☰ Revisor of Missouri


Effective - 27 Feb 1945, see footnote    bottom

  III Section 40.  Limitations on passage of local and special laws. — The general assembly shall not pass any local or special law:

  (1)  authorizing the creation, extension or impairment of liens;

  (2)  granting divorces;

  (3)  changing the venue in civil or criminal cases;

  (4)  regulating the practice or jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in any judicial proceeding or inquiry before courts, sheriffs, commissioners, arbitrators or other tribunals, or providing or changing methods for the collection of debts, or the enforcing of judgments, or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate;

  (5)  summoning or empaneling grand or petit juries;

  (6)  for limitation of civil actions;

  (7)  remitting fines, penalties and forfeitures or refunding money legally paid into the treasury;

  (8)  extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes, or otherwise relieving any assessor or collector of taxes from the due performance of their duties, or their securities from liability;

  (9)  changing the law of descent or succession;

  (10)  giving effect to informal or invalid wills or deeds;

  (11)  affecting the estates of minors or persons under disability;

  (12)  authorizing the adoption or legitimation of children;

  (13)  declaring any named person of age;

  (14)  changing the names of persons or places;

  (15)  vacating town plats, roads, streets or alleys;

  (16)  relating to cemeteries, graveyards or public grounds not of the state;

  (17)  authorizing the laying out, opening, altering or maintaining roads, highways, streets or alleys;

  (18)  for opening and conducting elections, or fixing or changing the place of voting;

  (19)  locating or changing county seats;

  (20)  creating new townships or changing the boundaries of townships or school districts;

  (21)  creating offices, prescribing the powers and duties of officers in, or regulating the affairs of counties, cities, townships, election or school districts;

  (22)  incorporating cities, towns, or villages or changing their charters;

  (23)  regulating the fees or extending the powers of aldermen, magistrates or constables;

  (24)  regulating the management of public schools, the building or repairing of schoolhouses, and the raising of money for such purposes;

  (25)  legalizing the unauthorized or invalid acts of any officer or agent of the state or of any county or municipality;

  (26)  fixing the rate of interest;

  (27)  regulating labor, trade, mining or manufacturing;

  (28)  granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or exclusive right, privilege or immunity, or to any corporation, association or individual the right to lay down a railroad track;

  (29)  relating to ferries or bridges, except for the erection of bridges crossing streams which form the boundary between this and any other state;

  (30)  where a general law can be made applicable, and whether a general law could have been made applicable is a judicial question to be judicially determined without regard to any legislative assertion on that subject.


Source: Const. of 1875, Art. IV, § 53.

(1952) Land Tax Collection Law is not a local or special law prohibited by § 40, Art. III of the constitution nor does it violate § 8, Art. VI relating to classification of counties. Collector v. Parcels of Land, 362 Mo. 1054, 247 S.W.2d 83.

(1953) City ordinance prohibiting the operation of places of business selling automobiles in certain areas held invalid as special law because it excludes businesses selling merchandise and commodities other than automobiles. McKaig v. Kansas City, 363 Mo. 1033, 256 S.W.2d 815.

(1953) Act authorizing tax levy by city of 700,000, enacted in 1952 and having an expiration date in 1954, held not local or special law forbidden by the constitution. Walters v. City of St. Louis, 364 Mo. 56, 259 S.W.2d 377.

(1955) Ordinance of St. Louis city which prohibited retail auction sales of jewelry, unless owner of stock offered had been in retail jewelry business at location where auction was conducted for one year and had not conducted auction at such location for year, held special law and, therefore, violative of section 40, (30) Art. 3 of Constitution. Hagerman v. City of St. Louis, 365 Mo. 403, 283 S.W.2d 623.

(1959) City ordinance prohibiting auction sales on Sunday held reasonable and valid exercise of police power as against contentions that it violated prohibitions against discriminatory laws and local or special laws. A B C Liquidators Inc. v. Kansas City (Mo.), 322 S.W.2d 876.

(1959) Exclusion of work done for levee and drainage districts from operation of Prevailing Wage Act held not unreasonable classification or special law. City of Joplin v. Industrial Comm. (Mo.), 329 S.W.2d 687.

(1960) Act providing for the licensing of persons engaging in the business of selling checks, drafts and money orders but excluding persons the major portion of whose business consists of sale of merchandise, held to be arbitrary and a special law and therefore void under the federal and state constitutional provisions. Petitt v. Field (Mo.), 341 S.W.2d 106.

(1962) Missouri Unfair Milk Sales Practices Law (416.410 to 416.560) held not to be special law within this constitutional provision. Borden Company v. Thomason (Mo.), 353 S.W.2d 735.

(1964) Sunday sales law upheld against charge that it was unconstitutional as being a special law, containing unreasonable, arbitrary and discriminatory classifications in violation of plaintiffs' right to equal rights and opportunities under the law; and depriving plaintiffs of liberty and property without due process of law. GEM Stores, Inc. v. O'Brien (Mo.), 374 S.W.2d 109.

(1964) Validity of city ordinance requiring licensing of television and radio servicemen upheld against charges that it violated due process and equal protection clauses of state and federal constitutions and the "special law" prohibition of the state constitution. McClellan v. Kansas City (Mo.), 379 S.W.2d 500.

(1966) This constitutional provision applies to municipal as well as state legislation. Mathison v. Public Water Supply Dist. No. 2 of Jackson County, 401 S.W.2d 424 (Mo.).

(1974) Held that sections 92.700 to 92.920 do not violate this section. Collector of Revenue v. Parcels of Land (Mo.), 517 S.W.2d 49.

(1975) Where an act does not exclude any city which may come within its classification, the fact that it is improbable that any will do so does not make the act a special law. State ex rel. Atkinson v. Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (Mo.), 517 S.W.2d 36.

(1975) Held not unconstitutional as violating prohibition against special legislation. Bopp v. Spainhower (Mo.), 519 S.W.2d 281.

(1977) A statute applying only in "any county of the first class having a charter form of government and not containing all or part of a city with a population of more than four hundred fifty thousand inhabitants" is not invalid as constituting a special or local law. Manchester Fire Protection District v. St. Louis (Mo.), 555 S.W.2d 297.

(1993) Section 72.400, RSMo, is unconstitutional, where act is not open-ended and does not demonstrate a substantial justification for excluding other counties from choosing to have a boundary commission. The ordinance and acts of the boundary commission made pursuant to statute in approving the annexation are void. O'Reilly v. City of Hazelwood, 850 S.W.2d 96 (Mo. banc).

(1994) Bill enacted by General Assembly which provides for licensing of excursion gambling boats designates area for licensing continuously docked vessel by geographic locale and by precise size and type of boat. Immutable characteristics describe one area and violate prohibition against special laws. Harris v. Missouri Gaming Commission, 869 S.W.2d 58 (Mo. banc).

(1995) Proscription against the enactment of local or special laws applies with equal force to municipalities and their ordinances as it does to general assembly. Hunter Avenue Property v. Union Electric Co., 895 S.W.2d 146 (Mo. App. E.D.).

---- end of effective  27 Feb 1945 ----

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