How to Find Louisiana Statutes


Brian Huddleston, Senior Reference Librarian and Associate Professor

Loyola University New Orleans School of Law Library


The laws passed by the Louisiana Legislature are compiled is a set of books called the Louisiana Statutes Annotated (abbreviated “LSA”). Copies of the LSA can be found at the following locations throughout the library:


Louisiana Statutes Annotated

           KFL30.5.W4A2

- 1st Floor Reading Room

- Range 205B Reference Collection (2nd Floor)

- Range 209A Louisiana Collection (2nd Floor)

- Range 301 (3rd Floor, near the main elevator)

(The Range numbers are written on the end of the shelves in the library; ask a librarian or consult a library map for further help in finding these particular library locations.) The LSA consists of several components. Specific sections within each component are cited either by article (“Art. 775") or, for the Revised Statutes part of the LSA, to Title and Section number (“4:702"). The different components of the LSA are often abbreviated and cited in a number of different ways, some of which are shown here:

 

LSA Component                    Citation Form/Abbreviations

Civil Code                                                     La. CC. Art. 1338

                                                                        LSA-CC Art. 1338

                                                                        La. Civ. Code Art. 1338

 

Revised Statutes                                             La. R.S. 9:614

                                                                        La. Rev. Stat. 9:614

                                                                        R.S. 9:614

                                                                        LSA-R.S. 9:614

 

Code of Civil Procedure                                 CCP Art. 98

                                                                        LSA-CCP Art. 98

                                                                        La. Code Civ. Proc. Art. 98 

 

Code of Criminal Procedure                           La Code Civ. Proc. Art. 2780

                                                                        LSA-CCrP Art. 2780

 

Children’s Code                                             Children’s Code Art. 603

                                                                        ChC. Art. 603

 

Code of Evidence                                           CE Art. 1103

                                                                        La. Code Evid. 1103


[For the correct way to cite the LSA and other legal materials, consult A Uniform System of Citation, 17th ed. (commonly called the “Blue Book”) located at:

KF 245 .U55 (Reference and Reserve)]


Finding Specific Statutes in the LSA: The Index


There is a two-volume paperback index to the LSA, usually shelved at the end of the entire set. You can use the index to look up words related to the subject you need to research and locate statutes in the LSA related to that subject.


Also, there are indexes within the main volumes of the LSA itself. For example, there is a separate index to the Civil Code found in the last volume of that part of the LSA, Volume 17. Also, specific subjects within the Revised Statutes, such as Title 14, Criminal Law, also have their own index. So if you needed to look up laws related only to criminal law, you might start out with that index.


Recall that this set is titled the “Louisiana Statutes Annotated”. “Annotated” means that besides the text of the statutes, other useful research references (“annotations”) are included. After many statutes in the LSA, you will see references to other books such as legal encyclopedias and other secondary resources (“AmJur”, CJS, ALR) as well as cross-references to other sections or articles of the LSA. Also after the text of many statutes in the LSA, you will find case annotations: short summaries of court cases from Louisiana that in some way deal with that statute. Because much legal research involves working with different types of resources, cases can be useful examples of how courts apply statutes to specific legal situations. For help in looking up cases, ask a librarian or consult the handout “How to Find Cases by Citation”.


When you find a statute that is useful, you need to check to see if there have been any changes to that statute. The entire LSA is NOT republished every year to include new laws passed by the state legislature. Instead, an annual set of “pocket parts” and supplements are published with new laws. In the volume where you find a relevant statute, look inside the back cover for the pocket part, or look on the shelf next to the volume if there is a separate supplement, and look up the same citation for that statutes in the pocket part or supplement to locate and changes.


Louisiana Statutes on the Internet


The Louisiana Statutes are available on the legislature’s web site at:


http://www.legis.state.la.us/


(Follow the link for “Louisiana Laws” at the left.) Be aware that these free on-line version of the statutes may not include the most recent laws passed by the legislature.



For any further help on this or any other legal research subject, please feel

free to ask one of the reference librarians at the Reference Desk on the

second floor. A copy of this handout, and the links to the internet sites

listed, is available through the library catalog at

http://lawcat.loyno.edu/

under the link for "Pathfinders".