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Law Library

Local, County, and Municipal Law: Home

A guide to reaching local, county, and municipal law in the United States.

Introduction

While federal and state governments play important roles in the lives of Americans, local government, in the form of cities and county government entities, handles many of the day-to-day interactions citizens have with governmental authorities. They license marriages and record land titles, regulate the public spaces, enact noise and public nuisance regulations, set and enforce zoning laws and building codes, and police panhandling and vagrancy laws. Ultimately, their power is derived from the state constitution and legislation but under the concept of "home rule" they are given latitude in those spheres. Generally, cities are regulated by city councils and mayoral executives, while counties are governed by officials with roots in the English law like sheriffs, county judges, county clerks, and fiscal courts or county commissions. Some activities are undertaken by appointed commissions like zoning boards and sewer districts. However, these forms vary from state to state so researchers should begin by identifying local government websites.

Library Resources

Internet Resources

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