Resources for Local Government
Below is a list of online resources for local government-related legal research in Illinois, with an emphasis on Cook County and the Chicagoland area.
I. Cook County Administration & Resources
I. COOK COUNTY ADMINISTRATION & RESOURCES
A. COOK COUNTY PRESIDENT AND BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Cook County Government
The homepage of Cook County government. Top news and links for County agencies, the County Board of Commissioners, and upcoming events hosted by the County.
Cook County Board of Commissioners
Watch County Board and Forest Preserve District meetings live. View Board meeting details, agenda, and proceedings.
Secretary to the Board of Commissioners
Links to Board meeting live streams, agendas, and video media.
Cook County Legislation
Search for pending and passed legislation and board calendars.
Cook County Forest Preserve
Information about services, locations and budgets.
Bureau of Finance
Find links for annual budgets, financial reports, Cook County Bonds, and Requests for Qualifications
Department of Budget and Management Services (DBMS)
Includes links for current budget, executive budget recommendations, and budget archives back to 2002.
C. ORDINANCES AND LEGISLATION
Cook County Code of Ordinances
Searchable Code of Ordinances for Cook County, including Zoning Ordinance. Also includes adopted ordinances not yet codified.
Ordinances and Resolutions
Find text of ordinances and resolutions plus Board meeting agendas. Available back to January 2000.
D. ELECTED OFFICIALS
Taxpayer information, assessment search, exemption information, forms, filing information, appeals and information for senior citizens and disabled veterans. Also includes an online search tool for retrieval of parcel data with G.I.S. pictures of residential and nonresidential properties as well as prior and current assessment values.
Board of Review
Information includes forms, Board of Review rules, current and historical dates and deadlines, filing guides and information on the background of the Board.
Cook County Clerk
- The Vital Records section has information on how to request vital records.
- The Suburban Cook County Elections section provides information on where to vote, candidate lists, disclosures and election results.
- The Property Taxes section has information on tax rates, extensions, maps, redemption and a tax FAQ and glossary.
- The Ethics & Campaign Disclosure section lists disclosure requirements and lobbyist information. Search for Statements of Economic Interest of public officials and employees.
- The County Board section has information about County Board Meetings, ordinances, County Board members, and information about the Board.
- The Media Room has a video library and news section.
Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court
- Services and Resources - Provides information on email case monitoring for attorneys, finding an attorney, help in recovering child support, domestic violence and teen dating violence, joint simplified dissolution of marriage, statistical information, passport services, expungements/sealing/identity theft, information on access to Cook County adoption records, self-help resources and brochures.
- Court Forms - Cook County Circuit Court forms. All forms are interactive and fillable. Some include instructions.
- On-Line Case Information - Online access to the full electronic docket for cases filed in the Civil, Law, Chancery, Probate, and Domestic Relations divisions.
- eFiling Information
- Free Case Monitoring Service - A free service provided to Cook County attorneys that provides email notification of changes in pending cases.
- Online Traffic Ticket System - Pay traffic tickets, request traffic safety school, or schedule a court hearing date.
Circuit Court of Cook County
Chief Judge of the Circuit Court.
- Rules of the Circuit Court
- General Orders of the Circuit Court
- General Administrative Rules of the Circuit Court
- General Administrative Orders of the Circuit Court
The Attorneys/Litigants section has calendars and documentation for the various divisions of the court. The Traffic Section has information on procedures, penalties, DUI, sanctions and an FAQ.
Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Search by grantor/grantee, document number, legal description, property identification number (PIN), trust number or subdivision.
Cook County State's Attorney
Information on domestic violence, mortgage fraud, environmental crimes, seniors and persons with
disabilities, victim' services.
Cook County Sheriff
Search online for inmate information, criminal warrants and child support warrants. Also find information on opioid abuse prevention, how to submit crime tips, civil process service, and evictions, foreclosures and civil process.
Cook County Treasurer
Selected forms, online payment, payment status, duplicate and overpayment, and download brochures in multiple languages.
A complete list of Cook County agencies is available.
- Administrative Hearings - Provides ordinances and rules, online appeals, administrative procedures, forms, hearing locations, and citation payment.
- Building and Zoning - Search for licensed contractors, zoning classification, and building permit status. Find applications, permit requirements (arranged by type of project), contractor requirements, ordinance and fee schedules.
- Board of Ethics - Ordinances, regulations & guides, requests for advisory opinion or investigation, and recent advisory opinions and notices of determination.
- Commission on Human Rights - Provides text of ordinance, procedural rules, complaint form, decision and orders with index.
- Environmental Control - Information on permits, compliance and inspection, particulate matter, solid waste, solar energy, and Brownfield Program. Also information on new Smart Grid Program.
- Cook County Health and Hospital System - Links to patient services, clinical services, locations, education & research and governance.
- Department of Transportation and Highways - Provides information on permits, projects, construction zones, and long range transportation plan.
- Bureau of Human Resources - Job postings, Shakman information, and applications.
- Office of Chief Procurement Officer - Provides Directory of Certified Vendors, regulations, certification application and affidavit, and minority- and women- owned business (MBE/WBE) resources.
