Law of New York

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The law of New York consists of several levels, including constitutional, statutory, regulatory and case law, and also includes local laws, ordinances, and regulations.

Sources[edit]

The Constitution of New York is the foremost source of state law. The legislation of the New York State Legislature is published in the official Laws of New York and codified in the Consolidated Laws of New York. State agencies promulgate rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law) in the New York State Register which are codified in the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. Because New York is a common law state, every opinion, memorandum, and motion sent by the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court is published in the New York Reports, and selected opinions of the trial courts and Appellate Terms of the Supreme Court are published in the Miscellaneous Reports. Each local government may elect a legislative body and adopt local laws, and counties, cities, and towns may also promulgate ordinances.

Constitution[edit]

The foremost source of state law is the Constitution of New York. The Constitution of New York in turn is subordinate only to the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the land.

Legislation[edit]

Pursuant to the state constitution, the New York State Legislature has enacted legislation, called "chapter laws" or generically as "slip laws" when printed separately.[1][2][3] The bills and concurrent resolutions proposing amendments to the state or federal constitutions of each legislative session are called "session laws" and published in the official Laws of New York.[4][5]

The codification of the permanent laws of a general nature are contained in the Consolidated Laws of New York.[4][6] New York uses a system called "continuous codification" whereby each session law clearly identifies the law and section of the Consolidated Laws affected by its passage.[7][8] Unlike real codes, the Consolidated Laws are systematic but neither comprehensive nor preemptive, and reference to other laws and case law is often necessary.[4] There also exist unconsolidated laws,[9] such as the various court acts.[10][11] Unconsolidiated laws are uncodified, typically due to their local nature, but are otherwise legally binding.[3]

The Laws of New York are published by the New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. The official Consolidated Laws were printed by New York only once in 1909/1910.[7] There are 3 comprehensive and unofficial but certified (pursuant to Public Officers Law § 70-b[12][13]) printed versions of the Consolidated Laws: McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated (McKinney's), New York Consolidated Laws Service (CLS), and Gould's Consolidated Laws of New York (Gould's).[14] McKinney's and CLS are annotated, while Gould's is not.[3] The Legislative Retrieval System (LRS) is published under statutory authority and is available online but is not certified.[12] McKinney's is online and searchable on Westlaw and CLS at LexisNexis.[15][3] Commercial versions of the Consolidated Laws are also available from Loislaw, Looseleaf Law Publications, VersusLaw, Lawprobe, the National Law Library, and QuickLaw.[14][3] Free unannotated versions are available from FindLaw, the New York State Legislature website, and the free public legislative website (which contains the same information as the LRS).[14][3] Unconsolidated laws are available in print from McKinney's, McKinney's Session Laws, and the CLS Unconsolidated laws.[9][3] Online resources include LexisNexis, WestLaw, the LRS, and the New York Legislative Service, and selected laws can be found online the New York State Legislature website and the free public legislative website.[9][3]

Regulations[edit]

Pursuant to certain broadly worded statutes, state agencies have promulgated an enormous body of rules and regulations (sometimes called administrative law). Regulations are promulgated with and published in the New York State Register and codified in the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).[16] There are also numerous decisions, opinions, and rulings of state agencies.[17]

Case law[edit]

The New York State Reporter of the New York State Law Bureau is the official reporter of decisions and is required to publish every opinion, memorandum, and motion sent to it by the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the New York Reports.[18][19] The Appellate Term and trial court opinions are published selectively in the Miscellaneous Reports.[19][20] The current versions are the New York Reports 3d (cited as N.Y.3d), the Appellate Division Reports 3d (cited as A.D.3d) and the Miscellaneous Reports 3d (cited as Misc. 3d).[21]

Local law[edit]

New York is divided into counties, cities, towns, and villages, which are all municipal corporations with their own government.[22] New York City contains no county, town or village governments other than the government of New York City.[23] The Constitution of New York enumerates the powers of local governments, such as the power to elect a legislative body and adopt local laws.[23] Counties, cities, and towns may also promulgate ordinances in addition to laws.[24] Each local government must designate a newspaper of notice to publish or describe its laws.[25] The Secretary of State is responsible for publishing local laws as a supplement to the Laws of New York (the session laws), but they have not done so in recent years.[25]

With respect to the government of New York City, the New York City Administrative Code is the codified local law and has 29 titles,[26][27] and the Rules of the City of New York contains the regulations promulgated by city agencies and has 71 titles.[28] The New York City Charter, the New York City Administrative Code, and the Rules of the City of New York are published online by the New York Legal Publishing Corp. under contract with the New York City Law Department.[29]

Unique features[edit]

The New York Legislature has a tradition of drafting statutes so that they cross-reference each other by writing out numbers as words and describing Laws in lower case. Whereas other states might refer to, say, "Penal Code section 187," New York would refer to "section one hundred eighty-seven of the penal law."[citation needed]

In addition, the New York Legislature has waffled over whether the Civil Practice Law and Rules are a statute, a set of rules promulgated by the courts, or both.[citation needed] Many other states have maintained a clear distinction between civil procedure statutes enacted by the legislature and court-promulgated rules.

See also[edit]

Topics[edit]

Laws[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 29.
  2. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 46.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Andrew Zimmerman, Zimmerman's Research Guide (2009), found at Zimmerman's Research Guide on the Lexis-Nexis website. Accessed November 5, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 30.
  5. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 47–48.
  6. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 56–57.
  7. ^ a b Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 57.
  8. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 70–71.
  9. ^ a b c Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 83.
  10. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 72.
  11. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 84.
  12. ^ a b Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 74.
  13. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 80–81.
  14. ^ a b c Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 75.
  15. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 74–75.
  16. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 218.
  17. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 235–253.
  18. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 149.
  19. ^ a b Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 153.
  20. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 151.
  21. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 155.
  22. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, pp. 257–258.
  23. ^ a b Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 258.
  24. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 263.
  25. ^ a b Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 261.
  26. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 450.
  27. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 458.
  28. ^ Gibson & Manz 2004, p. 473.
  29. ^ "About the Law Deprtment". New York City Law Department. Retrieved 16 June 2013. "The most important laws of the City of New York are now available on the web. The Law Department contracted with New York Legal Publishing Corp. for a site where you can browse and search the New York City Charter, the New York City Administrative Code, and the Rules of the City of New York." 

External links[edit]