Administrative Law

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Administrative Law in California

General Information

As a general rule, regulations are different from statutes: regulations are enacted by administrative agencies, while statutes are enacted by the legislature (or by voter initiative). The authority to adopt, amend, and repeal regulations is granted to an agency by either constitutional provision or statute. When exercising this authority, agencies must follow the procedures set forth in the California Administrative Procedure Act. This entry outlines how to locate and update California regulations.

Some agencies have established administrative tribunals that adjudicate certain disputes.This entry will help you locate those agency decisions.

Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agency action can include rulemaking, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law. As a body of law, administrative law deals with the decision-making of administrative units of government (for example, tribunals, boards or commissions) that are part of a national regulatory scheme

Finding Regulations:

Regulation citations include a title number, publication name, and section.

Examples:
Title 3, California Code of Regulations, section 432
Cal. Code Regs., tit. 3, §432
3 C.C.R. §432

If you have a citation to a regulation, it is easy to find the appropriate title and locate the section. Regulatory materials are compiled in the California Code of Regulations (CCR). The CCR is divided into the following 28 titles, which are subdivided into divisions, parts, and sections:

No.
Title
No. Title
1 General Provisions 15 Crime Prevention and Corrections
2 Administration 16 Professional and Vocational Regulations
3 Food and Agriculture 17 Public Health
4 Business Regulations 18 Public Revenues
5 Education 19 Public Safety
6 Governor [no regulations] 20 Public Utilities and Energy
7 Harbors and Navigation 21 Public Works
8 Industrial Relations 22 Social Security
9 Rehabilitative and Developmental Services 23 Waters
10 Investment 24 Building Codes
11 Law 25 Housing and Community Development
12 Military and Veterans Affairs 26 Toxics
13 Motor Vehicle 27 Environmental Protection
14 Natural Resources 28 Managed Health Care

Barclay’s Official Code of California Regulations

The current CCR is located in the 4th Floor Stacks. The Building Codes in volume 24 are published separately and are kept at the Reference Desk(KFC35.A22). A few regulations are not included in the CCR. For example, the print version of a few provisions in Title 10, Article 7 (such as sections 2350 et seq.) must be obtained from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

Barclay’s publishes a Master Index to the current CCR. It is the last two volumes in the set. One volume contains statute to regulation tables; the second volume contains a subject index. The subject index is the place to look if you do not have a citation to a regulation.

The current CCR may be found online at http://www.calregs.com . Title 6 (Governor) and title 24 (Building Codes) are not included on this web site. This web site. also allows you to find regulations by looking up the relevant administrative agency (e.g. Department of Consumer Affairs) or by searching specific section numbers. This searchable database is updated weekly, and includes helpful instructions. Title 24 is divided into parts, and part 1 (Building Standards Administrative Code), part 7 (Elevator Safety Construction Code), part 8 (Historical Building Code), and part 12 (Reference Standards Code) are available online in PDF format at http://www.bsc.ca.gov/title_24/t24_2001tried.html.

The CCR (titles 6 and 24 are not included) is also available on Lexis and Westlaw:
Lexis: Search in CAL; CAADMN (Barclay’s Official California Code of Regulations)
Westlaw: Use the CA-ADC database (Barclay’s Official California Code of Regulations)

The Internet version of the CCR and the versions on Westlaw and Lexis are all searchable full text.

Updating Regulations and Finding Proposed Changes to Regulations:

The California Regulatory Code Supplement (Digest of New Regulations)
Micrographics – Cabinets 17-18 [1945-current]
This contains the official register of changes to the CCR. The weekly updates include the full text of all the regulations filed during that week with the Secretary of State, as well as a list of the CCR sections affected by the newly published regulation. Just to confuse the issue, this publication is sometimes called the Register.

The California Regulatory Notice Register (Z Register)

This additional weekly publication is published by the State Office of Administrative Law. It includes all proposed regulatory changes within state agencies, as well as disapproval decisions, regulations filed with the Secretary of State, title and section changes to the CCR filed with the Secretary of State, and agency contact information. There is no index, so you will need to look at the table of contents for each issue to check for proposed changes.

You can also check the Rulemaking Calendar, published each year in the Z Register. Every board and department lists proposed regulations, the subject of the proposed regulation, the CCR title and sections affected, the statutes being implemented, contact names and telephone numbers, and projected dates for notices, hearings, and adoption. The current year of the Z Register is kept in a white binder after the last bound volume.

