Law Research Guides: Florida Statutes and Laws

 Statutes

 Session Laws

 Lawmaking Process

Florida Statutes are first issued in the form of session laws. These are the laws, which are first published as bills, that are passed by the legislature before they are codified (i.e. put into a subject arrangement) into the Florida Statutes (See Above). At the end of each year's legislative sessions, the session laws are compiled and reissued in hard copy in Laws of Florida (Online). The Law Library has most of the volumes of this set back to 1838 (Florida Collection for recent years, for earlier years States Collection and Florida Collection Annex). Laws of Florida are available from 1997 to the current year on the State Library and Archives of Florida website. The West's Florida Session Law Service (2013-2014 & Historical), West's Florida Statutes Annotated (Reference, Reserve, Florida, and States Collections & Westlaw) has current laws before they are put in the hardcopy of the Laws of Florida.

There may be changes to a statute currently pending before the legislature in the form of a bill or resolution or before previous legislatures. For this reason, the Law Library subscribes to the House and Senate bill services which publish the text of bills from past legislative sessions. The current House and Senate bills are in the Reserve Collection. Older House bills back to 1976 are bound and shelved in the Florida Annex (States Collection Florida Annex KFF6.H6). Links to current and passed House bills back to 1998 are available on the Florida House of Representatives website. Links to current and past Senate bills are on the Florida Senate website back to 2010. The Florida Senate Archive, site has links that retrieve bills from 1998-2010.

Statutes are constantly being amended, repealed and renumbered. As a result it is important to ensure that the law you are dealing with is current. Pocket parts and supplements will help you review a statute up to, but possibly not including, the most recent session of a legislature. The history section of each statute will tell you which previous session laws amended it. To see if a particular law was amended in the most recent legislature session, consult the current session laws. Use session laws that have been codified for historical research, only. For current research, use current uncodified session laws.

The State of Florida publishes the official edition of the Florida Statutes (Annex & Westlaw) after each year that has a legislative session which is usually annually. This is the codified or subject arrangement of all session laws that are currently in force. The general subject index volume of this set has the Constitutions of the State of Florida (Westlaw, Lexis, & Online) and of the Constitution of the United States (Westlaw, Lexis, HeinOnline, & Online). It also includes a tracing table from session laws to statutes and from the statutes to the session laws, a table of repealed and transferred sections, and a tracing table for the sections of the 1885 Constitution that were transferred to the current Constitution. This set is not annotated (Reference, Reserve, States, and Florida Collections KFF40.F575 and older editions back to 1951 are in the Florida States Collection Annex).

The West's Florida Statutes Annotated (F.S.A.) (Florida, States, & Reference Collection & Westlaw) is published by the Thomson West Group Publishing Company. It has many enhancements that the official Florida Statutes (Annex & Westlaw) does not have, such as notes to cases construing the statutes, law review articles and other secondary sources (Reference, States, and Florida Collections, and superseded volumes are in the Florida Annex and the microform collection). Annual pocket parts and pamphlets update this set. The pocket parts are themselves updated regularly with the Interim Annotation Service (shelved with the Florida Statutes Annotated in the Reference, Florida, and States Collections). The publication contains only new citations to chases or secondary material such as law review articles. It does not include any new session laws or new statutory materials.

The subject index to the Florida Statutes Annotated is issued annually. Words and phrases that are defined by statute are listed in the Words section of the subject index. At the very end of the alphabetic sequence of subjects is the Popular Name Table that gives the citation to many, but not all, statutes that are known by their popular name. The two Tables volumes correlate the session laws of each year with the codified sections of the statutes, beginning with the year 1892.

Other supplementary volumes included in the West's Florida Statutes Annotated (Florida, States, & Reference Collection & Westlaw) include the Constitution, Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Judicial Administration, Traffic Court Rules, Small Claims Court Rules, Juvenile Procedure Rules, Rules of Appellate Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of the Supreme Court Operating Procedure and the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.

Another unofficial set of Florida Statutes is the Lexis Advance Florida Annotated Statutes (Florida Collection KFF29.F55 & Lexis). It has annotations to cases, attorneys general opinions, and a select number of legal periodical articles. A Disposition Table tells which session law chapter numbers were incorporated into which statutes as well as a Table of Sections of the Statutes Affected by Chapters of the session laws. It is completely updated and reprinted biennially in even numbered years following the adjournment of the Legislature with supplements in odd numbered years. It does not have special rules volumes. These are published separately in Lexis Advance Florida Rules of Court Annotated (Florida Collection KFF529.F462 & Lexis).

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QUOTE
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian

QUICKLINKS

Training
Library Hours
Library Staff
Ask a Librarian

ACCESSING DATABASES FROM OFF-CAMPUS OR USING WIRELESS
Instructions: Video  |  Text

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS

Library Reference: 305-284-3585
Library Circulation: 305-284-3563
Automated Operator: 305-284-2250
Copy Center: 305-284-3272
Computer Help Desk: 305-284-5297

 

QUOTE
"Perhaps the two most valuable and satisfactory products of American civilization are the librarian on the one hand and the cocktail in the other."
- Louis Stanley Jast, Librarian