Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Ordinance: ordnance


A law, statute, or regulation enacted by a Municipal Corporation.

An ordinance is a law passed by a municipal government. A municipality, such as a city, town, village, or borough, is a political subdivision of a state within which a municipal corporation has been established to provide local government to a population in a defined area.

Ordinances constitute the subject matter of municipal law. The power of municipal governments to enact ordinances is derived from the state constitution or statutes or through the legislative grant of a municipal charter. The charter in large part dictates how much power elected officials have to regulate actions within the municipality. Municipalities that have been granted "home rule" charters by the legislature have the most authority to act. If, however, a municipality enacts an ordinance that exceeds its charter or is in conflict with state or federal law, the ordinance can be challenged in court and ruled void.

Many ordinances deal with maintaining public safety, health, morals, and General Welfare. For example, a municipality may enact housing ordinances that set minimum standards of habitability. Other ordinances deal with fire and safety regulations that residential, commercial, and industrial property owners must follow. Many municipalities have enacted noise ordinances, which prohibit prescribed levels of noise after certain hours of the evening.

Ordinances may also deal with public streets and sidewalks. They typically include regulations regarding parking, snow removal, and littering. Restrictions on pets, including "pooper scooper" and leash laws, are also governed by municipal ordinances.

One of the most significant areas of municipal law is Zoning. Zoning ordinances constitute a master plan for land use within the municipality. A municipality is typically divided into residential, commercial, and industrial zoning districts. Zoning attempts to conserve the value of property and to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout a particular locality.

In the past, many U.S. municipalities enacted a variety of ordinances regulating public morals and behavior. Many, such as ordinances that prohibited spitting on a public sidewalk, have been repealed or are rarely enforced.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. A statute enacted by a city or town.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

ORDINANCE, legislation. A law, a statute, a decree.
     2. This word is more usually applied to the laws of a corporation, than to the acts of the legislature; as the ordinances of the city of Philadelphia. The following account of the difference between a statute and an ordinance is extracted from Bac. Ab. Statute, A. "Where the proceeding consisted only of a petition from parliament, and an answer from the king, these were entered on the parliament roll; and if the matter was of a public nature, the whole was then styled an ordinance; if, however, the petition and answer were not only of a public, but a novel nature, they were then formed into an act by the king, with the aid of his council and judges, and entered on the statute roll." See Harg. & But. Co. Litt. l59 b, notis; 3 Reeves, Hist. Eng. Law, 146.
     3. According to Lord Coke, the difference between a statute and an ordinance is, that the latter has not had the assent of the king, lords, and commons, but is made merely by two of those powers. 4 Inst. 25. See Barr. on Stat. 41, note (x).

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Former chairman Senate said that the government had waived off Rs210 billion of different industries and foreign companies through the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess Ordinance. The government did not lay it fearing that it would be disapproved by the house.
'Satisfaction means he has to apply his mind if such circumstances exist which warrant promulgation of an ordinance.'
PMA requested all the members of Senate to come forward and support PMA by voting against this illegal and unconstitutional ordinance and reject PMDC ordinance 2019.
The proposed ordinance asked riders of motorcycles, bicycles, tricycles, and even bikes, to wear reflectorized vest when riding around the province from 6 p.m.
With the EO, the VRU is now tasked to implement not just the Liquor Ban Ordinance and the New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance, but the said Sobriety Ordinance, as well.
According to the ordinance, reportedly there is a large scale non-declaration of assets, sales and expenditure.
"In recognition of and building on the achievements of the Quezon City Children's Code of 2012, and in light of the developments, current issues, persistent problems, and emerging concerns involving and affecting children, there is a need to strengthen the Code to ensure a child-friendly Quezon City," the ordinance read.
The ordinance, he noted, requires residents to be 'decently attired' in government offices, but does not prohibit wearing of shorts.
The ordinance also regulates the advertisement and promotion of e-cigarettes through several restrictions, including prohibition of advertisements aimed at minors.
New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday promulgated four Ordinances including the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019, which declares the practice of instant triple talaq to be void and illegal and also to make it an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and a fine.
The petitioner stated that the NAB Ordinance lapsed after the 18Amendment and appealed to the SC to declare LHC's decision null and void.