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Shelby County Charter
About the Charter
The Shelby County Charter was approved by the voters of Shelby County, Tennessee, on August 2, 1984, and became effective September 1, 1986. A constitution for the operation of Shelby County's government, the Shelby County Charter places the power to effectively operate government in the hands of the citizens of Shelby County. Download the entire Shelby County Charter here, or search the charter's individual sections below:
  • Introduction 
    • Creation of First Shelby County Charter Commission
    • History of Previous County Government Structure
    • Authority for Charter Form of County Government
    • Home Rule Charter
    • Charter Highlights
    • Conclusion
  • Preamble 
  • Article I - Powers and Functions 
    • Section 1.01 - Powers and functions
    • Section 1.02 - Private and local affairs
    • Section 1.03 - Public corporation powers
    • Section 1.04 - Public corporation rights
    • Section 1.05 - Rights reserved to the people
  • Article II - Legislative Branch 
    • Section 2.01 - Legislative powers
    • Section 2.02 - Other powers
    • Section 2.03 -. Membership and election
    • Section 2.04 - Commissioner's salary and expense
    • Section 2.05 - Quorum
    • Section 2.06 - Ordinances and resolutions
    • Section 2.07 - Mayor signature and veto
    • Section 2.08 - Election of chairman, chairman pro tempore
    • Section 2.09 - Removal of commissioner
    • Section 2.10 - Chairman's designee authority
    • Section 2.11 - Vacancy
    • Section 2.12 - Approval of nominations
    • Section 2.13 - Recodifications
  • Article III - Executive Branch 
    • Section 3.01 - Executive and administrative powers
    • Section 3.02 - Executive branch
    • Section 3.03 - County mayor (duties)
    • Section 3.04 - County mayor (term, qualifications, and compensation)
    • Section 3.05 - County mayor (vacancy)
    • Section 3.06 - Creation of offices, divisions, and departments
    • Section 3.07 - Budget procedures
    • Section 3.08 - Special offices of Shelby County government
  • Article IV: Judicial Branch, Law Enforcement, and Corrections 
    • Section 4.01 - Judiciary
    • Section 4.02 - Vacancy
    • Section 4.03 - Abolishing divisions or altering compensation prohibited
    • Section 4.04 - Rules of court and evidence
    • Section 4.05 - Judicial notice of charter and ordinances
    • Section 4.06 - Sheriff 
  • Article V - General Provisions  
    • Section 5.01 - Title of charter
    • Section 5.02 - Liberal construction of charter
    • Section 5.03 - Definitions
    • Section 5.04 - Construction of words in charter
    • Section 5.05 - Amendments to the charter
    • Section 5.06 - Method of electing officers
    • Section 5.07 - Qualification and oath of elected officers
    • Section 5.08 - Conflict of interest
    • Section 5.09 - Bonding of officers or employees
    • Section 5.10 - Residence of county official, employees and attorney qualifications required
    • Section 5.11. Temporary advisory board
    • Section 5.12 - Ex officio members (boards, authorities, and commissions)
    • Section 5.13 - Equal opportunity
    • Section 5.14 - Pension benefits retained
    • Section 5.15 - Liability and void obligation if contrary to charter
    • Section 5.16 - Public meetings and records
    • Section 5.17 - Administrative rules and regulations
    • Section 5.18 - County seal and flag
    • Section 5.19 - Service of process on county
    • Section 5.20 - Duty to provide health service and to require payment from those able to pay
    • Section 5.21 - Severability
    • Section 5.22 - Holding more than one compensated elective office
    • Section 5.23 - Succession of authority and continuity of government in a disaster
    • Section 5.24 - Recall of elected county officials
    • Section 5.25 - Term limitations for county charter officers
  • Article VI - Prohibitions 
    • Section 6.01 - Consolidation prohibited
    • Section 6.02 - County board of education
    • Section 6.03 - Removal of incumbents
    • Section 6.04 - Constitutional officers
    • Section 6.05 - Municipalities
    • Section 6.06 - Zoning
    • Section 6.07 - Annexation
    • Section 6.08 - Incorporation
    • Section 6.09 - Civil service
    • Section 6.10 - Appointments and promotions
    • Section 6.11 - Existing rights and liabilities
  • Article VII - Transition Provisions 
    • Section 7.01 - Repeal of contrary laws
    • Section 7.02 - Referendum
    • Section 7.03 - Effective date
    • Section 7.04 - Restructure act
    • Section 7.05 - Delivery of documents
    • Section 7.06 - Resolutions and regulations
    • Section 7.07 - Pending matters
    • Section 7.08 - Judicial proceedings
    • Section 7.09 - Rights and obligations
    • Section 7.10 - Elected and appointed officers
    • Section 7.11 - Commission districts
    • Section 7.12 - Salaries
    • Section 7.13 - Depositories
    • Section 7.14 - Private acts
  • Article VIII - County Charter Officers 
    • Section 8.01 - Replacement of constitutional officers
    • Section 8.02 - Qualifications
    • Section 8.03 - Election / term
    • Section 8.04 - Vacancy
    • Section 8.05 - Removal / recall
    • Section 8.06 - Sheriff (duties, functions, and obligations; rights, power, and authority)
    • Section 8.07 - Trustee (duties, functions, and obligations; rights, power, and authority)
    • Section 8.08 - Register (duties, functions, and obligations; rights, power, and authority)
    • Section 8.09 - County Clerk (duties, functions, and obligations; rights, power, and authority)
    • Section 8.10 - Assessor (duties, functions, and obligations; rights, power, and authority) 
    • Section 8.11 - Compensation
    • Section 8.12 - Personnel salary and positions (generally)
    • Section 8.13 - Personnel salary and positions (sheriff)
  • Exhibit A (deleted charters) 
  • Legislative History 

Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building • (901) 222-2300
160 North Main Street Memphis TN 38103
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