Is Your City a First, Second, or Third Class City?

June 12, 2015

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

The idea of classifying cities seems foreign to us and somewhat odd. However, the Indiana State Constitution prevents us from passing “special laws” for the benefit of one city or a special location. So to avoid this provision, in Indiana, municipalities are classified according to their population. I.C. s 36-4-1-1.

What is a First Class City?

The law categorizes municipalities in three classes: First, Second, and Third class cities. Id. First class cities included those cities with a population of 500,000 or more. However, there is only one Indiana city, Indianapolis, which qualifies as a First class city.

There are approximately twenty-four (24) cities that qualify as “second class” cities, which are those cities with a population of 35,000 to 499,999 people. Third class cities are those with populations of less than 35,000 people. While the title and the monikers as second and third class cities might be less than ideal, Indiana law uses those classifications to determine what law governs and is appropriate for that city. So how does the State of Indiana measure the population of a city for the purpose of putting it into its class? The federal decennial census.

Contact us today if you have questions or believe your constitutional or criminal rights have been violated. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact us today at (317) 857-0160.