Browse Previous Page | Table of Contents | Browse Next Page

Constitution of North Carolina

ARTICLE II Legislative

Sec. 24. Limitations on local, private, and special legislation.

(1) Prohibited subjects. The General Assembly shall not enact any local, private, or special act or resolution:

(a) Relating to health, sanitation, and the abatement of nuisances;

(b) Changing the names of cities, towns, and townships;

(c) Authorizing the laying out, opening, altering, maintaining, or discontinuing of highways, streets, or alleys;

(d) Relating to ferries or bridges;

(e) Relating to non-navigable streams;

(f) Relating to cemeteries;

(g) Relating to the pay of jurors;

(h) Erecting new townships, or changing township lines, or establishing or changing the lines of school districts;

(i) Remitting fines, penalties, and forfeitures, or refunding moneys legally paid into the public treasury;

(j) Regulating labor, trade, mining, or manufacturing;

(k) Extending the time for the levy or collection of taxes or otherwise relieving any collector of taxes from the due performance of his official duties or his sureties from liability;

(l) Giving effect to informal wills and deeds;

(m) Granting a divorce or securing alimony in any individual case;

(n) Altering the name of any person, or legitimating any person not born in lawful wedlock, or restoring to the rights of citizenship any person convicted of a felony.

(2) Repeals. Nor shall the General Assembly enact any such local, private, or special act by the partial repeal of a general law; but the General Assembly may at any time repeal local, private, or special laws enacted by it.

(3) Prohibited acts void. Any local, private, or special act or resolution enacted in violation of the provisions of this Section shall be void.

(4) General laws. The General Assembly may enact general laws regulating the matters set out in this Section.

Cross References. - As to the organization and modification of school districts, see G.S. § 115C-65 et seq.

History Note. - The provisions of this section, with the exception of subdivisions (m) and (n) of subsection (1), are similar to those of Art. II, § 29, Const. 1868, as added in 1916 and amended in 1962. The provisions of subdivision (m) of subsection (1) are similar to those of Art. II, § 10, Const. 1868, and the provisions of subdivision (n) of subsection (1) are similar to those of Art. II, § 11, Const. 1868.

Legal Periodicals. - For note on constitutionality of local laws, see 36 N.C.L. Rev. 537 (1958).

For article discussing the history and present vitality of this section, see 45 N.C.L. Rev. 340 (1967).

For article on antitrust and unfair trade practice law in North Carolina, with federal law compared, see 50 N.C.L. Rev. 199 (1972).

For survey of 1978 constitutional law, see 57 N.C.L. Rev. 958 (1979).

For article, "A History of Liquor-By-The-Drink Legislation in North Carolina," see 1 Campbell L. Rev. 61 (1979).

For survey of 1979 administrative law, see 58 N.C.L. Rev. 1185 (1980).

As to comment discussing beach access legislation as unconstitutional local legislation, see 64 N.C.L. Rev. 159 (1985).

For article, "The Battle to Preserve North Carolina's Estuarine Marshes: The 1985 Legislation, Private Claims to Estuarine Marshes, Denial of Permits to Fill, and the Public Trust," see 64 N.C.L. Rev. 565 (1986).

For note, "Town of Emerald Isle v. State of North Carolina: A New Test for Distinguishing Between General Laws and Local Legislation," see 66 N.C.L. Rev. 1096 (1988).

For comment, "Legal Analysis of the Constitutionality of the Water Supply Watershed Protection Act of 1989 and the Hyde Bill," see 29 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1279 (1994).

For article, "Do North Carolina Governments Need Home Rule," see 84 N.C. L. Rev. 1983 (2006).

CASE NOTES





I. General Consideration.

II. Health, Sanitation and Nuisances.

III. Names of Cities, Towns and Townships.

IV. Highways, Streets and Alleys.

V. Ferries and Bridges.

VI. Lines of School Districts.

VII. Regulation of Trade.

VIII. Levy or Collection of Taxes.

IX. Divorce and Alimony.



I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION.



Editor's Note. - Some of the cases cited below were decided under former Art. II, § 10, Const. 1868, and under Art. II, § 29, Const. 1868, as amended.

Purpose of Section. - This section is remedial in its nature and was intended not only to free the legislature of petty detail but also to require uniform and coordinated action under general laws in regard to the matters therein stipulated which are related to the welfare of the people of the whole State; and the application of the section should not be denied on any unsubstantial distinction which would defeat its purpose. Board of Health v. Board of Comm'rs, 220 N.C. 140, 16 S.E.2d 677 (1941).

In adopting this section, the people were motivated by the desire that the General Assembly should legislate for North Carolina in respect to the subjects specified as a single united commonwealth rather than as a conglomeration of innumerable discordant communities. To prevent this laudable desire from degenerating into a mere pious hope, they decreed in emphatic and express terms that any local, private, or special act or resolution passed in violation of the provisions of this section shall be void, no matter how praiseworthy or wise such local, private, or special act or resolution may be. Idol v. Street, 233 N.C. 730, 65 S.E.2d 313 (1951).

It was the purpose of this section to free the General Assembly from the enormous amount of petty detail which had been occupying its attention, to enable it to devote more time and attention to general legislation of statewide interest and concern, to strengthen local self-government by providing for the delegation of local matters by general laws to local authorities, and to require uniform and coordinated action under general laws on matters related to the welfare of the whole State. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965).

The purpose of this section was to relieve the General Assembly from the necessity of passing on laws relating to certain specified matters in which only a small territory or a few persons were concerned, and to thereby enable members of the General Assembly to devote their time and attention to the enactment of legislation important to the entire State. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967); Town of Emerald Isle ex rel. Smith v. State, 320 N.C. 640, 360 S.E.2d 756 (1987).

It was the purpose of this section to free the General Assembly from the enormous amount of petty detail which had been occupying its attention, to enable it to devote more time and attention to general legislation of statewide interest and concern, to strengthen local self-government by providing for the delegation of local matters by general laws to local authorities, and to require uniform and coordinated action under general laws on matters related to the welfare of the whole State of North Carolina. Williams v. Blue Cross Blue Shield, 357 N.C. 170, 581 S.E.2d 415 (2003).

Effect of Section. - The modification wrought by this section is that now a local, private or special act, dealing with designated subjects, is void as violative of this section. State v. Chestnutt, 241 N.C. 401, 85 S.E.2d 297 (1955).