The Z Register began publication in 1974, and information from the 1974-1978 registers is available at the California State Library.

The California Regulatory Notice Register (Z Register) is also available on the Internet at http://www.oal.ca.gov/reg_notice.htm . The site has full text registers from January 1, 2001 to current.

Shepard’s California Citations

There is a Shepard’s volume containing citations to the Code of Regulations. Shepardizing regulations can reveal if regulations have been updated, as well as provide case and law review article citations.

Online Resources:

Links to California state agencies may be found at http://www.stateinformation.com/stateagencies.html. Check an agency’s web site for new and proposed regulations.

Lexis: Search in the Lexis platform (formerly CAL;RGALRT) for tracking the full text of proposed, amended, or final regulations; updated daily. November, 1997- current.
Westlaw: Search in the West platform (formerly CA-REGTXT) for tracking the full text of each stage of pending and current regulations, from mid-2002 to current. Updated daily.

Approved and proposed changes in Building Code standards may be found at the Building Standards
Commission’s web site. at
http://www.bsc.ca.gov/apprvd_chngs.html and
http://www.bsc.ca.gov/prpsd_chngs.html. You can also check online for the most recent
energy efficiency standards.

Finding Administrative Decisions and Opinions of the Attorney General: Administrative Decisions

State agencies conduct quasi-judicial hearings. For an overview of this process, see California Administrative Hearing Practice. The State Administrative Manual (SAM) is a reference source for statewide policies, procedures, regulations and information. The manual is available on the Internet at http://sam.dgs.ca.gov/default.htm

Administrative decisions include the following:

  • Agricultural Labor Relations Board: Decisions and Orders [1976-current]
  • California Worker’s Compensation Reporter:[1973-current]
  • Fair Political Practices Commission: Opinions: [1975-current]
  • Fair Employment and Housing Commission: Precedential Decisions [1978-current]
  • Industrial Accident Commission: California Compensation Cases. Includes all decisions of the Supreme and Appellate courts in cases originating from the Industrial Accident Commission. [1936-current] [Continues the cases of the Industrial Accident Board, 1911-1935]
  • Office of Administrative Law Determinations: Determinations [1987- current].Contains OAL determinations as to whether a particular agency rule is in fact a regulation that should have been, but was not, adopted in compliance with the procedural requirements of the APA.
  • Public Employment Relations Board: Decisions [1976current]
  • Public Utilities Commission: Decisions of the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California [1948 – current] [Continues the decisions of the Railroad Commission 1911-1947]
  • State Water Resources Control Board: Decisions [1905-current]
  • State Water Resources Control Board:Orders [1970-1993, 1995-current]
  • State Water Resources Control Board. Division of Water Rights: Division Decisions [1999-current]
  • Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board: Precedent Decisions: Benefit, Ruling, Tax, and Disability [1968 – current]

Many agencies also publish their decisions on the Internet. You may want to check the list of agencies at http://www.ca.gov/About/Government/agencyindex.html to see if an agency has recently started posting its decisions on their web site. The following agencies currently have their decisions available online:

Also:

Online Databases: Check the California administrative materials libraries in Lexis (under California Administrative Files) and in Westlaw (under California Administrative Law) for the names of the individual databases and dates of coverage for administrative appeals board rulings and decisions.

Not all agencies publish their decisions. For a listing of agencies which do publish their decisions, seeMartin, Henke’s California Law Guide, 5th edition, p. 221-28.
KFC 74.H46 1995 Reference Desk.

Opinions of the California Attorney General:

  • The Opinions of the California Attorney General (Department of Justice) from 1943 – current are available in some libraries.
  • Lexis has the Attorney General’s opinions from January 1977-current in its platform (formerly STATE;CAAG database).
  • Westlaw has the Attorney General’s opinions from January 1977-current in its platform (formerly CA-AG database).
  • The Attorney General’s office has posted full text Opinions of the California Attorney General from 1986-current.
  • Attorney General opinions from 1852-1942 were not published officially, but are available on microfilm.

Finding Superseded Regulations and Regulatory History:

The California Code of Regulations and Barclay’s Official California Code of Regulations may be used to find changes made 1977-current.

One way to find changes is to check the History note at the end of the section. Note the year and register number (e.g. 1992 reg 24). If the note is not at then end of the section, try the end of the preceding section, the end of the first section in the article, or the end of the first section in the title. You can use the history note to find out the effective date of the regulation, and to get references to earlier versions of the regulation. You can then look up these references in the appropriate year of the CCR. Sometimes this works perfectly. However, not all regulatory changes make it into the notes. If you can’t find the earlier references this way, try the next hint.

