Chapter 11

  1. Minnesota Statutes
    1. In Titles
    2. In Text
    3. To Proposed New Law
    4. To Include Future Amendments
    5. To Exclude Future Amendments
    6. In Uncompiled Text
  2. Laws of Minnesota
  3. Minnesota Rules
  4. State Constitution
  5. Federal Laws and Regulations
    1. The Problem of Future Amendments
    2. Popular Names and Scattered Law
    3. Regulations
  6. Safety Codes
  7. Court Rules
  8. Other Materials
  9. Examples

References in bills must be written out in full, not abbreviated. To make your drafts comprehensible to general readers, not just attorneys, follow the forms given here, not those in A Uniform System of Citation.

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1. Minnesota Statutes

(a) In Titles

When a bill amends existing Minnesota Statutes, the introduction for each amendatory section of the bill includes the title and date of the most recent edition of the statutes. For example: "Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 14.41, is amended to read:" Joint Rule 2.01 requires this form. If the amended text is included in the Supplement, the form is "Minnesota Statutes 1995 Supplement, section 14.41, is amended to read:"

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(b) In Text

A reference in the text of a bill to an existing section of Minnesota Statutes should use the statutory section number without the phrase "Minnesota Statutes" when:

  1. the reference is in a section of the bill that amends an existing statutory section or proposes new law to be included in statutes; and

  2. the drafter does not intend to tie the reference permanently to any specific edition of statutes.

"... as provided by section 14.31."

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(c) To Proposed New Law

Proper forms for a reference to a section of a bill which is proposing a new section to be added to Minnesota Statutes are:

  1. to the bill's section number: "... as provided by section 22"; or

  2. to the proposed coding of the section: "... as provided by section 123.562"

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(d) To Include Future Amendments

A reference to a statutory section number with or without the title and date of the edition includes future amendments to the statutory section. Minnesota Statutes, section 645.31, subdivision 1, provides that adoption of another law by reference also adopts any subsequent amendments to the law unless the contrary is provided. The effect of section 645.31 may be overcome by the context of the reference, if the meaning is clear, or by other explicit language.

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(e) To Exclude Future Amendments

If the drafter intends to tie a reference to a section of Minnesota Statutes to a specific edition of statutes, the reference must include "Minnesota Statutes" and the date of the edition.

" provided by Minnesota Statutes 1941, section 14.41."

It should also be implicit or explicit in the context that the law is not intended to be changed by later amendment to the section that is referred to.

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(f) In Text That Is Not Coded in Minnesota Statutes

If a section containing the reference will not itself be included in the statutes, a reference to an existing section of statutes should include the phrase "Minnesota Statutes."

"... as provided by Minnesota Statutes, section 14.31."

The language will appear only in the session laws, not in Minnesota Statutes itself.

The phrase "Minnesota Statutes" should be used as many times as necessary so that the reader will easily understand that the references are to that publication. It may not be necessary to repeat the phrase with every citation.

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2. Laws or Minnesota

Uncoded Minnesota laws are cited in this form:

Laws 1984, chapter 123, section 4, subdivision 5.

Laws 1979, Extra Session chapter 9, section 10.

Laws 1981, Third Special Session chapter 6, section 7.

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3. Minnesota Rules

Ordinarily, a reference in a bill to Minnesota Rules should be in this form: "as provided by Minnesota Rules, part 1001.0100, subpart 1, item A, subitem (2)." If there is a special reason to tie the reference to the text of a particular edition of Minnesota Rules, give the date of the edition: "Minnesota Rules 1983, part 1001.0100," and so on. You can also refer to larger units of Minnesota Rules: "Minnesota Rules, chapter 1400."

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4. State Constitution

Cite the Constitution of Minnesota as "the Minnesota Constitution, article VI, section 1."

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5. Federal Laws and Regulations

(a) Forms of Reference

When adoption of federal law or regulation by reference is necessary, it should follow a consistent form. If federal law has been compiled in the United States Code, the reference should be to it and not to Statutes at Large. If the text is not compiled in United States Code, the reference may be to Statutes at Large. If the text is not yet published in Statutes at Large, its Public Law number may be used.

Forms of reference to exclude future amendments are "... as provided by United States Code, title 14, section 1401, as amended through December 31, 1984" or "... as provided by Statutes at Large, volume 38, page 730, section 123" or " provided by Public Law Number 89-110." Abbreviations for the titles ("U.S.C.," "Stat.," "Pub. L.," or "P.L.") should not be used. The date for the United States Code is necessary to tie the reference to the law in existence at the time the law is enacted. The other references are, by nature, tied to a specific enactment.

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(b) Popular Names and Scattered Law

Drafters should generally avoid referring to federal law by its popular name alone (for example: "The Furgeson-Jones Act") or its short title alone (for example: "The Inland Waterways Improvement Act of 1947"). These references make it difficult to locate the compilation of the law; they also leave it unclear whether the reference is intended to be to the laws as originally enacted or to the law with amendments enacted prior to enactment of the bill referring to the law.