The constitutional prohibition against local acts simply commands that when legislating in certain specified fields, the General Assembly must make rational distinctions among units of local government which are reasonably related to the purpose of the legislation. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

Although North Carolina is not a home rule jurisdiction, and although the North Carolina Constitution, consistent with the language of N.C. Const. art. VII, § 1, gives the general assembly exceedingly broad authority over the "powers and duties" delegated to local governments, that authority is subject to limitations imposed by other constitutional provisions, including the limitations set out in N.C. Const. art. II, § 24, barring local laws on certain prohibited subjects, which is the fundamental law of North Carolina and may not be ignored. City of Asheville v. State, - N.C. - , 794 S.E.2d 759 (2016).

An act is not invalid merely because it is local unless it violates some constitutional provision. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

This section does not forbid local acts passed in the exercise of delegated police power if they do not relate to the matters therein prohibited. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

Constitutionality of Statutes Supplementing General Laws. - Statutes which do not directly contravene this section, but supplement general laws and policy, or aid in administering or financing policy established by general law, are not unconstitutional, especially when the administrative unit is local in nature. McIntyre v. Clarkson, 254 N.C. 510, 119 S.E.2d 888 (1961).

Prospective Effect of Statute's Unconstitutionality. - Where defendants reasonably relied on invalid statute and acted in good faith in carrying out the mandate of the General Assembly, the trial court did not err by directing the effect of the statute's unconstitutionality to have only a prospective application. City of New Bern v. New Bern-Craven County Bd. of Educ., 113 N.C. App. 98, 437 S.E.2d 655 (1993), aff'd, 338 N.C. 430, 450 S.E.2d 735 (1994).

As to the scope of legislative power, see Webb v. Port Comm'n, 205 N.C. 663, 172 S.E. 377 (1934).

A statute is either "general" or "local"; there is no middle ground. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967); Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

Reasonable Classification Test. - When an employer claimed that a county ordinance regulating employment discrimination and the enabling legislation allowing its enactment were invalid local acts which regulated labor and trade, the appropriate test to apply in determining whether the legislation in question was general or local was the reasonable classification test. Williams v. Blue Cross Blue Shield, 357 N.C. 170, 581 S.E.2d 415 (2003).

Nothing in North Carolina's N.C. Const. art. II, § 24 jurisprudence suggests that courts should focus on a hypothetical, rather than actual, justification for challenged legislation in determining whether the legislation should be deemed general or local in nature, and a decision to approve the use of a hypothetical purpose approach would deprive N.C. Const. art. II, § 24 of any meaningful effect by rendering the provision indistinguishable from the substantive due process provisions of N.C. Const. art. I, § 19. City of Asheville v. State, - N.C. - , 794 S.E.2d 759 (2016).

The distinguishing factors between a valid general law and a prohibited local act are the related elements of reasonable classification and uniform application. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

What Are General Laws. - For a law to be general, it is only required that the objects of its operation be reasonably classified. McIntyre v. Clarkson, 254 N.C. 510, 119 S.E.2d 888 (1961).

Statutes relating to persons or things as a class are general laws. McIntyre v. Clarkson, 254 N.C. 510, 119 S.E.2d 888 (1961).

A law is general if it applies to and operates uniformly on all the members of any class of persons, places, or things requiring legislation peculiar to itself in matters covered by the law. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

A general law defines a class which reasonably warrants special legislative attention and applies uniformly to everyone in the class. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

A law is general if any rational basis reasonably related to the objective of the legislation can be identified which justifies the separation of units of local government into included and excluded categories. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

Classifications Within General Laws. - Classifications must be general within the limits of the subject matter. They must be reasonable, and the statute must affect all within the class uniformly. Classifications must not be arbitrary or capricious, but must be natural and intrinsic and based on substantial differences. McIntyre v. Clarkson, 254 N.C. 510, 119 S.E.2d 888 (1961).

Classification must be reasonable and germane to the law. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Classification must not be discriminatory, arbitrary or capricious. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Classification must be based on a reasonable and tangible distinction and operate the same on all parts of the State under the same conditions and circumstances. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Classification does not render a statute "local" if the classification is reasonable and based on rational difference of situation or condition. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967); Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

While substantial distinctions are essential in classification, the distinctions need not be scientific or exact. The legislature has wide discretion in making classifications. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

Universality is immaterial so long as those affected are reasonably different from those excluded and, for the purpose of the statute, there is a logical basis for treating them in a different manner. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965).

There is no constitutional requirement that a regulation must reach every class to which it might be applied - that the legislature must be held rigidly to the choice of regulating all or none. It is enough that the present statute strikes at the evil where it is felt, and reaches the class of cases where it most frequently occurs. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

What Are Local Acts. - A local act is one operating only in a limited territory or specified locality. Idol v. Street, 233 N.C. 730, 65 S.E.2d 313 (1951); Carolina-Virginia Coastal Hwy. v. Coastal Tpk. Auth., 237 N.C. 52, 74 S.E.2d 310 (1953); Board of Managers of James Walker Mem. Hosp. v. City of Wilmington, 237 N.C. 179, 74 S.E.2d 749 (1953).

When the persons or things subject to the law are not reasonably different from those excluded, the statute is local or special. McIntyre v. Clarkson, 254 N.C. 510, 119 S.E.2d 888 (1961).

The phrase "local law" means, primarily at least, a law that in fact, if not in form, is confined within territorial limits other than that of the whole State, or applies to any political subdivision or subdivisions of the State less than the whole, or to the property and persons of a limited portion of the State, or to a comparatively small portion of the State, or is directed to a specific locality or spot, as distinguished from a law which operates generally throughout the State. McIntyre v. Clarkson, 254 N.C. 510, 119 S.E.2d 888 (1961).

A law is local where, by force of an inherent limitation, it arbitrarily separates some places from others upon which, but for such limitation, it would operate, and where it embraces less than the entire class of places to which such legislation would be necessary or appropriate, having regard to the purpose for which the legislation was designed, and where classification does not rest on circumstances distinguishing the places included from those excluded. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

A local act is an act applying to fewer than all counties, in which the affected counties do not rationally differ from the excepted counties in relation to the purpose of the act. Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

A local act is one which unreasonably singles out a class for special legislative attention, or which, having made a reasonable classification, does not apply uniformly to all members of the designated class. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

Determining Nature of Act. - Determination of whether a statute is a local one prohibited by this section should be largely left to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, giving significance to the rule that legislative acts are presumed to have been rightfully passed from proper motives, and that a classification of this kind, when made by them, should not be disturbed unless it is manifestly arbitrary and invalid. In re Harris, 183 N.C. 633, 112 S.E. 425 (1922).

