Skip to Main Content

Local Government Law: Municipal Ordinances

National Association of Counties

  •    NACo County Explorer
    • NACo collects information on counties, including county seats and cities within a county. Use the hyperlinked map or search for a specific county in the search box. You can also identify the county a location is in by searching for the city/state or zip code.

Research Databases

Municipal Codes Available Online

American Legal Publishing: Municipal Code Library

eCode360 Library

  • Ordinances from 38 states and Canada.


  • Municipal codes from all 50 states, plus tribal codes.

Quality Code Publishing

  • Primarily Western states

Municipal Codes: A Beginner's Guide (Library of Congress)

Local Government Law - Terminology


A set of rules by which a municipality conducts its business. Bylaws govern activities such as meetings, votes, record-keeping, and budgeting.


A charter is the legal document that sets forth the organization and framework for a local government. Similar to the federal or a state constitution, the charter describes the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the various governmental branches and departments in a particular municipality or county.

Municipal Corporation

The legal structure assigned to a municipality. As a corporation, a municipality can buy and sell property and carry out legal action.

Ordinances & Codes

Ordinances are the general laws enacted by local governments. Like state statutes and regulations, ordinances have binding authority on all individuals and entities within the local jurisdiction in which they are enacted. They are also published in subject compilations called codes.

At the city level, the codes are typically referred to as municipal codes. Some local jurisdictions publish a regular code as well as an administrative code that focuses on the powers and duties of the various legal institutions within the jurisdiction.

Police Power

The legal term for the ability to use police to regulate the behavior of a municipality's residents.

Research Resources



  • Academic Search Complete
    • From EBSCO, journals, magazines, and newspapers in almost every subject area.
  • Google Scholar
    • Google Scholar allows searching a broad range of article databases (including HeinOnline, JSTOR, and SSRN) and online scholarship repositories. Results are ranked by the number of citations to an article.
  • HeinOnline
    • Digitized collection of national and international Law Reviews and Journals
    • Journal articles and books, primarily in the humanities and social sciences.
  • ProQuest Databases
    • The largest aggregated full-text database of journal articles, magazines, newspapers and dissertations for information on a broad range of general reference subjects such as business, political science, art, literature and psychology.
  • SSRN
    • Social Science Research Network (SSRN) provides early publications of abstracts, working papers, and journal articles, with email update services.


Associate Law Librarian for Administration & Public Service

Profile Photo
Sharon Bradley
Mercer University School of Law
Room 220 (behind Circulation)
Office Hours
• Tues 10:45 – 12:00
• Thurs 10:45 – 12:00
• Fri 9:30 – 10:30
Mercer University Law LibraryMercer University School of Law  |  Non-Discrimination Policy  |   ABA Required Disclosures  | Contact Site Administrator 
Mercer University School of Law - 1021 Georgia Avenue Macon, GA 31207 | 478-301-2605 |  All rights reserved.