Legal Research

Statutes

The legislative branch of government is charged with enacting laws. These laws are called statutes. The federal government and most states organize these statutes by subject matter and publish them as codes. Many federal statutes are thus found in the United States Code.

California Statutory Law consists of 29 codes, covering various subject areas.

California Statutory Research

Every law enacted by the legislature begins as a bill (which is given a number). When the bill is passed by the legislature and becomes law it is a statute. Statutes are organized by subject matter and placed into codes. Annotated Codes, in addition to containing the language of each code section, have brief summaries of cases which have interpreted or construed the code section. Each code has its own index and there is a comprehensive or general index covering all 29 codes. An alternative to the general index is the Larmac Consolidated Index to Constitution and Laws of California (LARMAC). This book indexes under one alphabetical listing all 29 codes, the constitution and uncodified laws. Information about the status of bills pending in the legislature can be ascertained by consulting either West's or Deering's Legislative Service Pamphlets.

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