In determining whether an enactment is a general law, legislative intent must be found from the language of the act, its legislative history, and the circumstances surrounding its adoption which throw light upon the evil sought to be remedied and the actual purpose to be accomplished. In re Indian Hills, 280 N.C. 659, 186 S.E.2d 909 (1972).

Courts Look Beyond Form of Statutes. - In determining whether a statute relating to matters enumerated in this section is a "local, private, or special" act inhibited by this section or a "general law" which the General Assembly has the power to pass, the courts will look beyond the form of the act and ascertain whether the statute, in fact, is generally and usually applicable throughout the area comprising the State. State v. Dixon, 215 N.C. 161, 1 S.E.2d 521 (1939); In re Indian Hills, 280 N.C. 659, 186 S.E.2d 909 (1972).

The mere fact that a statute applies only to certain units of local government does not by itself render the statute a prohibited local act. Only if the statutory classification is unreasonable or under-inclusive will the statute be voided as a prohibited local act. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

The number of counties included or excluded is not necessarily determinative. Conceivably, a statute may be local if it excludes only one county. On the other hand, it may be general if it includes only one or a few counties. It is a matter of classification. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

A statute applicable to a single city, without reasonable distinction between such city and other cities or towns for the purpose of classification, is a local act. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Annexation Provisions. - Sections § 160A-45 et seq. do not violate this section, which prohibits the General Assembly from enacting "any local, private, or special act or resolution" in regard to certain enumerated subjects. This constitutional provision does not apply to annexation proceedings by municipalities, since N.C. Const., Art. VII, § 1 authorizes the General Assembly "except as otherwise prohibited by this Constitution" to "give such powers and duties to counties, cities, and towns and other governmental subdivisions as it may deem advisable," and no other provision of the Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from enacting special legislation for the annexation of areas by municipalities. Campbell v. City of Greensboro, 70 N.C. App. 252, 319 S.E.2d 323, cert. denied and appeal dismissed, 312 N.C. 492, 322 S.E.2d 553 (1984).

Act Reviving a Town Charter. - An Act purporting to revive a town, which local citizens attacked, arguing that the new town contained fewer acres than the "true" town, did not violate this provision, because the Act was not a prohibited local act. Bethania Town Lot Comm. v. City of Winston-Salem, 348 N.C. 664, 502 S.E.2d 360 (1998).

Corporate Boundaries. - Act which decreased the corporate boundaries of town was constitutional and plaintiffs were time-barred from asserting any further challenges. Bethania Town Lot Comm. v. City of Winston-Salem, 126 N.C. App. 783, 486 S.E.2d 729 (1997).

Limitations imposed by N.C. Const. art. II, § 24, did not apply to the General Assembly's withdrawal of a town's extraterritorial jurisdiction as this was an action by the General Assembly establishing or modifying the jurisdictional boundaries of local governmental units. Town of Boone v. State, - N.C. - , 794 S.E.2d 710 (2016).

National Park. - The provision of Laws 1927, c. 48, for the acquisition of lands for a national park affects the interest of the people of the State, and though local as to location, was for a public use in contemplation of its acquisition by the State for the purpose outlined in the act. Yarborough v. North Carolina Park Comm'n, 196 N.C. 284, 145 S.E. 563 (1928).

Filing Fee in Primary Elections. - In no sense is the filing fee required of candidates in primary elections a local law as condemned by this section. McLean v. Durham County Bd. of Elections, 222 N.C. 6, 21 S.E.2d 842 (1942).

Session Laws 1965, c. 1051, was not violative of this section. Hobbs v. County of Moore, 267 N.C. 665, 149 S.E.2d 1 (1966).

Session Laws 1967, c. 506, a local act relating to municipal eminent domain procedures, did not involve any of the forbidden subjects listed in this section. City of Durham v. Manson, 21 N.C. App. 161, 204 S.E.2d 41, modified on other grounds, 285 N.C. 741, 208 S.E.2d 662 (1974).

General laws regulating the change of a person's name, and prescribing a procedure therefor, do not abrogate the common-law rule which allows a person to change his name without resort to legal procedure or repeal it by implication or otherwise; they merely affirm and are in aid of the common-law rule and provide an additional method of effecting a change of name and, more importantly, provide a method for recording the change. In re Mohlman, 26 N.C. App. 220, 216 S.E.2d 147 (1975).

The Coastal Area Management Act of 1974 (G.S. § 113A-100 et seq.) is a general law which the General Assembly had power to enact. Adams v. North Carolina Dep't of Natural & Economic Resources, 295 N.C. 683, 249 S.E.2d 402 (1978).

Cap on Punitive Damages. - Section § 1D-25, placing a cap on an award of punitive damages, is not unconstitutional special legislation because it does not constitute remittitur. Rhyne v. K-Mart Corp., 149 N.C. App. 672, 562 S.E.2d 82 (2002), aff'd, 358 N.C. 160, 594 S.E.2d 1 (2004).

Applied in Floyd v. Lumberton City Bd. of Educ., 71 N.C. App. 670, 324 S.E.2d 18 (1984).

Cited in Hajoca Corp. v. Clayton, 277 N.C. 560, 178 S.E.2d 481 (1971); Thompson v. Whitley, 344 F. Supp. 480 (E.D.N.C. 1972); Variety Theatres, Inc. v. Cleveland County, 282 N.C. 272, 192 S.E.2d 290 (1972); Wood v. City of Fayetteville, 43 N.C. App. 410, 259 S.E.2d 581 (1979); Chem-Security Sys. v. Morrow, 61 N.C. App. 147, 300 S.E.2d 393 (1983); Clark v. Craven Regional Medical Auth., 326 N.C. 15, 387 S.E.2d 168 (1990); Hamlet HMA, Inc. v. Richmond County, 138 N.C. App. 415, 531 S.E.2d 494 (2000); Property Rights Advocacy Group v. Town of Long Beach, 173 N.C. App. 180, 617 S.E.2d 715 (2005), aff'd, - N.C. - , 628 S.E.2d 768 (2006); King v. Town of Chapel Hill, 367 N.C. 400, 758 S.E.2d 364 (2014).

