The state constitution determines the procedures for the formation of a county. Certain states require a specific minimum size population or property value before a county is created. A county government that is too small can be either completely abolished or subject to a consolidation plan designed to merge urban and rural areas. Conversely, a county that becomes too large or diverse following an extended period of development can be divided by the state to form a new county.
The principle of SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY permits states to refuse to allow anyone to sue them. This doctrine protects counties from legal action to the same extent that the states they exist in are so protected. States and counties can only be sued where state law specifically permits it.