Incompatible Offices Law and Legal Definition
Incompatible offices are public offices which cannot be held by one person at the same time.
In legal contemplation, incompatibility between two offices is an inconsistency between the functions of the two. The offices must subordinate, one to the other, and they must, per se, have the right to interfere with the other before they are incompatible. [Haymaker v. State, 22 N.M. 400 (N.M. 1917)].
Incompatibility of offices has arisen, independently of statutory or constitutional provision, two rules are generally recognized:
1. that incompatibility does not depend upon the incidents of the offices, as upon physical inability to be engaged in the duties of both at the same time.
2. the test of incompatibility is the character and relation of the offices: as where one is subordinate to the other, and subject in some degree to its revisory power; or where the functions of the two offices are inherently inconsistent and repugnant. In such cases it has uniformly been held that the same person cannot hold both offices. [State ex rel. Metcalf v. Goff, 15 R.I. 505, 506 (R.I. 1887)].