Person holding office of trust, command or authority in corporation, government, armed services, or other institution or organization. In corporations, a person charged with important functions of management such as president, vice president, treasurer, etc.
In determining whether one is an "officer" or "employee," important tests are the tenure by which a position is held, whether its duration is defined by the statute or ordinance creating it, or whether it is temporary or transient or for a time fixed only by agreement; whether it is created by an appointment or election, or merely by a contract of employment by which the rights of the parties are regulated; whether the compensation is by a salary or fees fixed by law, or by a sum agreed upon by the contract of hiring.
For definitions of the various classes and kinds of officers, see the titles:
- commissioned office;
- fiscal officer;
- municipal officer;
- naval officer;
- non-commissioned officer;
- peace officer;
- public officer;
Other terms
@ civil officer
The word "civil," as regards civil officers, is commonly used to distinguish those officers who are in public service but not of the military. Hence, any officer of the United States who holds his appointment under the national government, whether his duties are executive or judicial, in the highest or the lowest departments of the government, with the exception of officers of the armed services.
@ military officer
Commissioned officer in armed services. Officer who has command in armed forces
@ officer de facto
As distinguished from an officer de jure; this is the designation of one who is in the actual possession and administration of the office, under some colorable or apparent authority, although his title to the same, whether by election or appointment, is in reality invalid or at least formally questioned. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 6 S.Ct. 1121, 30 L.Ed. 178.
One who actually assumes and exercises duties of public office under color of known and authorized appointment or election, but who has failed to comply with all requirements of law prescribed as precedent to performance of duties of the office. State v. Whelan, 103 Idaho 651, 651 P.2d 916, 920
@ officer de jure
One who is in all respects legally appointed and qualified to exercise the office. One who is clothed with the full legal right and title to the office; he is one who has been legally elected or appointed to an office, and who has qualified himself to exercise the duties thereof according to the mode prescribed by law. Trost v. Tynatishon, 12 Ill.App.3d 406, 299 N.E.2d 14, 17
@ officer of justice
A general name applicable to all persons connected with the administration of the judicial department of government, but commonly used only of the class of officers whose duty is to serve the process of the courts, such as sheriffs, constables, bailiffs, marshals, sequestrators, etc
@ officer of the United States
An officer nominated by the President and confirmed by the senate or one who is appointed under an act of congress, by the President alone, a court of law, or a head of a department. U. S. v. Mouat, 124 U.S. 303, 8 S.Ct. 505, 31 L.Ed. 463.
@ public officer
An officer of a public corporation; that is, one holding office under the government of a municipality, state, or nation. One occupying a public office created by law. One of necessary characteristics of "public officer" is that he performs public function for public benefit and in so doing he be vested with exercise of some sovereign power of state.
@ warrant officer
Officer of armed forces, with rank between commissioned and non-commissioned officer, holding rank by virtue of warrant

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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