have the force and effect of other verdicts; and, for good cause, the court may set the verdict aside and order a new trial. If within the 10-day period a trial by jury is not claimed, the right thereto is waived; but the court may, in its discretion, order and direct such trial notwithstanding such waiver.

(Code 1886, §§72-78; Code 1896, §§3755-3761; Code 1907, §§2443-2449; Code 1923, §§5647-5653; Code 1940, T. 7, §§73-79.)