Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1952 No. 278 -
Attorney General Smith Troy


Rural county library districts and inter-county [[intercounty]]rural library districts shall hold title to property in their own names.

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                                                                    April 2, 1952 

Maryan E. Reynolds
State Librarian
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                             Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 278

 Dear Madam:

             Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of March 14, 1952, in which you request our opinion as to whether county and inter-county [[intercounty]]rural library districts purchasing property with district funds shall hold title to the property or whether such title should be in the name of the county.

             It is our conclusion that property purchased by a rural county library district or an inter-county [[intercounty]]rural library district should be held in the name of the district and not that of the county.


             Rural county library districts are established pursuant to section 4a, chapter 119, Laws of 1935 as added by section 4, chapter 65, Laws of 1941, and last amended by section 11, chapter 75, Laws of 1947 (Rem. 1947 Supp. § 8226-4a, RCW 27.12.060).  The concluding paragraph of that section reads:

             "A rural county library district shall be a public corporation with such powers as are necessary to carry out its functions and for taxation purposes shall have the power vested in municipal corporations for such purposes."

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Inter-county [[intercounty]]rural library districts are established by chapter 75, Laws of 1947 (Rem. 1947 Supp., § 8246-1 et seq., RCW 27.12.010 et seq.).  Section 9 of that act provides:

             "Except as otherwise specifically provided inter-county [[intercounty]]rural library districts and the trustees thereof shall have the same powers as are prescribed by section 4a, chapter 119, Laws of 1935, as amended by section 1, chapter 251, Laws of 1943, for rural county library districts and shall follow the same procedures and be subject to the same limitations as are provided therein with respect to the contracting of indebtedness."

             It will thus be seen that both rural county library districts and inter-county [[intercounty]]rural library districts are municipal corporations in their own right.  As such they are authorized to acquire property and hold it in their own names.

             It is our opinion that such districts in acquiring property should take title in their own names and not in the names of the counties in which they lie.

 Very truly yours,
Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General