Missouri Constitution Section

Article III
Section 40
November 14, 2016

Limitations on passage of local and special laws.

Section 40. The general assembly shall not pass any local or special law:

(1) authorizing the creation, extension or impairment of liens;

(2) granting divorces;

(3) changing the venue in civil or criminal cases;

(4) regulating the practice or jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in any judicial proceeding or inquiry before courts, sheriffs, commissioners, arbitrators or other tribunals, or providing or changing methods for the collection of debts, or the enforcing of judgments, or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate;

(5) summoning or empaneling grand or petit juries;

(6) for limitation of civil actions;

(7) remitting fines, penalties and forfeitures or refunding money legally paid into the treasury;

(8) extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes, or otherwise relieving any assessor or collector of taxes from the due performance of their duties, or their securities from liability;

(9) changing the law of descent or succession;

(10) giving effect to informal or invalid wills or deeds;

(11) affecting the estates of minors or persons under disability;

(12) authorizing the adoption or legitimation of children;

(13) declaring any named person of age;

(14) changing the names of persons or places;

(15) vacating town plats, roads, streets or alleys;

(16) relating to cemeteries, graveyards or public grounds not of the state;

(17) authorizing the laying out, opening, altering or maintaining roads, highways, streets or alleys;

(18) for opening and conducting elections, or fixing or changing the place of voting;

(19) locating or changing county seats;

(20) creating new townships or changing the boundaries of townships or school districts;

(21) creating offices, prescribing the powers and duties of officers in, or regulating the affairs of counties, cities, townships, election or school districts;

(22) incorporating cities, towns, or villages or changing their charters;

(23) regulating the fees or extending the powers of aldermen, magistrates or constables;

(24) regulating the management of public schools, the building or repairing of schoolhouses, and the raising of money for such purposes;

(25) legalizing the unauthorized or invalid acts of any officer or agent of the state or of any county or municipality;

(26) fixing the rate of interest;

(27) regulating labor, trade, mining or manufacturing;

(28) granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or exclusive right, privilege or immunity, or to any corporation, association or individual the right to lay down a railroad track;

(29) relating to ferries or bridges, except for the erection of bridges crossing streams which form the boundary between this and any other state;

(30) where a general law can be made applicable, and whether a general law could have been made applicable is a judicial question to be judicially determined without regard to any legislative assertion on that subject.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. IV, § 53.

(1966) This constitutional provision applies to municipal as well as state legislation. Mathison v. Public Water Supply Dist. No. 2 of Jackson County, 401 S.W.2d 424 (Mo.).

(1995) Proscription against the enactment of local or special laws applies with equal force to municipalities and their ordinances as it does to general assembly. Hunter Avenue Property v. Union Electric Co., 895 S.W.2d 146 (Mo. App. E.D.).

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