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Cite Checking Resources: Info for State Codes

This guide is designed to help law students start their first cite checking assignment, and is also intended to be a reference that students can return to at anytime for assistance with typical cite checking questions.

ILL for State Codes

ILL for State Codes (Bluebook Rule 12.1).

  • The Bluebook rule for putting the date (the year) on a citation to a code section requires that you use the printed version of the code.  This is because the required date for a code section is "the year that appears on the spine of the volume, the year that appears on the title page, or the latest copyright year—in that order of preference." (See Bluebook Rule 12.3.2)
  • Because online databases tend not to provide PDF images of the spine, title page, or copyright page, the only way to determine the Bluebook-approved date is to pull the print volume from a shelf and view its spine, title page, and copyright page.
  • Check T1 in the Bluebook for the approved statutory compilation ("code") for the state. Be aware that there is often more than one published version of a state's code, and that the Bluebook will tell you which version you need to cite.  Make certain that you use the correct version, even if the wrong version is cited in the footnote you are citechecking. If the library does not own a print copy of the Bluebook-approved code (sometimes we will only have an unofficial version of a code), you will have to inter-library loan (ILL) a copy from another library in order to find the correct year. 
  • For example, an author cites to Mo. Ann. Stat. and the footnote includes the year that the specific volume of Mo. Ann. Stat. was published. However, the Bluebook (pg. 249) says to cite to Mo. Rev. Stat. if therein.  If our library did not have Mo. Rev. Stat., and if your journal follows the Bluebook, you would need to place an interlibrary loan (ILL) request for Mo. Rev. Stat. (Note, our library does have it, see the list attached above.)
  • In your ILL request do NOT request a particular year. Rather, state that you want “the current bound volume of Mo. Rev. Stat., and the most recent pocket part for that volume”. Please use that language. You will not know the year of the current volume of Mo. Rev. Stat. until you receive it. The volume that contains your code section in Mo. Rev. Stat. may have been published in a different year than the volume that contains your code section in Mo. Ann. Stat. so trying to request the same year that the author cited for Mo. Ann. Stat. will cause problems.  
  • When your ILL arrives, you will check it for accuracy and then change the author's citation from Mo. Ann. Stat. to Mo. Rev. Stat.  If your volume of Mo. Rev. Stat. was published in a different year than the corresponding volume of Mo. Ann. Stat. erroneously cited by the author, then you will change the date to the correct date from the spine, title page or copyright page of the Mo. Rev. Stat.