In some cases, though, the law is codified in many scattered locations so that it is difficult to cite. Cite these laws by following the approach recommended in section 12.2.2 of A Uniform System of Citation, 15th edition, but spell out the publication names as shown above. Your goal should be to cite the law in such a way that a reader can find it easily and that a court will know exactly what amendments are included in the reference.

An exception to the usual rule that reference should not be made to a short title is the Internal Revenue Code. The correct form is " provided by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended through December 31, 19..."

All references should be to the official compilation United States Code, not to the unofficial United States Code Annotated or Federal Code Annotated.

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(c) Regulations

When referring to the Code of Federal Regulations, an example of the proper form of reference is "... as provided by Code of Federal Regulations, title 22, section 41.30 (1981)." The abbreviation "C.F.R." or "CFR" should not be used. Only when a rule is not yet published in the Code of Federal Regulations should reference be made to the Federal Register. An example of the correct form is "... as provided by Federal Register, volume 46, page 23405 (1981)." References to the Federal Register are to its volume and page number, not to any section or paragraph numbers within a document published in it.

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6. Safety Codes

Numerous references occur in the statutes to various building and safety codes. They can be adopted by reference, but problems exist like those when foreign law is adopted by reference. The drafter should use language which adopts a code as it exists on a specific date prior to enactment. The proper form of reference is "... as provided by standard 501B of the National Fire Safety Code as in effect on December 31, 1980." This form has three elements. The exact wording of the reference may vary slightly as long as all three elements are included and in the same order as listed here. First, give the number of the standard. Second, identify the source of the standard by its title or publisher. Third, give a date for the reference that is earlier than the effective date of the bill where the reference occurs. Ideally, the date should be the publication date shown on the publication where the standard is published.

If a building, safety, or other code is included in foreign law, it can be treated like other foreign law.

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7. Court Rules

Refer to court rules by the names given in their title or citation sections, if any. The correct forms are:

Minnesota Juvenile Court Rules, rule 4-4.

Minnesota Rules of Appellate Procedure, rule 103.01, subdivision 2.

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8. Other Materials

The laws of other state, the United States Code Congressional and Administrative News, and the Congressional Record may be useful for Laws of Minnesota, but they should not be incorporated by reference. Instead, the language from those sources should be duplicated.

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9. Examples

References to Minnesota Statutes

References to Minnesota Rules

References to Federal Law

References to Safety Standards
First references
Second and later references
General Format

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Compiled form provided by United States Code, title 14, section 1401, as amended through December 31, 19..

Uncompiled form (used for specific section appearing on a single page) provided by States at Large, volume 38, page 730, section XXX

Uncompiled form (used for inclusive reference to entire bill or portion of it) provided by Statutes at Large, volume 38, pages 220 to 236

Public law provided by Public Law Number 89-110

Internal Revenue Code provided by section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended through December 31, 19..


1 "Safety Recommendations for Sensitized Ammonium Nitrate
2 Blasting Agents," issued by the U.S. Department of Interior,
3 Bureau of Mines, as Information Circular 8179 (Washington, D.C.:
4 Government Printing Office 1963).
5 The "American National Safety Code for Elevators,
6 Dumbwaiters Escalators, and Moving Walks," issued by
7 the American National Standards Institute as ANSI A17.1-1978, with
8 supplement ANSI A17.1a.-1979 (New York, 1978) is incorporated by
9 reference.
10 Copper tubing in these installations must conform to
11 standard B 88-81 "Specification for Seamless Copper Water
12 Tube," in the "Annual Book of ASTM Standards," issued by the
13 American Society for Testing and Materials (Philadelphia, 1981).


If your draft names a publication several times, it will be awkward to give full reference information each time. If you want to use a shortened reference form, either define the short form in the definitions section or provide a cross-reference to the section or subdivision that contains the full reference.

1 Subd. 4. [SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS.] "Safety recommendations"
2 means "Safety Recommendations for Sensitized Ammonium Nitrate
3 Blasting Agents," issued by the U.S. Department of Interior,
4 Bureau of Mines, as Information Circular 8179 (Washington D.C.,
5 Government Printing Office 1963).

1 Subd. 4. [SAFETY PRACTICES.] Safety recommendations as described
2 in section 19 shall be followed on all pyramid projects.


1 ...on pages 10 to 14 of "Empire Building," by James J. Hill,
2 issued by the United States Department of Commerce as Pamphlet
3 No. 666 (Washington D.C.: United States Government Printing
4 Office, 1983).
6 section 42.42 of "Life, the Universe, and Everything,"
7 issued by the State Department of Ultimate Questions (Saint Paul,
8 1982).

A reference probably will not have all of the parts shown in the examples. It is important, though, to give as much information as is available from the publication, especially if the work is being incorporated by reference. Try to examine the publication you are citing.

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