II. HEALTH, SANITATION AND NUISANCES.



Consolidation of City and County Health Departments. - Session Laws 1945, c. 86, which attempted to authorize Forsyth County and Winston-Salem to consolidate their health departments and name a joint city-county board of health and appoint joint city-county health officers, and which expressly repealed to the extent of any conflict all laws in conflict therewith, was a local act relating to health, and was void for repugnancy to this section. Idol v. Street, 233 N.C. 730, 65 S.E.2d 313 (1951); Board of Managers v. City of Wilmington, 237 N.C. 179, 74 S.E.2d 749 (1953).

Local Health and Sanitation Acts. - Acts held to be "local," and related to "health" and "sanitation," were prohibited subjects of legislation and therefore unconstitutional. City of New Bern v. New Bern-Craven County Bd. of Educ., 113 N.C. App. 98, 437 S.E.2d 655 (1993), aff'd, 338 N.C. 430, 450 S.E.2d 735 (1994).

Creation and Naming of County Health Board. - Public-Local Laws of 1931, c. 322, which undertook to create and name the members of a county board of health for Madison County alone, which board was charged with the duty of inspecting county institutions and seeing that they were kept in a sanitary condition, and selecting a physician to vaccinate against disease, was a local act relating to health and sanitation prohibited by this section. Sams v. Board of County Comm'rs, 217 N.C. 284, 7 S.E.2d 540 (1940).

Authorization of Care of Indigent Sick and Afflicted Poor. - An act which authorized the city and county to make provisions for "the hospitalization, medical attention, and care of the indigent sick and afflicted poor" of the city and county alone was a local act relating to health, and void as in direct conflict with this section. Board of Managers v. City of Wilmington, 237 N.C. 179, 74 S.E.2d 749 (1953).

Erection of Hospital. - An act authorizing a certain county to erect a tuberculosis hospital, issue bonds therefor, and provide a tax for its maintenance, upon the approval of the voters, was both a special and local act and void under this section. Armstrong v. Board of Comm'rs, 185 N.C. 405, 117 S.E. 388 (1923).

Local Annexation Statute. - As G.S. § 160A-49.3 provides for solid waste collection to newly annexed areas of cities under the general law providing for annexation, and as the General Assembly made G.S. § 160A-49.3 applicable to the annexation of certain land to the City of Greensboro by Session Laws 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 818, s. 3, that act was not a local act in violation of this section, since it did not subject the annexed area to a different treatment than it would have faced if the city had annexed the area under the general annexation law, but assured that it would receive the same treatment. Piedmont Ford Truck Sales, Inc. v. City of Greensboro, 324 N.C. 499, 380 S.E.2d 107 (1989).

Inspections pursuant to the State Building Code affect health and sanitation; thus acts that altered the legislative directive of G.S. § 160A-411, that the city shall determine who will perform the inspections under the Code, were local legislation that shifted responsibility for enforcement of laws affecting the health of the public, and were barred under this section of the Constitution. City of New Bern v. New Bern-Craven County Bd. of Educ., 338 N.C. 430, 450 S.E.2d 735 (1994).

Sewer and Water Service for School Children. - Session Laws 1951, c. 1075, was a local or special act. It related only to Randolph County, and in Randolph County affected only a single agency, the county board of education. It related to health and sanitation, since its sole purpose was to prescribe provisions with respect to sewer and water service for local school children in Randolph County. It purported to limit the power of the county board of education to provide for sanitation and healthful conditions in the schools by means of a sewerage system and an adequate water supply. These things being true, this statute was invalid under the mandatory terms of this section. Lamb v. Board of Educ., 235 N.C. 377, 70 S.E.2d 201 (1952).

Municipal Water System. - Session Laws § 2013-118, involuntarily transferring appellant city's water system to a metropolitan district, violated N.C. Const. art. II, § 24 because it was a local law crafted to only apply to the city without explaining why every other city was exempt or why its benefits should not be available to every municipal water system's customers. City of Asheville v. State, - N.C. App. - , 777 S.E.2d 92 (2015), rev'd, 2016 N.C. LEXIS 1133 (2016).

Provision of G.S. § 162A-85.1 et seq. which required a city to transfer the city's water system to another entity related to the prohibited subject of health and sanitation, contrary to N.C. Const. art. II, § 24(1)(a), because its stated purpose was to provide water and sewer services to affected customers, and the fact that it changed the governance of the city's water system did not remove it from N.C. Const. art. II, § 24(1)(a)'s prohibition, as a local act shifting responsibility for enforcing health and safety regulations from one entity to another clearly related to health and sanitation. City of Asheville v. State, - N.C. App. - , 777 S.E.2d 92 (2015), rev'd, 2016 N.C. LEXIS 1133 (2016).

2013 N.C. Sess. Laws 1605, 1618, involuntarily transferring a city's water system to a metropolitan district, violated N.C. Const. art. II, § 24 because the legislation was a local law crafted to only apply to the city without explaining why every other city was exempt or why the legislation's benefits should not be available to every municipal water system's customers. City of Asheville v. State, - N.C. - , 794 S.E.2d 759 (2016).

2013 N.C. Sess. Laws 1605, 1618, involuntarily transferring a city's water system to a metropolitan district, violated N.C. Const. art. II, § 24 because the legislation related to the prohibited subject of health and sanitation, contrary to N.C. Const. art. II, § 24(1)(a), as the legislation's stated purpose was to provide water and sewer services to affected customers, and the fact that the legislation changed the governance of the city's water system did not remove the legislation from N.C. Const. art. II, § 24(1)(a)'s prohibition, as a local act shifting responsibility for enforcing health and safety regulations from one entity to another clearly related to health and sanitation. City of Asheville v. State, - N.C. - , 794 S.E.2d 759 (2016).

Municipal Sewerage System. - Session Laws 1963, c. 1189, applicable solely to the town of Beaufort and providing that in the event the sewerage system of a municipality shall have been declared a source of unlawful pollution to adjacent streams or waterways the municipality should not be required to extend any sewerage outfalls into an area annexed by it, was a local act relating to health and sanitation within the meaning of this section and was unconstitutional and void. Gaskill v. Costlow, 270 N.C. 686, 155 S.E.2d 148 (1967); Safrit v. Costlow, 270 N.C. 680, 155 S.E.2d 252 (1967).

