Home Rule City Law & Legal Definition


Home rule cities are those cities which have adopted a home rule charter for their local self governance. The citizens of a home rule city are free to choose their own form of municipal government, choose between a large or small city council, fix the terms of office of council members, decide on the method of election of the Mayor, provide for creation of more boards and commissions which they feel is essential for proper city functioning, etc. In US, most of the states have home rule cities. For example Michigan legislature has enacted the Home Rule City Act which provides the frame work by which a new city can become incorporated and have its own government, by adopting a city charter. In Texas, a city with more than 5,000 people can choose to become a home rule city. The home rule city can take any actions which are not prohibited by the state or federal laws and the constitution of US and Texas.

Home rule cities are not burdened by the limitations of Dillon’s rule which is a doctrine that says that a unit of local government may exercise only those powers that the state expressly grants to it.