Town (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A civil and political subdivision of a state, which varies in size and significance according to location but is ordinarily a division of a county.
A town, which is a type of MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, can be formed by a state legislature when a large number of dwellings have concentrated in a particular location. A town is a creation of the state, designed and authorized to perform certain governmental functions on the local level. Its main purpose is to exercise the power of the state to promote greater prosperity, safety, convenience, health, and the common good of the general community.
The terms township and town are frequently used interchangeably in certain geographic locations, although in some parts of the United States the term township denotes a group of several towns.
Since towns can be formed only from contiguous territory, tracts of land that are entirely separate cannot be included in a town. Subject to constitutional restrictions, ordinarily, the state legislature has full power to create, enlarge, diminish, consolidate, and otherwise alter the boundaries of towns without the consent of those affected.
In general, towns have only the powers conferred upon them by the state legislature. However, the capacity of a town to acquire and hold real property has long been...
(The entire section is 919 words.)
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