Broken Bow, OK asked in Legal Malpractice for Oklahoma

Q: Is it legal for a local city ordinance to be enforced if the ordinance has not been filed thru the county court clerk?

Nor has the ordinance been made available to the residents or anyone for that matter and city hall that enforces the ordinance can't provide a copy of the ordinance even after issueing a citation that exceeds the state law amount for that same citation?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kyle Persaud
Kyle Persaud

A: The ordinance doesn't have to be filed with the county clerk. However, the title of the ordinance does have to be published in the newspaper. Also, the ordinance has to be made available in the office of the municipal clerk (that's different from the county clerk.

Okla. State Tit. 11 § 14-107 says,

"A. If a municipal governing body enacts or adopts by reference ordinances which are compilations or codes of law or regulations relating to traffic, building, plumbing, electrical installations, fire prevention, inflammable liquids, milk and milk products, protection of the public health, or any other matters which the municipality has the power to regulate, such ordinances are not required to be published in full. Legal publication of such ordinances may be by publishing the title and a summary of their contents in the manner provided by Section 14-106 of this title. At least one copy of such ordinances shall be kept in the office of the municipal clerk for public use, inspection, and examination. The municipal clerk shall keep copies of the ordinances, codes, or compilations for distribution or sale at a reasonable price.

B. A municipality which adopts building standards shall adopt and enforce codes adopted by the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission.

C. Nothing in this act shall prevent or take away from any city, town or county the authority to enact and enforce rules containing higher standards and requirements than the codes adopted by the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission nor prevent or take away from any city, town or county the authority to amend such adopted codes to make changes necessary to accommodate local conditions except as provided in subsection D of this section.

D. A city, town or county may begin enforcing the higher standards and requirements allowed in subsection C of this section no less than thirty (30) days after submitting the higher standards and requirements to the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission in such form as the Commission may prescribe.

E. Ordinances which are passed by the governing body with an emergency clause attached are not required to be published in full, but may be published by title only in the manner provided by Section 14-106 of this title."

Okla. Stat. Tit. 11 § 14-106 says,

"No ordinance having any subject other than the appropriation of monies shall be in force unless published or posted within fifteen (15) days after its passage. Every municipal ordinance shall be published at least once in full, except as provided for in Section 14-107 of this title. When publishing the ordinance, the publisher or managing officer of the newspaper shall prefix to the ordinance a line in brackets stating the date of publication as "Published _______", giving the month, day, and year of publication."

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