How to Find a City Ordinance

By TS Jordan

Knowing the laws under which you are governed is important to ensure that you are in full compliance. While there are three general levels of government (federal, city, and state), the laws which have the most effect on your day to day life will usually be city ordinances. No matter the reason for your need to locate a city ordinance, they should be readily available either at the town hall or online on the city's website. With a quick bit of searching you can find the legal information you require.

Check for the availability of city ordinances online prior to taking the time to make a trip up to City Hall. While the method of locating the city ordinances will naturally vary depending on the structure of the city's website, you will generally want to look for the "law" of "legal" web page of the city's website. From there, look for a tab stating "codified ordinances" or "city ordinances." That should take you to a list of the laws specific to the city.

Take a trip up to City Hall and enquire with the clerk of courts about locating the ordinance in question. To expedite matters, it will help to have the exact ordinance number in full. Where that is not available, you should be able to give a general description of the ordinance in question. For example, state whether it is a civil or criminal ordinance and the general subject matter with which it is concerned.

Consult with a local attorney where your efforts to research the issue online or at City Hall have proved fruitless. Although an attorney will likely charge you a nominal fee to locate the ordinance, you will have the opportunity to ask him any questions you might have about the ordinance at hand, and its applicability to your particular legal issue. In the long run, this can save you time and worry when compared to trying to interpret the law on your own.

About the Author

TS Jordan is an Ohio licensed attorney living and practicing out of the Cleveland area. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds a Bachelors' Degree in Information Systems. He has been writing professionally for less than a year.

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