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Florida City, County & Local Laws: Resources

How to find County and City ordinances in print and online

Free database searching for local laws

You can obtain many Florida cities' and counties' ordinances online for free through Municode.  A paid subscription to Municode allows you to search multiple ctities or counties at once or compare codes. Two other companies that publish local laws are Ecpde.360 and American Legal Publishing, although they typically have less laws available than Municode.  

Terminology

  • Local government can refer to a county, municipality, city, or special district
  • Ordinance is a law itself
  • Collections of ordinances are called the municipal code
  • Charter is like the constitution of a city, county or town

Strategies for Researching Local Laws

(1) Find and read the text of the local law by checking Municode, Lexis, ECode360, American Legal Publishing, the city/county website, or the print laws. 

(2) Search Florida case law using some key words from the ordinance to see if any courts have interpreted or overruled the local law. 

(3) You may also want to review some secondary sources like treatises and nutshells to see if your topic is discussed generally. 

Fla Bar Section for City, County & Local Government

Benefits to joining include a listserv, seminars and CLEs, and access to the Local Government Law Desk Book. 

How to find local laws in print

What if the local law is not available online? Some smaller counties and municipalities do not always have websites or put ordinances online.  You may have to call, email, or visit a county clerk, city clerk or public library to find printed copies of the laws. 

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