Formation of Sewerage Districts. - A statute authorizing the formation of sanitary sewerage districts within countywide limits, the boundaries of these to be fixed by certain designated local authorities in a specified manner, and done without previous notice to the voters, was not a "local, private or special act relating to health, sanitation, etc." Reed v. Howerton Eng'g Co., 188 N.C. 39, 123 S.E. 479 (1924).

Creation of Sanitary District. - Private Laws 1927, c. 229, attempting to create a sanitary district within certain lines within a county for the construction and maintenance of sewer and water systems, with certain assessments or taxing powers for the purpose, was void, being in violation of the provisions of this section. Drysdale v. Prudden, 195 N.C. 722, 143 S.E. 530 (1928).

Creation of Drainage District. - A statute creating and designating the boundaries of a drainage district and providing taxation for its construction and maintenance was for a necessary purpose and did not fall within the purview of N.C. Const., Art. V, § 2, requiring its submission to the voters within the district, nor was it a local, private or special act relating to health or sanitation prohibited by this section. Town of Kenilworth v. Hyder, 197 N.C. 85, 147 S.E. 736 (1929).

Direction to Sheriff to Dispose of Cattle in a Particular Area. - Session Laws 1959, c. 782, which related solely to the segment of the outer banks in Carter County between Beaufort Inlet and Ocracoke Inlet, and purported to authorize and direct the sheriff of Carteret County, without judicial inquiry of any kind, to remove and dispose of all cattle, etc., in this particular area, was a local act relating to the abatement of a public nuisance, and was unconstitutional and void as violative of this section. Chadwick v. Salter, 254 N.C. 389, 119 S.E.2d 158 (1961).

Regulation of Use and Storage of Explosives. - G.S. § 153A-128, which permitted the county to enact ordinances regulating the use and storage of explosives, did not constitute an unlawful local law under N.C. Const., Art. II, § 24, since it applied to all counties in the state. S. Blasting Servs. v. Wilkes County, 288 F.3d 584 (4th Cir. 2002).

III. NAMES OF CITIES, TOWNS AND TOWNSHIPS.

.

What Is Prohibited. - While this section forbids the General Assembly to pass any local, private or special act or resolution relating to changing the names of cities, towns or townships, it provides that the General Assembly shall have power to pass general laws regulating such matters. Hunsucker v. Winborne, 223 N.C. 650, 27 S.E.2d 817 (1943).

IV. HIGHWAYS, STREETS AND ALLEYS.

.

Scope of Prohibition. - This section applies only to a local act which authorizes the laying out, opening, altering, or discontinuing of a given particular and designated highway, street, or alley. State v. McBane, 276 N.C. 60, 170 S.E.2d 913 (1969).

Streets Within City Limits. - The unlimited power in the General Assembly to provide for the creation and extension of corporate limits of municipal corporations would seem to include the right to vest in such municipal corporations the authority to levy taxes to lay out and maintain highways and streets within such limits, since they are essential to the existence of such corporations, and such private act would not seem to contravene this section. Matthews v. Town of Blowing Rock, 207 N.C. 450, 177 S.E. 429 (1934).

Improvement of Streets and Alleys. - Local acts relating to the improvement of streets and alleys generally in a city or town, and authorizing the assessment of the cost thereof against the abutting property, do not conflict with this section, although unquestionably an act purporting to authorize the laying out of particular streets or highways, or to authorize the maintenance of a designated street or streets, or the discontinuance thereof, would be repugnant to this section. In re Resolutions Passed by City Council, 243 N.C. 494, 91 S.E.2d 171 (1956).

Subsequent Local Law Increasing Authority Granted to City Before Effective Date of Section. - Where a local statute giving a municipality power to improve its streets and assess abutting owners for a part of the cost was enacted prior to the effective date of this section, a subsequent local law which merely increased the jurisdiction and authority granted to the city in regard to such improvements did not violate the constitutional proscription. City of Goldsboro v. Atlantic C.L.R.R., 241 N.C. 216, 85 S.E.2d 125 (1954).

Maintenance of County Highways. - A public-local law applicable to the maintenance of the public highways of a county and authorizing taxation or issuance of bonds for this purpose, with certain specific supervision and control, is not such local or special act as falls within the inhibition of this section, where it does not affect the "laying out, opening, altering, maintaining or discontinuing" the then existing highways, etc. State v. Kelly, 186 N.C. 365, 119 S.E. 755 (1923).

County Subdivision Ordinances. - The statutory provisions of former G.S. § 153-266.3 and former G.S. § 153-266.4 as to what could and what had to be included in a county subdivision ordinance, did not constitute "authorizing the laying out, opening, altering, maintaining, or discontinuing of highways, streets, or alleys" within the meaning of this section. State v. McBane, 276 N.C. 60, 170 S.E.2d 913 (1969).

Board for Control of County Roads. - A statute that abolishes two boards of road commissioners in a county and gives to another board, created by the same act, entire control and management of the public roads and bridges of the county, does not violate this section. Huneycutt v. Board of Rd. Comm'rs, 182 N.C. 319, 109 S.E. 4 (1921).

A public-local law authorizing county commissioners to take over a specified highway within the county, constituting one of the principal highways within the county, connecting two important State highways, transferring to the said commissioners the bridges of the various townships for their care and supervision, was not violative of this section. Hill v. Board of Comm'rs, 190 N.C. 123, 129 S.E. 154 (1925). See Thomson v. Harnett County, 209 N.C. 662, 184 S.E. 490 (1936).

Issuance of County Road Bonds. - An act of the legislature authorizing the issuance of county bonds for public roads is not in contravention of this section of the Constitution. Commissioners of Surry County v. Wachovia Bank & Trust Co., 178 N.C. 170, 100 S.E. 421 (1919); Board of Managers v. City of Wilmington, 237 N.C. 179, 74 S.E.2d 749 (1953).

An act of the legislature authorizing the road commissioners of a county to issue bonds, upon the approval of its electors, to obtain moneys for the expenditure upon certain particularly designated objects in respect to its public roads, which does not contain any provision for the laying out, altering or discontinuing any road or highway, does not contravene this section. Road Comm'rs v. Bank of Ashe, 181 N.C. 347, 107 S.E. 245 (1921).

