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
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).]


Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant


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