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Researching in other Jurisdictions

We provide a brief overview of research protocols for intent research on jurisdictions other than Federal law and the law of the State of California below. If you have further questions or would like to engage our professional services, contact information is available at the Contact Us link.

Other States

Some legislative or regulatory history information is available either on line or by telephone in all of the other states of the Union, although the information immediately available is often sparse. Agencies within the various states that are commonly helpful can include the Legislature, Legislative Counsel, Secretary of State, State Library, or State Archives. Although what is available varies from state to state, a good beginning protocol is to call the State Law Library. The librarians will usually have some familiarity with where to find basic documents such as bill copies and various legislative or regulatory publications. The other agencies you will need to contact will vary by the subject matter and type of research.

Local Government Ordinances or Regulations

Historical documentation of the purpose of municipal or county laws is sporadically available. Generally the larger the government entity, and more recent the enactment, the higher the likelihood useful explanatory information will be available. Although some information may be available at the jurisdictions web site, more commonly the first step for an ordinance will be to go to the clerk of the legislative body adopting the ordinance. Other possible sources will typically include the jurisdictions archives, local libraries and possibly files of elected representatives involved with the adoption. With local regulations the first step will often by with the Department within the jurisdiction where the regulation was developed.