STATUTORY CITATION (Rule 12)
(wide variations occur between jurisdictions)
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 183, § 49 (2006) or 44 U.S.C. § 1234 (2000).
Court Docs: The statutory titles are underlined
Law Reviews: Use small caps for the statutory abbreviation
If possible, cite to the official code and/or its supplement. Else, cite to an unofficial code (usually the annotated version), then Lexis or Westlaw, then looseleaf, internet or newspaper, in that order [rule 12.2.1].
Keep the following hints in mind;
(1) Often an act from a legislature is inserted into the official code at myriad places, making it impossible to view it as a whole. When this occurs, you can cite to the public law number, sessiona law or statutes at large [rule 10.2.2(a) & 12.4].
If the statute has not yet been published in the U.S.C. and its supplements, then you can cite to the United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) or the United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.).
The model for a federal statute is: Title Code § Section (year).
(3) If you are citing to a specific subdivision or subdivisions of a code section, indicate all the subections. If you are citing to muliple sections, use §§. Consult rule 3.3 on how to use section and paragraph symbols.
(4) Official titles: Only include an official title when the statute is commonly cited that way, or if the information would aid in the statute's easy identification within a textual setting [rule 12.3.1(a)].
(5) Note that the Internal Revenue Code, because it is so distinct and commonly cited, has its own special citation form under Rule 12.9.1. Thus instead of 26 U.S.C. § 245 (2006), use I.R.C. § 245 (2006). See also Tax Material.
(6) Each state has its own statutory citation methodology. You should consult Table 1 and look up the jurisdiction in question. Upon finding the appropriate jurisdiction, consult the 'statutory compilations' section. Most will provide the proper citation for both official and unofficial codes, and which to use first . Some larger jurisdictions, like Texas, employ subject-matter codes, e.g. Tex. Agric. Code Ann. § 190 (Vernon 2006).
Note, for certain states you must indicate the publisher in the parenthetical.
Always cite to the date of the edition you are using. Thus, look to the year on the spine of the volume, the title page, and lastly the copyright year (in that order). If the provision is in a supplement or pocket part, cite to the edition of the supplement or pocket part. If a section is partly updated in the supplement, then cite to both years.
If you find the statute online, technically you have to check the bound volumes (and supplements) for the year.
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