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Finding California Statutes, Regulations, and Related Cases

Print Codes

If you already have a citation to a California statutory code section, you can go right to the text of that section in one of the two print versions of the code. On the spine of each code volume, you will see the name of the code and the section range that is included in that volume. Once you read your code section in the bound volume, check the pocket part or supplement for that volume to see if the code section has been amended since the volume's publication. In the West set, the most recent additions to a code section are indicated by underlining and deletions are indicated by asterisks (* * *). In the Deering set, additions are placed in italics and deleted text is crossed out.

One reason it is sometimes preferable to look up your code section in print is that you can often more readily browse around your section to get a sense of context as well as find other potentially relevant sections. You may also find other related code sections by browsing one or more of the tables of contents located at the beginning of each of the relevant code subdivisions (Divisions, Parts, etc.). Further, there is also a master table of contents at the beginning of each code that can help you navigate through the various subdivisions.

LexisNexis Academic

By using the "Advanced Options" link on the LexisNexis Academic “State Statutes and Regulations Search" page (found by clicking the  "Search by Content Type" arrow on the LexisNexis Academic Search homepage), you have a number of ways to search for code sections, as shown in the screen shot below.

As with the print versions of the codes, you can browse some of the nearby table of contents headings on LexisNexis Academic to look for related code sections. To access the table of contents from a specific section, merely click the "Show TOC" link near the upper left hand corner of the screen and a window will appear containing a portion of the table of contents that includes your section (as shown below). You can open up the more specific headings under any of the broader subdivision headings in the table of contents by clicking on the "+" sign next to one of the broader headings. To hide the headings under a broader heading, click on the "-" sign next to the broader heading.

You can also browse surrounding sections in the code by clicking on the forward and backward "Document Browse" arrows (also located near the upper left hand corner of the screen, as shown above). Each time you click on an arrow, it will take you to the next, or previous, section in the code. To return to your original search results, choose the "Back to Original Results" option in the upper right corner of the screen

The Deering source on LexisNexis is updated very frequently. A “Current through . . . ” note appears near the top of the screen for each code section.

As a general rule, California statutes enacted in a particular year do not go into effect until January 1st of the following year. LexisNexis does not incorporate newly enacted laws into its code database until they go into effect. It does, however, include "Legislative Alert" notes at the top of every code section that will be affected by a newly enacted law.

California Legislative Information Website

On the California Legislative Information website's California Law page, you can browse the table of contents for any California statutory code. If you have a citation to a code section, you can pull up the section by first selecting the appropriate code from the list provided. Then browse the table of contents for that code and look for the range of sections that includes your section number.  As with LexisNexis Academic, the text of new laws is not incorporated into the website's database until the laws go into effect.