Hint: Use the effective date(s) of your regulation to review the entries in the appropriate Regulatory Code Supplement. Use the references to the sections affected to locate the previous citation for your regulation, and then look at the official version of the regulation in the appropriate year of the CCR. Work backwards in the Regulatory Code Supplement for each earlier incarnation of the regulation.

There is also a handwritten guide to the register of all the changes made to each title, by agency, from 1945 to 1990. Legislative Research, Inc. has made these handwritten cards available online at its website (lrihistory.com). The only searchable text is the title information (search = Title 13). Then review the card entries. The entries do not list individual regulations, so you will have to search each register to see if your regulation was affected. However, you can cross-reference the card entries with the list of changes you have found with your previous search.

California Codes of Regulations (and its predecessor, the California Administrative Code) from previous years may be found in Micrographics, KFC35 .A2 1945- current. (Cabinets 17-18).

The California Regulatory Code Supplement (Digest of New Regulations)
(previously called the California Administrative Code Supplement)

The binder contains the official register of changes to the administrative code. The weekly updates include the full text of all regulations filed during that week with the Secretary of State, as well as a list of the sections affected by the newly published regulation. Just to confuse the issue, this publication is sometimes officially referred to as the Register.

The UMI Comprehensive Index (Comprehensive Index, California Code of Regulations) may be useful for finding the changes to a particular section from 1981 to 1999 (ceased).

The California Regulatory Notice Register (Z Register)
This additional weekly publication is published by the State Office of Administrative Law. It includes all proposed regulatory changes within state agencies, as well as disapproval decisions, regulations filed with the Secretary of State, CCR Changes with the Secretary of State (title and section changes), and agency contact information. There is no index, so you will need to scan the table of contents in each issue to check for proposed changes. The current year’s publications are kept in a white binder at the end of the bound volumes.

Barclay’s Law Monthly  [1990-1996, ceased]
Changes enacted between 1990-1996 are arranged by broad subjects. Listings of related court cases and affected California Code sections are also included.

Review policy briefs and agency reports: the California Research Bureau (1991-current) is part of the California State Library; it provides nonpartisan research as requested and its published reports are available online. The Legislative Analyst’s Office has a searchable bank of policy reports. TheLegislative Counsel’s Agency Reports provide information about reports by various state and local agencies.

Call the Agency: The Public Records Act (Government Code § 6250 et seq.) sets out procedures for public access to rulemaking files. You can consult the agency or its legal department and request rulemaking files.

Using Other Sources:

San Francisco Public Library (100 Larkin Street) http://sfpl.org/ Holdings include the CCR from 1990 – current and the Z Register from 1988 – current. The Public Library is an official state depository, so they hold many published agency decisions.

San Francisco Law Library (Van Ness and McAllister/ fourth floor, War Memorial Building)http://sflawlib.ci.sf.ca.us/ Holdings include the CCR from 1941 – current, and the Z Register from 1982 – current.

California Office of Administrative Law http://www.oal.ca.gov/ The process by which rules become regulations is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act (Government Code §§ 11340 et. Seq.) (available online at http://www.oah.dgs.ca.gov/Laws/default.htm.) For more information on Administrative Procedures, call the Office of Administrative Law Reference Attorney.

Go to the Agency’s Web Page: Agencies frequently have information about their policies, procedures, guidelines, and emergency regulations online. An example is at the Department of Toxic Substance Control at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/.

Exempt From Review by the office of Administrative Law and the Legislative Process

A statutory provision exempting a state agency from the Administrative Procedure Act requirement to submit proposed regulations and their supporting rule-making file to the Office of Administrative Law for review. Other APA requirements apply. (See APA rule-making procedures).

California Administrative Law

This section covers California-specific basic information on administrative law and related topics. Many of California's laws on administrative law are similar to those of other U.S. states, with some differences (in some cases, minor differences). California administrative law laws on administrative law are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts. Use the cross-references and topics below to learn more about California statutes and laws on administrative law, which is a basic matter in California law.

Administrative Law in California: General Overview

This entry offers readers with practical insight to the subject of administrative law in California, a general introduction to the legal issues relating to administrative law under California law and practice.

Resources

See Also

Resources

See Also

  • Legislative Power
  • Legislative Branch
  • Legislation
  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Function

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