Distribution of Bond Proceeds. - An act of the legislature may prescribe a rule by which the proceeds of the sales of bonds which it authorizes a county to issue for road purposes shall be disbursed and distributed in order to effect the best results, when it is confined to the control and management of the funds, and leaves to the local authorities the power given them by this section over "the laying out, opening, or discontinuance of highways." Board of Comm'rs v. Pruden & Co., 178 N.C. 394, 100 S.E. 695 (1919).

Private Act Closing Certain Public Roads. - Where part of the land in a private development was added to the playground of a public school, and the General Assembly, by private act (Private Laws of 1933, c. 72), declared that certain roads dedicated in the registered plot of the development were no longer needed and that the roads should be closed and added to the playground space for the school, this act was void as being a private or special act inhibited by this section. Glenn v. Board of Educ., 210 N.C. 525, 185 S.E. 781 (1936).

Act Authorizing Construction of Toll Roads and Bridges in Five Counties Only. - An act which authorized the construction and operation of toll roads and toll bridges within only five counties of the State was repugnant to this section and was therefore void. Carolina-Virginia Coastal Hwy. v. Coastal Tpk. Auth., 237 N.C. 52, 74 S.E.2d 310 (1953).

State Law to Establish Access Facilities to Beaches Is a General Law. - Session Laws 1983, Chapter 539, the purpose of which is to establish pedestrian beach access facilities for general public use in the vicinity of Bogue Inlet, is a general law and not a local act. Town of Emerald Isle ex rel. Smith v. State, 320 N.C. 640, 360 S.E.2d 756 (1987).

Private Laws 1925, c. 216, was not a special statute relating to roads inhibited by this section, the act not relating to the laying out, opening, altering, or discontinuance of any particular and designated highway, street, or alley. Deese v. Town of Lumberton, 211 N.C. 31, 188 S.E. 857 (1936).

V. FERRIES AND BRIDGES.

.

Building Bridges Generally. - A legislative enactment relating to the building of bridges by a county over a nonnavigable stream or river does not necessarily come within the purview and control of this section. Mills v. Board of Comm'rs, 175 N.C. 215, 95 S.E. 481 (1918).

Direction that Bridge Be Built at Specified Place. - While authority given by statute to a county or other political agency of a state to issue bonds for highways in aid to their maintenance or construction is not direct, local, or special legislation as is prohibited by this section, it is otherwise where the statute directs the building of a bridge at a specified place across a stream between two counties, and as an incident permits the issuance of bonds or the levying of taxes for the purpose, pledging the faith and credit of the State. Day v. Commissioners of Yadkin County, 191 N.C. 780, 133 S.E. 164 (1926).

VI. LINES OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

.

Local Laws Establishing or Changing Lines of School Districts Prohibited. - Since the enforcement of this section, special acts of the legislature to establish or change the lines, etc., of a school district, and any proceedings under it, are null and void. Galloway v. Board of Educ., 184 N.C. 245, 114 S.E. 165 (1922).

Meaning of "School District". - A "school district" is an area within a county in which one or more public schools must be maintained. Hobbs v. County of Moore, 267 N.C. 665, 149 S.E.2d 1 (1966).

An "administrative unit" is not a "school district" within the meaning of this section. Hobbs v. County of Moore, 267 N.C. 665, 149 S.E.2d 1 (1966).

A statute which creates a public school district and allows a bond issue, upon the approval of voters, for its equipment and maintenance, is a local or special act, prohibited by this section. Robinson v. Board of Comm'rs, 182 N.C. 590, 109 S.E. 855 (1921).

A statute which lays off or defines by boundary a certain territory as a graded school district within a county, and provides for an issue of bonds upon the approval of the voters therein, for the necessary buildings and maintenance, comes within the provision of this section. Board of Trustees v. Mutual Loan & Trust Co., 181 N.C. 306, 107 S.E. 130 (1921).

Bonds and Taxes Authorized in Void Act. - Where an act to create a public school district is unconstitutional, because it violates this section, the provision for bonds and taxation to carry out the purpose of the act is likewise void. Sechrist v. Board of Comm'rs, 181 N.C. 511, 107 S.E. 503 (1921).

An act for the purpose of ratifying a county ordinance providing for the issuance of bonds and levy of taxes for school purposes in a district established without authority is a local, private or special act prohibited by this section, and the issuance of such bonds and levy of such taxes will be permanently enjoined. Woosley v. Commissioners of Davidson County, 182 N.C. 429, 109 S.E. 368 (1921).

Allowing Existing School District to Submit Question of Bonds and Taxation to Voters. - A statute allowing an existing consolidated school district to submit the question of taxation and the issue of bonds for school purposes to the district is not prohibited by this section. Burney v. Commissioners of Bladen County, 184 N.C. 274, 114 S.E. 298 (1922).

As to increase of bonds by existing school district, see Roebuck v. Board of Trustees, 184 N.C. 144, 113 S.E. 676 (1922).

Incorporation of Existing School Districts. - Incorporating existing local school districts for all purposes relating to the issuance or payment of bonds upon the approval of the voters of a district is valid and is not in contravention of this section. Board of Trustees v. Mutual Loan & Trust Co., 181 N.C. 306, 107 S.E. 130 (1921); Paschal v. Johnson, 183 N.C. 129, 110 S.E. 841 (1922).

Setting Up Machinery Under Which County May Establish School Districts. - This section prohibits the legislature from passing any special, private or local act which ex proprio vigore undertakes to establish or change the boundaries of a school district, but this section does not proscribe the legislature from setting up machinery under which a county, as the administrative unit charged with making provisions for necessary capital outlay, may create school districts or special bond tax units within the county to accomplish this purpose. Therefore, Public-Local Laws of 1937, c. 279, which provided the machinery under which the county of Buncombe could establish school districts or special bond tax units in the county, was not in contravention of this section. Fletcher v. Collins, 218 N.C. 1, 9 S.E.2d 606 (1940); Hinson v. Board of Comm'rs, 218 N.C. 13, 9 S.E.2d 614 (1940).

Enabling Consolidation of County and City School Administrative Units Under General Laws. - A statute enabling the consolidation of county and city school administrative units under the general laws and the levy of certain taxes for the construction and operation of the schools of the consolidated unit does not violate this section, since it does not, in itself, undertake to establish or change the lines of a school district, but merely provides machinery for action by local units under the general law, and further provisions of the statute requiring that the merger and the levy of the taxes be approved by a vote does not alter this result. Peacock v. County of Scotland, 262 N.C. 199, 136 S.E.2d 612 (1964).

