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Thread: Need some terms clarified!

  1. #1
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    I would like to know the definition of an :

    - Ordinance
    - Municipal Code

    I used Google but they have so many different answers and definitions I'm confused.

    Can someone clarify each for me?

    I would like to know the process steps they take.

    Like is it a ordinance before a municipal code or the other way around.
    Or is it I'm not even in the right ballpark?

  2. #2
    Regular Member killchain's Avatar
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    I don't know the exact definitions, but they're basically "local laws."

    I believe a municipal code is for a city structure, and an ordinance is for a county.

    But I am not sure. I came up with this from reading here and reading this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_ordinance

    I'm sure someone else here on the forum can explain it way better than I can.
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  3. #3
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    Amateur taking a stab at it here...there are lawyers on the board who would probably know better. At least I hope they would. :P



    As I understand it in Wa, a "code" is what the state calls a law that has been enacted and if broken is a violation of the authority of the state.Although I'm not happy with that exact wording.

    An ordinance is the same on the city level.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    They are basically different names for the same thing. Cities, towns, counties, etc. are all municipalities. Some call their local laws 'ordinances', some call them 'codes'.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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  5. #5
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    Crypto wrote:
    I would like to know the definition of an :

    - Ordinance
    - Municipal Code
    An ordinance is like a statute of a locality, enacted by the city or county council.

    A statute is an enactment of a state or federal legislature.

    A Munipal code is an assemblage of ordiances just like the US code is an assemblage of federal statutes - such a code might include local regulations or it might not - thiose may or may bnot be codified elsewhere.

    Statutes and ordinances at large need not be codified to be in force, and they prevail over the code if there is a conflct.

    Regulations issued by duly authorized federal, state, and local bodies are also "law."

    A great myth out there is that a regulation on the same subject of a statute is ALWAYS void if it conflicts with the statute - not true. Though it is true that a regulation is void if it it explicilty barred by statute or if the issuing agency exceeded it statutory authority in issuing the regulation.

    The legal fiction in our law is that everyone takes notice of laws as they are enacted and before traveling to new jurisdictions, checking their local law library periodically, etc., such that igniorance is no excuse of the law.

    However the law allowsdefenses of mistake of fact and mistake of law to criminal charges.

    A mistake of fact defensemight work for example in a shoplifting case where the Defendant contends that she placed all the items on the purchase counter for purchase and believed that she paid for them before leaving the store.

    A mistake of law dffense might work where the Defendant explicitly relied on a source of law, e.g., court or AG opinion, before engaging in certain conduct later found to be unlawful anyway.

    This is all pretty much common sense when you think about it.



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