Local government law resources

Local government law resources

The Alameda County Law Library has legal information resources for state, federal, and also, local law.

One of the best resources for researching issues involving California municipal law is the CEB title – The California Municipal Law Handbook available through OnLAW on our public computers.  The paper version is on the shelf at KFC 752 .A49.   We await the new 2019 edition to be published at the end of July.

Topics in this title include:

  • Nature of municipal corporations
  • Open government and ethics
  • Elections
  • Personnel
  • Finance and economic development
  • Municipal services and utilities
  • Public contracting
  • Public property
  • Regulating businesses and personal conduct
  • Land use
  • Protecting the environment
  • Code enforcement

For information on litigation against a city or other public entity, we have CEB’s Government Tort Liability Practice (KFC 332 .V3 and OnLAW) which has a good discussion for the popular topic of general immunities of public entities and employees in Chapter 10.  Chapter 11 covers liabilities and immunities in specific functional areas including police, fire, and administrative activities.

Lexis offers California Public Sector Labor Relations (KFC562 .P8 C32 and Lexis) and California Public Sector Employment Law (Lexis) for those researchers interested in studying the law involving government employees.

Primary law  

ACLL has a few paper resources for codes and charters of local government – Oakland, Alameda County, Berkeley, and Hayward.  Most governments are keeping their codes current using internet sites.

There are a number of internet publishers that specialize in municipal codes.

Municode’s Code Library provides text for the Alameda, Alameda County, Hayward, Newark and Oakland codes online.

Code Publishing Co. hosts Dublin, Emeryville, Livermore,  Berkeley,

Qcode.us has Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City

Albany is at clerkshq.com

Doing their own thing are Fremont and Piedmont

Legislative history

ACLL does have selected legislative history resources for local government.  As local governments moved to digital resources and away from paper, historical texts were not always made readily available for the collection.  On the plus side, many government websites now retain electronic documents related to the legislative process as digital files on their city’s databases.

Be sure to ask the ACLL law librarians for assistance when researching local government legislative history.  We may be able to offer useful suggestions.

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