- Law Office of the Public Defender - Includes Divisions of the Public Defender’s Office, Guide to Juvenile Court, and a Guide to the Criminal Justice System (Also available in Spanish as a PDF).
II. CITY OF CHICAGO RESOURCES
- City of Chicago Home Page - Select Chicago Government for listing of agencies.
- Municipal Code of Chicago - Includes building and zoning codes. From the American Legal Publishing Corporation.
- Mayoral Executive Orders - Covers Mayors Washington (1981) to Emanuel (current).
- City Clerk of Chicago - The City Council's Information on city stickers, licenses, and claims against the city. Journals and Reports includes journals of the City Council, Council meeting reports, city budgets, and executive orders. Journal of the Proceedings of the City Council are available from July 1981 to present.
- Board of Ethics - Text of ordinance, public disclosure forms, statements of financial interests and lobbyist information.
- Department of Administrative Hearings - Complete rules and regulations and the administrative hearing process.
- Business Affairs and Consumer Protection - Consumer information, business forms, and selected rules and regulations.
- Department of Finance - License and tax information, forms and instructions.
- Chicago Landmarks - Includes maps, listings, tours, surveys, and general information.
- Geographic Information Systems - Select City Departments and GIS department. Links to the following types of maps for the Chicago: census, citywide, community, land use, political boundaries, transit, ward and precinct. Also includes interactive maps - Chicago property finder, zoning, Division of Maps and Plats, Citizen ICAM.
- Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago - Information for candidates and voters. See Index of Electoral Board Decisions containing a summary of electoral board decisions from 1982 to 2006 in handbook format.
- Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) - The CCHR is the city agency that handles complaints of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodation, credit and bonding, and issues orders and rulings. Site includes ordinance, rules, information on complaint filing, and Guide to Discrimination Complaints & Adjudication Procedures. Decisions & Precedents in Discrimination Cases are available. The Cook County Law Library is a print depository of the Commission decisions.
- Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance (2000) - PDF document
- Chicago Public Library (CPL) - Information about CPL and databases. Search the Online catalog.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago - An electronic publication of the Chicago Historical Society, in partnership with Academic Technologies at Northwestern University and the Newberry.
III. COLLAR COUNTY RESOURCES
- Dupage County Code
- Clerk of the Circuit Court - Forms, fees, traffic, divorce and adoption information.
- Check under individual departments for ordinances.
- Circuit Clerk
- National Association of Counties (NACo) - A national organization representing county governments in the U.S. providing information for and about counties. Under the About Counties button, see NACo County Explorer-Mapping County Data for a collection of links to county web pages nationwide.
IV. MUNICIPAL CODES ONLINE
The commercial codifiers listed below produce codes of ordinances from counties and municipalities
nationwide. Only the jurisdictions for Illinois are listed individually. Please check the company web
sites for codes from other states.
- American Legal Publishing - Codes from 36 states.
- Illinois codes: Argenta, Bellwood, Berwyn, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Carol Stream, Channahon, Chatham, Chicago, Chrisman, Christopher, Crestwood, Danville, Dewitt County, Diamond, East Dundee, Elwood, Evergreen Park, Fairfield, Flora, Frankfort, Franklin County, Freeport, Galena, Galesburg, Gardner, Geneseo, Glencoe, Greenville, Hanover, Homewood, Hoopeston, Itasca, Justice, Kenilworth, Kewanee, Kirkland, La Grange Park, Lake Caroll Association, Lake County, Lake Forest, Lakemoor, LaSalle, Litchfield, Lockport, Madison, Madison County, Mahomet, Markham, Marseilles, Martinsville, Maryville, Mattoon, Maywood, Mazon, Metropolis, Mettawa, Millstadt, Monticello, Nashville, O'Fallon, Oak Forest, Oakbrook Terrace, Orland Hills, Orland Park, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Paris, Pecatonica, Peotone, Pittsfield, Polo, Poplar Grove, Quincy, Richton Park, Riverdale, Riverton, Romeoville, Roscoe, Schiller Park, Shiloh, South Elgin, Sparta, Stone Park, Tinley Park, Troy, Vienna, Villa Grove, Waterloo, Wauconda, Will County, Wilmette, Winnetka, Winthrop Harbor.
- General Code Publishing - Codes from 24 states plus Canada.
- Illinois codes: Coal City, Crystal Lake, Flossmoor, Harristown, Homer Glen, Lexington, Lincolnwood, McLean County, Mendota, Monroe County, Stephenson County, Williamsville.
- Municipal Code Corporation - Municipal and county codes from over 40 states.