Extending Limits of City or Town in which Schools May Be Maintained. - While the boundaries of a "district" may be coterminous with those of a city or town, it does not follow that an act extending the limits of a city or town in which public schools may be maintained is necessarily a special act establishing or changing the lines of school districts in violation of the Constitution. Hailey v. City of Winston-Salem, 196 N.C. 17, 144 S.E. 377 (1928).

Recognizing School District in Changed City Limits. - A public-local act that enlarged the city limits and recognized therein the independent existence of a public school district within the former limits was not contrary to the provisions of this section, as an attempt to establish a school district, or to change the limits of those already established. Duffy v. City of Greensboro, 186 N.C. 470, 120 S.E. 53 (1923).

VII. REGULATION OF TRADE.

.

Meaning of "Trade". - A "trade" within the meaning of this section includes any employment or business embarked in for gain or profit. State v. Dixon, 215 N.C. 161, 1 S.E.2d 521 (1939); Orange Speedway, Inc. v. Clayton, 247 N.C. 528, 101 S.E.2d 406 (1958); State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

"Trade," as used in this section, refers to a business venture embarked in for gain or profit by a person or a business corporation. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

"Trade," within the meaning of this section, is a business venture for profit, and includes any employment or business embarked in for gain or profit. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965); Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

"Trade," as used in this section, refers to commerce engaged in by citizens of the State, and not a restricted activity conducted by the State itself. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967); Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

"Trade" refers to a business venture for profit. Nelson v. North Carolina State Bd. of Alcoholic Control, 26 N.C. App. 303, 216 S.E.2d 152, appeal dismissed, 288 N.C. 242, 217 S.E.2d 666 (1975).

Private profit is an inherent element of the concept of trade as used in subdivision (1)(j) of this section. Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

It was not contemplated under this section that the State would enter any trade or business venture for profit. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

County Cannot Enact Its Own Employment Discrimination Ordinance. - G.S. § 153A-121 did not empower a county to enact its own employment discrimination ordinance as the county only possessed those powers validly delegated to it by the state, and the state's attempted delegation of this power to the county violated N.C. Const., Art. II, § 24. Williams v. Blue Cross Blue Shield, 357 N.C. 170, 581 S.E.2d 415 (2003).

When the legislature passed legislation enabling a particular county to adopt an ordinance prohibiting employment discrimination, it violated subdivision (1)(j) of this section because there was no rational basis to treat this county differently from any other county as to this subject, nor was there evidence that the employment practices in this county were different from those in any other county in the state, and the legislation enabled the county to regulate labor and trade. Williams v. Blue Cross Blue Shield, 357 N.C. 170, 581 S.E.2d 415 (2003).

Dispensing of intoxicating liquors by the State is not a "trade" within the meaning of this section. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

The word "trade" was not intended by the drafters of this section to include the monstrous and demanding problem of intoxicating liquors. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Section Does Not Limit Power of State to Control Intoxicating Liquor. - This section is not intended to limit or fetter the police power of the State in any manner in its control of intoxicating liquor. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Had it been the intention of the General Assembly to include the ever-present and important question of intoxicating liquor among the prohibited subjects in this section, the term "intoxicating liquor" would have been included in the enumerated list. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

Option Election Covering ABC Stores. - Session Laws 1965, c. 650, authorizing a local option election in Reidsville to determine whether alcoholic beverage control stores may be operated in that city and providing for the establishment of a city board of alcoholic control if authority is granted, does not violate this section as the act of dispensing intoxicating liquor by the State is not a trade, but is a valid exercise of its police powers. Gardner v. City of Reidsville, 269 N.C. 581, 153 S.E.2d 139 (1967).

The retail sale of beer and wine is a "trade" within the meaning of the Constitution. Nelson v. North Carolina State Bd. of Alcoholic Control, 26 N.C. App. 303, 216 S.E.2d 152, appeal dismissed, 288 N.C. 242, 217 S.E.2d 666 (1975).

A local act that authorizes or prohibits the sale of beer and wine is a local act regulating or governing a trade and is void. Nelson v. North Carolina State Bd. of Alcoholic Control, 26 N.C. App. 303, 216 S.E.2d 152, appeal dismissed, 288 N.C. 242, 217 S.E.2d 666 (1975).

The purchase, sale and serving of alcoholic beverages by a licensed restaurateur constitutes "trade" within the meaning of subdivision (1)(j) of this section. Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

Statute which authorized an election in Mecklenburg County to determine whether mixed beverages would be sold by the drink in that county was held to be a local act regulating trade and therefore unconstitutional and void as violative of subdivision (1)(j) of this section. Smith v. County of Mecklenburg, 280 N.C. 497, 187 S.E.2d 67 (1972).

Session Laws 1945, c. 936, which purported to grant discretionary authority to the governing bodies of municipalities in Vance, Scotland and Moore Counties to refuse to issue a license for the sale of fortified and unfortified wines within the corporate limits of such municipalities, was a local act regulating trade in violation of subdivision (1)(j) of this section. Food Fair, Inc. v. City of Henderson, 17 N.C. App. 335, 194 S.E.2d 213 (1973).

Regulation of Professional Automobile and Motorcycle Racing. - A statute applicable to one county alone, which attempts to regulate professional automobile and motorcycle racing, rather than automobile and motorcycle racing in general, is void as a local act regulating labor or trade. Orange Speedway, Inc. v. Clayton, 247 N.C. 528, 101 S.E.2d 406 (1958), holding Session Laws 1957, c. 588, void.

A statute which provides for the operation of a dog racing track by the licensee of the Morehead City Racing Commission was a local and special act relating to trade, and was unconstitutional. State ex rel. Taylor v. Carolina Racing Ass'n, 241 N.C. 80, 84 S.E.2d 390 (1954).

Statute Authorizing County to Regulate Poolrooms, etc. - Session Laws 1953, c. 1071, s. 1(3), as amended by Session Laws 1961, c. 943, s. 11/2(3), authorizing the Forsyth County board of commissioners to regulate public poolrooms, billiard parlors, dance halls, and clubs, was a local act regulating trade and, therefore, unconstitutional under this section. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

A statute providing for the licensing and regulation of real estate brokers and salesmen and imposing a license tax on those engaged in the trade in addition to the tax imposed by the Revenue Act for a statewide license was applicable to only a limited territory and specified localities and the act was therefore a local act regulating trade in contravention of this section. State v. Dixon, 215 N.C. 161, 1 S.E.2d 521 (1939).

