LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Nick Passe

Where can I find Wisconsin County / Village / Town / City / Municipal Ordinances?

Most people know there are laws created at the state and federal and local level. While it may be easy enough to find the Code of Federal Regulations or Wisconsin Statutes online, sometimes you just want to know what the local ordinances say about an issue and this is more difficult to find. Fortunately, someone at the Wisconsin State Law Library did a good job of gathering and listing many of the county and municipal ordinances for different local government entities in Wisconsin for us all to use. The link is below.

There are undoubtedly many more Wisconsin townships and counties which do not have their ordinances on this list. For those local governments I suggest doing a google search for the government body's name and the word ordinance and then exploring the web site of that entity if the search results don't turn up a document or searchable database of local ordinances. If all these efforts fail, try calling a clerk of the local government or a government executive and ask the person directly about your question or that a copy of the local ordinances be e-mailed to you or made available for your viewing at the local government offices. You should always remember that sometimes more than one level of government have laws about an issue. For example, a city may have an ordinance about disposing of certain kinds of wastes. The county, state and federal governments also have laws about waste disposal which may or may not be applicable to a given set of facts.

I don't want anyone to be paranoid, but there are other sources of law which sometimes surprise people: appellate case law and regulations generated by government bodies. If you have questions about the interpretation of the law or how the law might apply to a set of facts, you probably should speak to an attorney.

I wish you luck in researching your issue and hope this guide has been helpful.

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