Citing to State Statutes

Writing Citations to State Statutes with CorrectCite<sup>™</sup> Automatic Legal Citation Software for The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation

This page will show you how to use CorrectCite to automatically generate correct Bluebook® citations to state statutes in your legal documents.


State Statutes

Begin by starting Microsoft® Word 2003, Word 2007, or Word 2010 on a blank document. Then type this opening sentence:

The court may appoint an interpreter to assist a deaf juror.

Now cite the statement to a legal authority. Whenever you enter a citation, use the key to mark it. For this example, press , then the following citation, then again.

The court may appoint an interpreter to assist a deaf juror. Colo Rev Statutes section 13-71-137 (2008).

When you press a second time to indicate the end of the citation, CorrectCite will abbreviate, add punctuation, and change the word 'section' into section symbols as required by Bluebook® rules, then automatically generate this citation:

The court may appoint an interpreter to assist a deaf juror. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-71-137 (2008).

You can usually use 'sections', 'section', 'secs', or 'sec' wherever the section symbol (§) would appear and CorrectCite will substitute § or §§ as required by Bluebook® legal citation rules. In most cases, you can even omit the word 'section' or the § symbol altogether and CorrectCite will put it in the right place. For example, you can write this:

Colo. Rev. Stat. 13-71-137 (2008).

CorrectCite will automatically put the citation into Bluebook® format and generate this:

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-71-137 (2008).

If you enter a legal citation but forget to press , you can still have CorrectCite manage the citation. Simply use your mouse or keyboard to highlight the citation, then press . Try entering the following sentence into your document now:

In general, one must have a permit to build a dam in public waters. Minn stat 103G.245 (2008).

Highlight "Minn stat 103G.245 (2008)" and press . CorrectCite will automatically generate the following citation:

In general, one must have a permit to build a dam in public waters. Minn. Stat. § 103G.245 (2008).


CorrectCite generally needs only enough information to convey the type of source being cited and to construct a citation to that source. For example, the two major sources for Connecticut statutes are Conn. Gen. Stat. and Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. If you omit "Gen." or "General" to save time, CorrectCite will generate the correct citation anyway. Try this citation:

The Coordinating Council will monitor and report on the progress of broadband deployment in the state. conn stat ann 4d-100(c)(1) (2000).

CorrectCite will generate a cite with "Gen.", include the publisher, and otherwise take the steps necessary to generate a correct Bluebook® citation.

The Coordinating Council will monitor and report on the progress of broadband deployment in the state. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 4d-100(c)(1) (West 2000).

In general, you may omit qualifiers such as Revised and General from your citation and CorrectCite will supply them where they can be inferred from context. West is the only publisher of Connecticut annotated statutes so CorrectCite can infer in the citation above that West is the publisher without requiring the writer to enter that information. In other states such as Indiana, both West and LexisNexis publish annotated statutes and so the writer must supply the name of the publisher.


Special Case: Constitution Reprinted in Statutory Source

When a state constitution appears in a statutory compilation, cite the constitution rather than the statutory compilation. For example, the Michigan state constitution is reprinted in chapter 1 of Michigan Compiled Laws, Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated, and Michigan Compiled Laws Service. However, do not cite the Michigan Constitution to one of the statutory sources:

Government is merely a tool to deliver benefit, security and protection to citizens of Michigan; the power originates with, and resides within, the people. Mich. Comp. Laws § 1.1 (2008).

Although the citation may be technically correct because the Michigan Constitution does appear as chapter 1 of the Compiled Laws, the citation is semantically incorrect because it fails to convey to the reader the full power of the source of authority. Rather than denegrating a constitution to the level of a statute, always cite it as a constitution:

Government is merely a tool to deliver benefit, security and protection to citizens of Michigan; the power originates with, and resides within, the people. Mich. Const art. I, § 1.