municipal corporation – a public corporation created for political purposes and endowed with political powers to be exercised for the public good in the administration of local civil government

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municipal corporation:

1. A city, town, or other local political entity formed by charter from the state and having the autonomous authority to administer the state’s local affairs; especially, a public corporation created for political purposes and endowed with political powers to be exercised for the public good in the administration of local civil government. — aka municipality.  Cf. quasi-corporation under CORPORATION. [1]

1. A political subdivision (EXAMPLES: a county; a city; a town; a village). created by the state legislature, with the power to administer the affairs of the community (by, for EXAMPLE, enacting ordinances) as well as the responsibility for enforcing the authority of the state within its territorial limits with respect to the functions delegated to it by the state (by, for EXAMPLE, arresting persons who violate state criminal statutes).  Municipal corporations are legal entities which can sue and be sued.
See body politic and corporate; public 
corporation.  See also quasi-municipal corporation


1. A municipal corporation, for EXAMPLE, a county, city, or town.  See body politic and corporate[2]

    Excerpt from Roger W. Cooley’s Handbook of the Law of Municipal Corporations (1914):

     “A municipal corporation is perfect as contradistinguished from the imperfect quasi corporation, the county, district, or township, loosely organized under general law into a governmental agency for local administration of the state authority within a subdivision of the state, which in strictness cannot be said to be incorporated, though the statutes of many states declare them to be corporations.  The municipal corporation is duly incorporated not primarily to enforce state laws, but chiefly to regulate the local affairs of the city, town, or district incorporated by proper legislation and administration.  It is lawfully and fully empowered so to do.  Practically it may fall far short of perfection, but in the eye of the law it is the only ideal of a complete public corporation.  Its object is public, though incidents connected with it may be of private nature, and so far forth it is subject to the rules of liability controlling private corporations in the ownership of property, while the quasi public corporation is of a private nature and object, with incidents only that are public. The municipal is the only corporation standing as the representative of the purely public corporation. [3]

Types of Municipal Corporations:

town – a center of population that is larger and more fully developed than a village, but that (traditionally speaking) is not incorporated as a city.

village – a modest assemblage of houses and buildings for dwellings and businesses or a municipal corporation with a smaller population than a city.

Related Terms:

municipal corporation de facto:

1. A corporation recognized to exist, although it has not fully complied with statutory requirements, when there is

(1) a valid law authorizing its incorporation,
(2) a colorable and bona fide attempt to organize under that law, and
(3) an assumption of powers conferred under that law.

municipal charter:

1. See CHARTER (2).

municipal court See COURT.

municipal domicile See DOMICILE.

municipal election See ELECTION (3).

municipal function (1842) The duties and responsibilities that a municipality owes its members.

municipal government See local government under GOVERNMENT (3).

municipality (18c) 1. A city, town, or other local political entity with the powers of self-government; MUNICIPAL CORPORATION. 2.. The governing body of a municipal corporation. 3. The community under the jurisdiction of a city’s or township’s government.

municipalize vb. 1. To make into a municipality; to render municipal in character <after the train bypassed the village, population dwindled and the place was never municipalized>.  2. To transfer from private ownership to municipal ownership; (of a city or town) to take over the ownership and management of (water, gas, and electricity works; streetcars, docks, ferries, etc.) <the city municipalized the ferries decades ago>.

municipal judge See JUDGE.

municipal law  (16c) 1. The ordinances and other laws applicable within a city, town, or other local governmental entity.  2. The internal law of a country, as opposed to international law.

municipal lien See LIEN.

municipal officer See OFFICER (1).

municipal ordinance See ORDINANCE.

municipal security See municipal bond under BOND (3).

municipal utility district (1921) A publicly owned corporation, or a political subdivision, that provides the public with a service or services, such as water, electricity, gas, transportation, or telecommunications.  Abbr. MUD. -Also termed public utility district (PUD).

municipal warrant See WARRANT (2).

municipium (myoo-na-sip-ee-am) n. [Latin “free town“ (18c) Roman law. A self-governing town; specifically, any community allied with or conquered by Rome and allowed to maintain certain privileges (such as maintaining separate laws called leges municipales). O The members of a municipium were also Roman citizens. P1. municipia (myooni-sip-ee-a).

muniment (myoo-na-mant). (15c) A document (such as a deed or charter) evidencing the rights or privileges of a person, family, or corporation. -Also termed (archaically) miniment. [1]

municipal officer [off i ser] An officer of a municipality. EXAMPLE: a mayor. See officer. ‘

municipal ordinance [or ‘ din ° ense] See ordinance.

municipal securities [se kyoo ° ri ~ teeZl

Municipal bonds and municipal warrants.

municipal warrant [war ent] An order drawn by a municipal officer disbursing municipal funds in payment of a debt of the municipality.
See disbursement; order.  Also see municipal
 securities. Compare municipal bond[2]


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is pertinent to people everywhere, and is being utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1] Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[2]: Roger W. Cooley, Handbook of the Law of Municipal Corporations 15-16 (1914).

To by added:

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931


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