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Philadelphia Municipal Law Research: Philadelphia Home Rule Charter

This guide reviews Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, the Philadelphia Code of Ordinances, and the Philadelphia Consolidated Regulations. The guide also provides guidance on how to access each of these resources.

Overview of Pennsylvania Home Rule Charters

The Pennsylvania state constitution gives Pennsylvania municipalities the ability to establish Home Rule Charters that provide the municipality with a greater degree of self governance. Home Rule Charters allow the municipality to exercise any power or perform any function not denied by the Pennsylvania Constitution or the Pennsylvania General Assembly.  See Article 9, Section 2 of the Pennsylvania state constitution.

A municipality's Home Rule Charter defines the structure and powers of the municipality's government, similar to how the Pennsylvania state constitution defines the structure and powers of the Pennsylvaina state government.

Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter

Philadelphia adopted its Home Rule Charter in 1951. It defines the structure and powers of the City of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter is divided into 12 articles:

  • Article I: Powers to the City
  • Article II: Legislative Branch
  • Article III: Executive and Administrative Branch - Organization
  • Article IV: Executive and Administrative Branch - Powers and Duties - Office of the Mayor
  • Article V: Executive and Administrative Branch  - Powers and Duties - Office of the Managing Director
  • Article  VI: Executive and Administrative Branch - Powers and Duties - Office of the Director of Finance
  • Article VII: Executive and Administrative Branch - Powers and Duties - Office of Personnel Director
  • Article VIII: Provisions of General Application
  • Article IX: Removal of Elective and Appointive Officers
  • Article X: Prohibited Activities of City Officials and City Employees
  • Article XI: Severability and Acts Superceded
  • Artice XII: Public Education

The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter is available through several electronic and print resources. Its official place of publication is Title 351 of the Pennsylvania Code.

Philadelphia Home Rule Charter - Web Version

The City of Philadelphia's Web site links to an official version of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter:

Philadelphia Home Rule Charter - Print Version

A print version of Philadephia's Home Rule Charter is available in the Legal Research Center's print collection: