Law Library

Local Law establishes the local government’s structure and functions, and also regulates many aspects of our daily lives. In Detroit, this local law includes the Detroit City Charter, the Detroit City Code, and many uncodified ordinances. Some local laws have developed over generations and many can be difficult to research and interpret. But understanding these laws is crucial to effectively advocate for the issues that matter most to you.

This law library provides access to the primary sources of local law in Detroit. This library will be updated regularly to include new ordinances and amendments to the City Code as they are enacted, so check back frequently!

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2012 Detroit City Charter

The 2012 Detroit City Charter was adopted by ballot proposal in November 2011 and became effective on January 1, 2012. The City Charter establishes the City government’s basic organizational structure and core operations, and establishes the powers and duties of many of its departments, including the Mayor, the City Council, and the City Clerk. The City Charter also provides procedures for certain key governmental functions, including elections, the adoption of ordinances and resolutions, preparation of the City budget, property taxation, and borrowing, among others.

Click Here to Access the 2012 Detroit City Charter

2019 Detroit City Code

The 2019 Detroit City Code was established by the City Council’s adoption of Ordinance No. 28-19, effective October 1, 2019. The City Code is the compilation of all ordinances that have been adopted by the City Council to date. The City Code is organized into 50 chapters, which are arranged alphabetically by subject matter, from Administration to Zoning. Each chapter is organized into multiple articles, divisions, and individuals sections. The official 2019 City Code is published by the MuniCode corporation.

Click Here to Access the Official 2019 Detroit City Code

Uncodified Ordinances

The Detroit City Council regularly adopts new ordinances throughout the year. Until they are formally published in the official 2019 City Code, these ordinances remain uncodified and may not be accessible to the public; however, they are still valid local law. To date, the 2019 City Code has not been supplemented since it became effective on October 1, 2019. Since then, approximately 120 ordinances have been enacted but remain uncodified.

Click Below for a Compilation of Uncodified Ordinances as a Supplement to the Official 2019 City Code:

This compilation includes only the specific sections of the City Code that have been recently amended, but where those amendments are not yet reflected in the official 2019 City Code as published by the MuniCode corporation. Where a given section is included in both the official 2019 City Code and this compilation, the current version of the law is reflected here.