Statute including deputy sheriffs within term "employee" as used in the Workers' Compensation Act is consonant with the provisions of this section. Towne v. Yancey County, 224 N.C. 579, 31 S.E.2d 754 (1944).

Sunday Sale Laws as Regulation of Trade. - A statute proscribing the sale on Sunday of merchandise falling within certain classifications is a statute regulating trade under the purview of this section. Treasure City of Fayetteville, Inc. v. Clark, 261 N.C. 130, 134 S.E.2d 97 (1964).

An act which restricts or regulates the operation, engaging in or carrying on of business, or prohibits the sale of merchandise, on Sunday, regulates trade. High Point Surplus Co. v. Pleasants, 264 N.C. 650, 142 S.E.2d 697 (1965).

Sunday-Observance Ordinances, Generally. - When a county or a city attempts to pass, under a local grant of police power, a Sunday-observance ordinance whose only effect is to regulate trade, the legislation must yield to this section, whether the purported authority to pass it is specifically conferred in the act or not. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

When enacted by cities and towns under general laws, Sunday-observance ordinances which are reasonable and do not discriminate within a class of competitors similarly situate have been upheld as a valid exercise of delegated police power. All such ordinances, when they proscribe buying and selling, whether it be, say, tangible merchandise or a ticket to an amusement or a sporting event, regulate trade under the broad definition of trade which has been adopted by the Supreme Court. Since, however, these city ordinances are passed under general laws, with reference to them there is no conflict between the exercise of the police power and this section. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

If an ordinance prohibits all of a certain type of activity on Sunday, as, e.g., motor vehicle racing, which might or might not be commercial, its exercise of police power does not conflict with this section, for its regulation of trade is merely incidental or consequential. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

Prohibition of motor vehicle races on Sunday. - Session Laws of 1949, c. 177, which bans all motor vehicle races on Sunday in Wake County without regard to the commercial or noncommercial character of the activity, is not an act regulating labor or trade within the meaning of this section. Persons whose activities are commercial in character are in no better position than those who engage in the proscribed activity without reference to profit. State v. Chestnutt, 241 N.C. 401, 85 S.E.2d 297 (1955).

A statute which purported to authorize only 52 of the 100 counties to regulate and prohibit the sale of goods, wares, and merchandise on Sunday, was a local act regulating trade and thus a violation of this section. State v. Smith, 265 N.C. 173, 143 S.E.2d 293 (1965).

The 1963 amendment to G.S. § 14-346.2, proscribing the sale on Sunday of merchandise of specific classifications within the State, but exempting designated counties and parts of counties therefrom, with provision that the areas exempted are exempted upon the classification of such areas as resort or tourist areas, but which does not define "resort area" and which as a matter of common knowledge does not exempt all recognized tourist areas of the State or, by its classifications of goods, preclude the sale only of such merchandise as is inappropriate to the tourist trade, is held void as a local law in violation of this section. Treasure City of Fayetteville, Inc. v. Clark, 261 N.C. 130, 134 S.E.2d 97 (1964).

For case upholding former G.S. § 153-9(55), see Whitney Stores, Inc. v. Clark, 277 N.C. 322, 177 S.E.2d 418 (1970).

Section § 160A-273, which permits municipalities to convey air rights over streets or other property, is not a special act and does not violate subdivision (1)(j). Cheape v. Town of Chapel Hill, 320 N.C. 549, 359 S.E.2d 792 (1987).

A local act which merely declared that the town had the capacity to engage in economic development projects, with or without private parties, did not "regulate" trade and therefore did not violate subdivision (1)(j). Cheape v. Town of Chapel Hill, 320 N.C. 549, 359 S.E.2d 792 (1987).

VIII. LEVY OR COLLECTION OF TAXES.

.

An act relating to establishment and collection of tax liens, which applies to only one county of the State, is void as a violation of this section. Town of Wake Forest v. Holding, 207 N.C. 808, 178 S.E. 594 (1935).

Session Laws 1961, c. 916, applicable only to Mecklenburg County, did not have the effect of extending the time for the assessment of taxes in Mecklenburg County, but merely gave the board of equalization and review of the county opportunity to act on appeals by property owners from the assessing authorities, and the statute did not vest the board with authority ex mero motu to increase valuations after the time limited by statute. Spiers v. Davenport, 263 N.C. 56, 138 S.E.2d 762 (1964).

IX. DIVORCE AND ALIMONY.

.

The only limitation on powers in enacting statutes relating to divorce is found in this section. Cooke v. Cooke, 164 N.C. 272, 80 S.E. 178 (1913); Long v. Long, 206 N.C. 706, 175 S.E. 85 (1934).

Jurisdiction over Divorce. - Under this section, jurisdiction over the subject matter of divorce is given only by statute. Williams v. Williams, 13 N.C. App. 468, 186 S.E.2d 210 (1972).

Opinions of Attorney General



Statutory provisions that waived or modified the state competitive bid requirements for certain construction projects by allowing a board of education to utilize alternative contracting methods to those normally specified for local school boards did not violate the prohibition against local or special acts regulating trade; this was despite the fact that the statutes applied to only one board of education and were, therefore, local in nature, because the clear intent of the legislation was to regulate the bid process, rather than trade, and the law operated uniformly on all potential contractors or bidders for the covered construction projects. See opinion of Attorney General to Representative Andrew T. Dedmon, North Carolina General Assembly, 1999 N.C. AG LEXIS 22 (10/18/99).

Statutory Provisions Operating Uniformly Throughout the State. - G.S. § 153A-77, allowing boards of commissioners of counties with populations greater than 425,000 to assume direct control over boards of health, social services, and mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services, does not violate subsection (1)(a) of this section because the statute and G.S. § 122C-115, permitting counties, subject to certain prerequisites, to choose to operate their own mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services, operate uniformly throughout the state, even though there are different classifications based upon population. See opinion of Attorney General to Eddie S. Winstead III, Esq., Harrington, Ward, Gilleland & Winstead, L.L.P., 2002 N.C.A.G. 24 (9/6/02).

----------

Browse Previous Page | Table of Contents | Browse Next Page