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Law: QuickStart Guide

This guide is intended to serve as a starting point for finding legal information and is intended for public library users and librarians.

Newton City Hall

The Newton Free Library is conveniently located across from Newton City Hall.  

The City of Newton website has a user friendly "How Do I...." webpage  plus a 311 for Quick Help and Requests webpage for quick links.

Mayor Fuller's Homepage

Newton Police Department Citizen Resources

"The Overnight Parking Ban will be four weeks shorter this winter. Overnight on-street parking in Newton is now prohibited from Dec. 1 through March 31. (The previous parking ban was from Nov. 15 to April 15.) Thank you City Council for the vote last night."  (September 3, 2019) NEW! From Mayor Fuller's Update of Wednesday, September 4, 2019


Newton City Charter and Ordinances

Newton Charter: Group Petitions; Action Required


Sec. 10-2. Group Petitions; Action Required. The city council or the school committee shall hold a public hearing and act with respect to every petition which is addressed to it, which is signed by at least 50 voters, and which seeks the passage of a measure. The hearing shall be held by the city council or the school committee or, in either case, by a committee or subcommittee of either the city council or school committee and the action by the city council or school committee shall be taken not later than 3 months after the petition is filed with the city clerk. Hearings on 2 or more petitions filed under this section may be held at the same time and place and the city clerk shall mail notice of the hearing to the first 50 certified signers whose names appear on each petition at least 48 hours before the hearing. Notice by publication of all such hearings shall be at public expense. (Referendum of 11- 04-75.) 


Tip: FENCES AND WALLS: Look for ordinances about walls under the heading for fences.   Chapter 5 Article III Section 30: Fences 

Formerly under Chapter 20 Civil Fines & Misc. Offenses, Article VI, it was moved to Chapter 5 Public Buildings and Inspectional Services. 


Newton District Court

Newton District Court

Excerpt from Massachusetts Court System: In civil matters, District Court judges conduct both jury and jury-waived trials, and determine with finality any matter in which the likelihood of recovery does not exceed $25,000. The District Court also tries small claims involving up to $7,000 (initially tried to a magistrate, with a defense right of appeal either to a judge or to a jury). Fifteen of its judges serve on the Appellate Division, an appellate tribunal with published opinions that is organized in three geographical districts, and sits in three-judge panels, to review questions of law that arise in civil cases.  Read more about the District Courts on the Massachusetts Court System website.

Legal Services & Lawyer Referral Service

Ask a Law Librarian

Community Legal Education

From the Massachusetts Bar Association: "Whether you are a member of the public looking for assistance with a legal question, an attorney searching for a volunteer opportunity, or a student or teacher interested in bringing law-related education to your school, you can benefit from the MBA's public and community service programs."

Affordable Housing


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Find a Licensed Professional

Find Your Legislators

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Historic Houses

The City of Newton Planning Department and The Jackson History Museum post legal information regarding restoring and remodeling historic homes in Newton.

Historical Maps & Historic Properties

Massachusetts Government

Newton eResources

Newton Forms

Newton Governing Documents

Newton Government & Forms

Become familiar with the official homepage for the City of Newton.  A clear and detailed source of information by department plus forms across city departments.

Newton Housing Strategy



Newton Villages

Overnight Parking Ban & Options

November 15 - April 15 Overnight Parking Ban in Effect

Overnight parking is considered to be more than one hour between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Police Department

The Newton Police Department is committed to providing quality; professional law enforcement services to the community and recognizes that successful policing cannot be done without the support of the community. The Newton Police Department serves a residential population of over 85,000 people.Currently the department employs 139 sworn officers, 10 parking control officers,52 school traffic supervisors and 33 civilians.

Take advantage of the Silver-Alert/Wanderer Sign-up link service available from the Newton Police Department page.

Recycling in Newton

Schools & Students: Rights & Responsibilities

Snow Resources

Self Help Books

Consult titles from self help legal publishers.  Watch for new editions with updated information.  Use the Legal Topics tab to find more books and links to areas of law you may need.