Knowledgebase-Ordinance Publication Requirement


Information Product

Title:Ordinance Publication Requirement
Summary:MTAS was asked whether an ordinance must be published if the city’s charter contains no ordinance publication requirement.
Original Author:Hemsley, Sid
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:08/08/96
Last Reviewed on::05/16/2017
Subject:Charters--City; Municipal ordinances; Public information
Type:Legal Opinion
Legal Opinion:

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: August 8, 1996

You have the following question: If the city’s charter contains no ordinance publication requirement, must an ordinance be published? The answer is no, unless the general law prescribes the publication of a particular ordinance.

The ordinance publication requirement to which you refer [Tennessee Code Annotated, section 6-2-101] applies only to those cities chartered under the general law mayor-aldermanic charter. A similar provision is found in the general law manager-commission charter. [Tennessee code Annotated, section 6-20-118.]

However, your city has a private act charter, and the city’s ordinances are required to be enacted pursuant to that charter. That charter contains no publication requirement. [See State of Tennessee ex rel. Carl Balsinger v. Town of Madisonville, 435 S.W.2d 803 (Tenn. 1986); Biddle v. Town of Farragut, 646 S.W.2d 925 (Tenn. 1982); Town of Surgoinsville v. Sandridge, 866 S.W.2d 553 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1993).]

Sincerely,

Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant

SDH/

Please remember that these legal opinions were written based on the facts of a given city at a certain time. The laws referenced in any opinion may have changed or may not be applicable to your city or circumstances.

Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information contained in this database.