- Illinois Codes: Alsip, Amboy, Auburn, Aurora, Bartonville, Beardstown, Belvidere, Boone County, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Braidwood, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Burbank, Burnham, Byron, Calumet City, Carpentersville, Cary, Casey, Centralia, Champaign, Cherry Valley, Chicago Heights, Chicago Ridge, Chillicothe, Cicero, Collinsville, Cook County, Creston, Crete, Davis Junction, DeKalb County, DuPage County, Earlville, East Hazel Crest, East Peoria, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Effingham, Elmhurst, Evanston, Ford Heights, Franklin Park, Geneva, Gilman, Glenview, Glenwood, Godfrey, Granite City, Grayslake, Hainesville, Hanover Park, Harwood Heights, Hazel Crest, Highland, Highland Park, Hillcrest, Hillside, Hinckley, Hoffman Estates, Iroquois County, Jacksonville, Joliet, Kankakee County, Kingston, Lansing, Lebanon, Lemont, Libertyville, Livingston County, Lombard, Loves Park, Lynwood, Marshall, Mascoutah, McCook, McCullom Lake, Melrose Park, Metamora, Monmouth, Montgomery, Morris, Morrison, Mount Carmel, Mundelein, Naperville, Neoga, New Lenox, Niles, Norridge, North Aurora, North Chicago, North Riverside, Northbrook, Oglesby, Olympia Fields, Oregon, Ottawa, Palos Hills, Pana, Park City, Park Forest, Peoria, Peoria County, Peru, Phoenix, Plainfield, Pontiac, Rantoul, Rock Falls, Rockford, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Salem, Sangamon County, Sauk Village, Savoy, Schaumburg, Silvis, Skokie, South Beloit, South Chicago Heights, South Holland, Springfield, Steger, Sterling, Stickney, Stillman Valley, Streator, Sun River Terrace, Tampico, Thornton, University Park, Urbana, Vandalia, Vernon Hills, Villa Park, Walnut, Waukegan, West Chicago, West Frankfort, Westchester, Westmont, Wheaton, Wheeling, Wilmington, Winnebago County, Zion.
- Sterling Codifiers - Municipal and county codes from 20 states.
- Illinois codes: Aledo, Alton, Antioch, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Barry, Bartlett, Batavia, Beach Park, Bedford Park, Beecher, Bensenville, Berkeley, Bloomingdale, Broadview, Campton Hills, Canton, Capron, Carbondale, Carmi, Cerro Gordo, Charleston, Chenoa, Clarendon Hills, Clinton, Colona, Cortland, Countryside, Creve Coeur, Darien, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Dixon, East Dubuque, East Moline, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Forest View, Fox Lake, Franklin Grove, Germantown Hills, Gilberts, Glen Carbon, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Golf, Grant Park, Green Oaks, Grundy County, Hampshire, Hawthorn Woods, Herscher, Heyworth, Highwood, Hinsdale, Inverness, Island Lake, Jerseyville, Jo Daviess County, Kane County, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Bluff, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Lanark, Lee County, Leland, Leland Grove, Leroy, Leyden Township, Lincoln, Lindenhurst, Lisle, Long Grove, Lyons, Manhatten, Manteno, Maple Park, Marion, Marquette Heights, Midlothian, Milan, Minooka, Momence, Monee, Mount Prospect, Mt. Pulaski, North Barrington, North Pekin, North Utica, Northfield, Northlake, Oak Brook, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Ogle County, Oswego, Pawnee, Pingree Grove, Plano, Prospect Heights, River Forest, River Grove, Riverside, Riverwoods, Roanoke, Rock Island, Roxana, Savanna, Scales Mound, Seneca, Shannon, Sherman, Shorewood, Sleepy Hollow, South Barrington, Spring Valley, St. Joseph, Stockton, Streamwood, Sugar Grove, Summit, Sycamore, Taylorville, Toluca, Tower Lakes, Virginia, Volo, Wadsworth, Warrenville, Waterman, Wayne, Wenona, West Dundee, Western Springs, Willowbrook, Winfield, Wood Dale, Woodridge, Woodstock, Worth, Yorkville.
Individual Codes not listed above:
- Arlington Heights Municipal Code
- Elburn (Selected Ordinances)
- Gurnee Municipal Code
- Lake Forest City Code
- McHenry Municipal Code
- Mt. Zion Ordinances & Policies
- Normal Municipal Code
- Palatine Village Code of Ordinances
- Pekin City Code
- St. Charles City Code
- Municipal Codes - Compilation of city codes from around the state. Compiled by the Illinois Municipal League.
V. LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
- Illinois County Data Book (7th Edition, 2013) - PDF document
- County Data Book (6th Edition, 2002) - PDF document
- Illinois Municipal League Web Portal - provides a caselaw topical index for municipal law, selected model ordinances, and legal bulletins that include summaries of municipal law cases.
- NPR Illinois - Formerly Illinois Issues, A public affairs magazine for Illinois from the University of Illinois at Springfield. The online version is archived back to 2001 with selected articles available.
- Illinois Municipal Review-The Magazine of the Municipalities - Issues 1997 to present.
- Search Systems - Searchable public record database for states, counties and municipalities. Also links for Canadian and global public records.
PLEASE NOTE: The websites listed in this guide are for information only and are not endorsed or supported by the Cook County Law Library. Please independently verify the accuracy and currency of all information. Consult an attorney for legal advice.
Compiled by Jean M. Wenger
Revised January 2019 by David Sanborne
Revised February 2021 by Jenik Nichols