Q&A: Publication of ordinance


From the LaGrange News and LaGrange Standard:

Q: The LaGrange county commissioners recently approved an ordinance that deals with money. Does it need to run two times, or is one time sufficient?

Also, does the notice need to include the names of the commissioners who voted in favor of the ordinance?  

A: Whether the ordinance involves money doesn’t matter for publication requirements. The requirement de­­pends on whether the ordinance prescribes a penalty or forfeiture. (See IC 36-3-4-15(c) below.)

If publication of the ordinance is required it must run once within 30 days of its passage by the governing body. (See IC 5-3-1-2(h) below.)

As to signatures, the statute is silent on that point, so they are not required in my view.

Here are statues to review:

IC 36-3-4-14(c)

(c) An ordinance prescribing a penalty or forfeiture for a violation must, before it takes effect, be published in the manner prescribed by IC 5-3-1, unless:

(1) it is published under subsection (d); or

(2) there is an urgent necessity requiring its immediate effectiveness, the executive proclaims the urgent necessity, and copies of the ordinance are posted in three (3) public places in the county.

(d) If a legislative body publishes any of its ordinances in book or pamphlet form, no other publication is required. If an ordinance prescribing a penalty or forfeiture for a violation is published under this subsection, it takes effect two (2) weeks after the publication of the book or pamphlet. Publica­tion under this subsection, if authorized by the legislative body, constitutes presumptive evidence:

(1) of the ordinances in the book or pamphlet;

(2) of the date of adoption of the ordinances; and

(3) that the ordinances have been properly signed, attested, recorded, and approved.

IC 5-3-1-2(h)

(h) If the event is the required publication of an ordinance, notice of the passage of the ordinance shall be published one (1) time within thirty (30) days after the passage of the ordinance.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.