Regulations and other agency material, particularly the output of state agencies, have become dramatically more accessible as print distribution has been supplemented or supplanted by online dissemination. Print compilations of agency regulations in even the largest states tended to be expensive and hard to keep up-to-date, characteristics that confined them to large law libraries. Now most agency material is accessible on the Internet, much of it from public, non-fee sources. Many adjudicative agencies are also now placing their decisions at a public Web site. Greater accessibility should lead to more citation of this category of primary material.
The relevant citation principles follow; section 3-400 provides both basic examples and samples from all major U.S. jurisdictions.
For a quick start introduction or review, there is also a companion video tutorial, “Citing Agency Material ... in Brief”:
It runs 12 minutes.
Like statutes, agency regulations are cited to codifications if possible.
2-410(1) Examples Window (restore)
Principle 1: The core of a citation to a codified federal regulation consists of three elements:
Element (a) - The title number followed by a space and "C.F.R." (for "Code of Federal Regulations") followed by a space «e.g.»
Element (b) - The section number preceded by the section symbol and a space
(c) - The date
If the provision being cited is currently in effect and has not been the subject of recent change, no date element need be included. However, if the provision being cited has, by the time of writing, been repealed or amended or if it has only recently been promulgated, the date of a compilation that contains the language cited should be provided in parentheses. The precise form this takes will be governed by the form in which that compilation presents its cutoff date. «e.g.»
No punctuation separates these elements. Nothing is italicized or underlined.
2-410(2) Examples Window (restore)
Principle 2: The core of a citation to a codified state regulation consists of comparable elements, in slightly different order and adjusted to the nomenclature of the particular codification. Unlike citations to the C.F.R. which begin with a title number, references to most state codes lead off with the name of the state code (abbreviated). If the reader may not be familiar with how to access the code and it is online (as most state codes now are), a parallel electronic citation may be useful «e.g.». See § 2-110.
¡But see § 2-415!
2-415 Examples Window (restore)
Point 1: State regulations are cited outside their state of origin even more rarely than state statutes are. Consequently, their abbreviations according to settled usage within a state often fill in the full identification of that state by implication. This is also true with statutes. (See § 2-335(3).) Thus, while The Bluebook and the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation call for Alaska regulations to be cited to "Alaska Admin. Code tit. x, § y (year)," in decisions of the Alaska Supreme Court and briefs submitted to it, an Alaska regulation will typically be cited "[title] AAC [section] (year)." «e.g.»
§ 2-420. Regulation Citations Variants and Special Cases [BB|ALWD]
2-420 Examples Window (restore)
Special Case 1: Federal regulations not yet codified or citations to a regulation as originally promulgated are cited to the Federal Register (Fed. Reg.), preceded by name or title of the regulations «e.g.». If the regulation is to be codified in C.F.R., the location where it will appear or the portion it amends should, in most cases, be furnished parenthetically «e.g.».
Special Case 2: State regulations not yet codified or citations to regulations as originally promulgated are cited to an equivalent publication or Web site «e.g.».
Special Case 3: Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which are not codified in C.F.R., are cited to the manual in which they are published by the U.S. Sentencing Commission «e.g.».
The most recent edition of The Bluebook prescribes adding the name of the sponsoring entity, abbreviated, in the concluding parenthetical. For the Sentencing Guidelines it would require adding "U.S. Sentencing Comm'n" «e.g.». To date this new requirement has no support in professional citation practice.
2-450 Examples Window (restore)
Agency adjudications are cited the same as judicial opinions (cases) (see § 2-200) with the following differences of detail:
Principle 1: Names are not italicized or underlined «e.g.».
Principle 2: The cited name is that of the first private party only (abbreviated as with judicial opinions), or the official subject-matter title, omitting all procedural phrases «e.g.». (If the procedural posture of the case is important information it can be summarized in a parenthetical phrase following the date.)
Principle 3: The agency's official reporter is cited whenever possible. If no official reporter citation is available, the decision is cited with agency's assigned identification number and full date, plus a parallel citation to an electronic source, an unofficial reporter or service if possible «e.g.».
Principle 4: If the name of the agency is not adequately revealed by the name of the reporter, it should be included (abbreviated) in the parentheses ahead of the date.
¡But see § 2-455!
2-455 Examples Window (restore)
Point 1: The ALWD Guide to Legal Citation and most federal courts employ a format more tightly analogous to that employed for judicial opinions, including the italicizing of party names «e.g.».
§ 2-470. Agency Report Citations [BB|ALWD]
2-470 Examples Window (restore)
Principle 1: Citations to agency reports, published periodically in volumes, take the same form as journal articles (see § 2-800) «e.g.».
Principle 2: Citations to agency reports that are titled and disseminated separately take the same form as books by institutional authors (see § 2-720(1)) «e.g.». Where the agency numbers its reports, as does the U.S. Government Accountability Office (formerly the General Accounting Office) that designation should be included as part of the title.
§ 2-480. Citations to Executive Orders and Proclamations Most Common Form [BB|ALWD]
2-480(1) Examples Window (restore)
Principle 1: The core of a citation to a federal executive order or presidential proclamation consists of four elements:
Element (a) - The designation "Exec. Order" or "Proclamation" followed by a space and "No." (for number) followed by a space «e.g.»
Element (b) - The order or proclamation number followed by a comma and space «e.g.»
Element (c) - A citation to the Federal Register in which the order or proclamation was published (see § 2-420) «e.g.» or if it is likely to be more accessible the Code of Federal Regulations edition into which it was compiled (i.e. that for the following year) «e.g.» followed by a space
Element (d) - The date or year in parentheses (the date of the Federal Register publication or the year of the C.F.R. compilation, not the date of the order or proclamation) «e.g.»
Principle 2: Two additional elements may be appropriate:
Element (a) - The core elements can be preceded by the title of the order or proclamation followed by a comma and space «e.g.»
Element (b) - With recent documents a parallel electronic citation may be useful «e.g.»; all executive orders and proclamations from 1993 on are accessible online. See § 2-110.
2-480(2) Examples Window (restore)
Principle 3: The core of a citation to a state governor's executive order or proclamation consists of comparable elements preceded by the state abbreviation, adjusted to the nomenclature of the particular compilation in which it appears (if any).
2-490(1) Examples Window (restore)
Principle 1: The core of a citation to an advisory opinion by the U.S. Attorney General, state counterparts, and similar legal officers consists of two sets of elements:
Element (a) - The name of the office issuing the opinion (abbreviated) and the abbreviation "Op." «e.g.»
Element (b) - A volume and page number followed by the year if the opinion has been published. «e.g.», the opinion number, if any, and full date if it has not been. «e.g.»
Principle 2: Two additional elements may be appropriate:
Element (a) - The core elements can be preceded by the title of the opinion followed by a comma and space. «e.g.»
Element (b) - In many cases a parallel electronic citation may be useful. «e.g.» See § 2-110.
2-490(2) Examples Window (restore)
Principle 3: The core of a citation to a state officer's advisory opinion consists of the same elements as citations to those of federal officers; however, the office name is preceded by the state abbreviation and the abbreviation "Op." is shifted to the end. «e.g.»