Nebraska State Constitution Article XI-2

Article XI-2


City of 5,000 may frame charter; procedure.

Any city having a population of more than five thousand (5000) inhabitants may frame a charter for its own government, consistent with and subject to the constitution and laws of this state, by causing a convention of fifteen freeholders, who shall have been for at least five years qualified electors thereof, to be elected by the qualified voters of said city at any general or special election, whose duty it shall be within four months after such election, to prepare and propose a charter for such city, which charter, when completed, with a prefatory synopsis, shall be signed by the officers and members of the convention, or a majority thereof, and delivered to the clerk of said city, who shall publish the same in full, with his official certification, in the official paper of said city, if there be one, and if there be no official paper, then in at least one newspaper published and in general circulation in said city, three times, and a week apart, and within not less than thirty days after such publication it shall be submitted to the qualified electors of said city at a general or special election, and if a majority of such qualified voters, voting thereon, shall ratify the same, it shall at the end of sixty days thereafter, become the charter of said city, and supersede any existing charter and all amendments thereof. A duplicate certificate shall be made, setting forth the charter proposed and its ratification (together with the vote for and against) and duly certified by the City Clerk, and authenticated by the corporate seal of said city and one copy thereof shall be filed with the Secretary of State and the other deposited among the archives of the city, and shall thereupon become and be the charter of said city, and all amendments of such charter, shall be authenticated in the same manner, and filed with the secretary of state and deposited in the archives of the city.


  • Neb. Const. (1912);
  • Adopted 1912, Laws 1911, c. 227, sec. 2, p. 681;
  • Transferred in 1913, art. XIa, sec. 2;
  • Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. XI, sec. 2.


1. State concern

2. Local concern

3. Miscellaneous

1. State concern

A home rule charter must be consistent with and subject to the Constitution and laws of the state. Retired City Gov. Emp. Club of Omaha v. City of Omaha Emp. Ret. Sys., 199 Neb. 507, 260 N.W.2d 472 (1977); City of Millard v. City of Omaha, 185 Neb. 617, 177 N.W.2d 576 (1970); State ex rel. City of Grand Island v. Johnson, 175 Neb. 498, 122 N.W.2d 240 (1963); Axberg v. City of Lincoln, 141 Neb. 55, 2 N.W.2d 613 (1942).

The subject of vacation of streets is a matter of statewide concern, and statute controls over city charter. Dell v. City of Lincoln, 170 Neb. 176, 102 N.W.2d 62 (1960).

Home rule charter cities have authority to exercise all powers of local self-government. Mollner v. City of Omaha, 169 Neb. 44, 98 N.W.2d 33 (1959).

Where Legislature has delegated power of eminent domain to municipal corporation, home rule charter provisions must yield thereto. State ex rel. Nelson v. Butler, 145 Neb. 638, 17 N.W.2d 683 (1945).

General law of statewide concern takes precedence over conflicting provision of city home rule charter. Nagle v. City of Grand Island, 144 Neb. 67, 12 N.W.2d 540 (1943).

Statute authorizing municipal university was not violative of constitutional provision permitting cities to adopt home rule charter, as matter is of state concern, and city in accepting privilege acts as political subdivision of state. Carlberg v. Metcalfe, 120 Neb. 481, 234 N.W. 87 (1930).

Resolution of council for employment of technical advisors to prepare zoning ordinance was not subject to referendum provisions of city charter. Schroeder v. Zehrung, 108 Neb. 573, 188 N.W. 237 (1922).

2. Local concern

Home rule charter must be consistent with and subject to Constitution and laws of state. Michelson v. City of Grand Island, 154 Neb. 654, 48 N.W.2d 769 (1951).

Purpose of home rule charter provisions of Constitution is to render cities as nearly independent as possible of state legislation, subject to the general public policy of the state. State ex rel. Fischer v. City of Lincoln, 137 Neb. 97, 288 N.W. 499 (1939).

A city may put into its home rule charter any provisions for its government that it deems proper so long as they do not run contrary to the Constitution or to any general statute. Eppley Hotels Co. v. City of Lincoln, 133 Neb. 550, 276 N.W. 196 (1937).

Provisions of charter adopted by city govern as to matters of local concern, including street improvement, over legislative charter existing prior thereto. Salsbury v. City of Lincoln, 117 Neb. 465, 220 N.W. 827 (1928).

As to matters of local concern, cities are independent of state legislation and general laws yield to charter. Sandell v. City of Omaha, 115 Neb. 861, 215 N.W. 135 (1927).

Amendment to charter, and ordinance thereunder, authorizing city to sell oil and gasoline, was proper function of local government. Mutual Oil Co. v. Zehrung, 11 F.2d 887 (D. Neb. 1925).

3. Miscellaneous

Constitution recognizes that villages and cities are separate and distinct. Hueftle v. Eustis Cemetery Assn., 171 Neb. 293, 106 N.W.2d 400 (1960).

Home rule charter city, upon annexation of adjoining city, continued in force rights, obligations and duties of city annexed. Enyeart v. City of Lincoln, 136 Neb. 146, 285 N.W. 314 (1939).

City ordinance regulating sale of intoxicating liquors, passed by home rule charter city, was not inconsistent with state law. Bodkin v. State, 132 Neb. 535, 272 N.W. 547 (1937).

Charter provision for sale by city of gasoline and oil was valid. Standard Oil Co. v. City of Lincoln, 114 Neb. 243, 207 N.W. 172 (1926).

Charter provision authorizing city to construct, acquire and operate gas and electric plants, and other utilities, did not, by implication, authorize operation of municipal fuel yard. Consumers Coal Co. v. City of Lincoln, 109 Neb. 51, 189 N.W. 643 (1922).