Research Guides

Successful Summer Strategies: Research in the Real World

General Tips for Researching County and City Materials

Local government law may consist of either county or city materials. The law for such entities may consist of:

  • A charter, which is the basic document setting for the entity's powers to legislate
  • Ordinances, which are legislative enactments passed by a city council or board of county commissioners or supervisors
  • Codes, which are codifications (subject arrangements) of ordinances currently in force.

"Public local laws" are laws passed by the Maryland Assembly that affect a particular county or city, or more than one county or city. Public local laws are published in the Annotated Code of Maryland.

There is great variation among local jurisdictions in the forms of publication and updating mechanisms for these materials. It will often be necessary to check with a local law school library if available, a local court library, or with a county or city clerk's office, about how to research the law for a particular local government.

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