Original Author: Hemsley, Sid
Date of Material: 01/11/2002
MTAS was asked whether the one year durational residency requirement for mayor (and aldermen) contained in the general law mayor-aldermanic charter is legal?
January 11, 2002
Dear Election Administrator:
You have the following question: Is the one year durational residency requirement for mayor (and aldermen) contained in § 6-3-103 of the general law mayor-aldermanic charter legal?
The answer is yes.
A number of cases in both the state and federal courts across the United States have struck down durational residency requirements of varying lengths. However, the heavy weight of authority in those cases involving durational residency requirements of one year, is that such requirements are legal. More important, Tennessee is in the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and is governed by the cases decided in that Circuit. In City of Akron v. Beil, 660 F.2d 166 (6th Cir. 1981), the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the City of Akron’s charter provision providing for durational residency requirement of one year for both at large seats and ward seats on the city council. That case is still the law on that point in the Sixth Circuit.
Let me know if I can help you further in this or any other matter.
Sidney D. Hemsley
Senior Law Consultant
Residency Requirement for Mayor public.doc