California Legal Research

Use this as a guide to researching California law using any of these three tools: Legal encyclopedias/treatises, Annotated codes, or Case Digests.

California Regulations

Researching California statutory law, and its legislative history, can be a considerably more complex process than doing the same in federal law.  This research guide aims to gives students a research framework on how to retrieve state legislative documents.

Pending Legislation
If you need information on a legislative document that is still pending in either the Assembly or State House you will often have to look within the journal for the respective chamber.

California Official Legislative Information (check here first!!)
Has the current status for bills in either chamber.


Assembly Journal
Is also available electronically from 1849 to present at the State Assembly website.
KFC 14 C33a

Senate Journal
The last few years are available on the Senate website in PDF.  The library also subscribes to this journal in microform from 1941 to present.
KFC 14 C33s


Each chamber also publishes a record of major actions on each bill to date.  It also includes a numerical list of bills, showing author, title, and action taken.

Senate Weekly History
KFC 14 C298s

Senate Final History
KFC 14 C31s

Assembly Weekly History
KFC 14 C315a

Assembly Final History
KFC 14 C31a

Session Laws
After a bill has passed it is filed with the Secretary of State to be 
chaptered.  Each bill is given a separate chapter number.  California session laws are available in the following sources.  Remember that the government source of session laws, Statutes and Amendments to the Code, has a very long lag behind the commercial publishers.

Statutes and Amendments to the Code
KFC 25 A24  California Collection

Advance Legislative Service to Deering's California Code Annotated
KFC 25 C302  California Collection

California Legislative Service (West)
KFC 25 C301  California Collection

California Code
The California code is available with annotations from two commercial publishers -- Bancroft Whitney and WestLaw.  Unlike federal code, there is no "official" set of code published by the government.

Deering's California Code Annotated
KFC 30.5.D4 C52  California Collection (organized by title)

West's Annotated California Codes
KFC 30.5 W4

California Legislative Counsel (Official California Legislative Information)
ontains an electronic version of the current code.

If you are looking for committee reports, expert testimony, or hearing please speak with a law librarian.  If you are needing to do a California legislative history refer to the research guide on California Legislative Intent.

Subject Guide