Private Acts


Published for the County Commission

County Technical Assistance Service
The University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service
Nashville, Tenn

Compiled and Edited by
William C McIntyre, County Legal Specialist

July 1982

Stenography by
Debbrah R Settles


County government in Tennessee, as is true throughout the country, is a political subdivision of state government. As a political subdivision, county government has only that authority to act which is delegated to it by the state. In Tennessee the process of delegation of power from state government to county government is accomplished through legislative action of the General Assembly, either through a general or private act. In the case of the general act the legislature grants certain powers which have general application to all or a large number of counties across the state. These general acts are assembled and codified in the Tennessee Code Annotated Which is revised and published on an annual basis. General legislation relating to county government is, therefore, easy to find since the Tennessee Code Annotated, the official code of Tennessee, is widely available throughout the State. On the other hand, to find private legislation in this state is the result of two (2) basic factors. First, the Tennessee Constitution mentions county government only vaguely, and thus allows the legislature wide latitude in county government administration. Secondly, the Tennessee legislature, long steeped in a philosophy favoring local control, has seen fit to enact much of the law relating to county government on an individualized county approach. The result has been that the 95 counties in Tennessee operate largely from a body of law known as private acts. This body of private legislation is a compilation of seperate acts eacy applying to only one county. Since these acts only affect counties on an individual basis they are not included in the Tennessee Code Annotated but rather are published in separate volumes on a yearly basis as they are passed in the General Assembly.

Until now, there has been no effort on a state – wide basis to organize these acts into a body of current law easily accessible for reference by county officials and interested citizens. Yet, the result of this past method of publication of private legislation has been the accuml\ulation of a large portion of county lw in a cumbersome mass of chronologically arranged volumes which at last count numbered over 116 books. To further complicate matters, the older volumes have not been reprinted, so that there are today only a handful of complete sets of the private acts in existence. In fact, there are few sets which contain even as many as 50 volumes. Nevertheless, scattered through these hard to obtain volumes is the only public record of those laws from which Tennessee counties draw a large portion of their authority to govern and under which they operate. It is our hope that this volume of The Private Acts of Anderson County will be a significant first step in fulfilling this deed and will provide a useful reference for county administration in Anderson County. We are indebted to the Anderson County Legislative Delegation for its continued support of the County Technical Assistance Servce and this codification project. And finally we are indebted to the Tennessee County Services Association under the leadership of Executive Director, Ralph J Harris, without whose constant support the County Technical Assistance Service could not properly fulfill its role of assisting county governments in Tennessee.

How to use the Private Acts of Anderson County

When going through this volume one will note that there are some statutes contained herein which are no longer active laws due to subsequent passage of acts of general application which have therefore superseded them in usage. The editors have included these statutes for purposes of historical value and have attempted to indicate the same by placing a notation to that effect on the act. And finally, one shoud note that at the end of most of the chapters of this volume, there can be found legislative history of all private acts previously enacted on the subject contained in that chapter along with references to the most pertinent general statutes covering the subject in the Tennessee Code Annotated.

The Private Acts of Anderson County were first compiled in 1973 and published in 1974. Since that time the County Technical Assistance Service has compiled and edited the private acts for all Tennessee counties, and, believing that our work imporved in quality and format as we progressed, the first volume of the Anderson county Private Acts has been revised and updated. The suggestion is made that the former volume be retained for use for the reason that it contains many of the acts verbatim which do not appear in the present volume in that form.

Follow the links below and find out about your county boundaries and how they changed. There was a lot more than what is given here. Here, the extractions are genealogical and interesting. Have fun learning about the county !!

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