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North Carolina State Statutes, County and Municipal Ordinances and Administrative Rules

This guide contains information about N.C. state statutes, county and municipal ordinances and administrative rules.

What Is in This Guide?

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North Carolina State Statutes, County and Municipal Ordinances and Administrative Rules

Usually the first step in legal research is determining if there is a governing statute, ordinance, or rule in effect. Many of the resources needed to locate North Carolina statutes or county and municipal ordinances are available in the Law Library or the nearby School of Government. Only rarely will the researcher have to go to the Legislative Library in Raleigh.  The following pages provide information on how to find these resources:

Tips for Researching N.C. State Statutes, County/Municipal Ordinances, and Administrative Rules

  • When using a North Carolina statutory code, it is best to use an annotated version if available, as it provides case annotations and other notes related to the statutes.
  • The statutory code is revised and published every two years.  However, sometimes new laws are passed before the code is revised.  Use session laws to find changes in the law between publications of the code.  Session laws are also useful for finding out what the law was at an earlier time. 
  • After researching North Carolina statutes, check for any related administrative rules related to the statute.  See our research guide for administrative law for more resources related to N.C. administrative law. 
  • Be aware that county and muncipal ordinances may also be applicable.