Cases or Court Decisions include the following information:
When a reference list entry for a case or court decision includes a page number, provide only the first page number.
Name v. Name, Volume Number U.S. Page Number (Year). URL
NOTE: Unlike other reference types, the title or name of a court case is not italicized in the reference list entry and it is italicized in the in-text citation.
Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year). URL
See the example in the Statutes box on this page!
Information about legal references are in Chapter 11, pages 314, 355-368, in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.
"Guidelines from The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation continues to be the foundation for APA Style Legal references, with some modifications." Legal style is notably different from other APA references.
"Most legal references (e.g., court cases and laws) are formatted in a legal reference style."
"Existing legal references are usually already written in legal style and require few, if any change for an APA style reference list entry. "...some court decisions are reported in multiple places, which is called parallel citation. When a work has parallel citations, include all citations in your reference list entry.
Each reference form usually includes a popular or formal title or name of the legislation and the reference information, which is called the citation. Please note that the term "citation" is used differently for legal references than it is in standard APA style. This is not the same as "in-text citation."
The in-text citation for a legal work is created from the reference list entry. Most legal reference entries begin with the title of the work, thus, most in-text citations consist of the title and the year (e.g., Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990; Brown v. Board of Education, 1954). If titles are long, shorten them for the in-text citation.
"To cite a whole federal or state constitution, a citation is not necessary. Simply refer to the constitution in text."
Create reference list entry and in-text citations for citations to articles and amendments of constitutions. Abbreviate U.S. Constitution to "U.S. Const." and use the legal state abbreviation for a state constitution.
U.S. Constitution article and amendment numbers are Roman Numerals. State constitution article numbers are also Roman numerals, but state constitution amendment numbers are Arabic numerals.
Article of the U.S. Constitution
Template: U.S. Const. art. xxx, § x.
U.S. Const. art. II, § 4.
Article of a state constitution
S.C. Cons., art. XI, § 3
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Template: U.S. Const. amend. xxx.
U.S. Const. amend. XIII.
For more information see pages 366-368 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed.
U.S. Supreme Court case, with a page number:
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483
U.S. Supreme Court case, without a page number
Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015). https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf
Note: For cases that have not been assigned a page number, include three underscores (as shown in the reference example immediately above) instead of the page number in the reference list entry.
More examples of cases can be found on pages 357-361 in the Publication Manual, 7th ed.
Federal statute, Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990
Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (1990). https://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm
More examples of statutes can be found on pages 361-363 in the Publication Manual, 7th ed.
Included are federal testimony, hearings, bills, resolutions, reports, and related documents. Below is an example of an unenacted federal bill or resolution:
To temporarily provide for Federal insurance of transaction accounts during the COVID-19 emergency, H. R. 6380, 116th Cong. (2020). https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6380
More examples can be found on pages 363-365 in the Publication Manual, 7th ed.
Included are rules and regulations, advisory opinions, and executive orders.
Template: Title or number, Volume C.F.R. § xxx (Year). URL
Official federal regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations - Code of Federal Regulations (Annual Edition) or the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. In the reference, provide the title or number of the regulation, the volume number in which the regulation appears in the Code of Federal Regulations, the abbreviation "C.F.R.," the section number, and the year in which the regulation was codified. If the regulation is available online, provide the URL.
Federal Regulation, codified
Protection of Human Subjects, 45 C.F.R. § 46 (2020). https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=58d96a013d3e34979d7d98ede819e917&mc=true&node=pt45.1.46&rgn=div5
Federal Regulation, not yet codified
If the regulation has not yet be codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, it will appear in the Federal Register first. Indicate this by the abbreviation F.R. instead of "C.F.R." Also include the section of the Code of Federal Regulations where the proposed rule will be codified.
Title or Number, Volume F.R. Page (proposed Month Day, Year) (to be codified at Volume C.F.R. § xxx). URL
See the example on page 365, in the Publication Manual, 7th ed.
Template: Exec. Order No. xxxxx, 3 C.F.R. Page (Year). URL
The example below was created on March 23, 2020 and has not yet been published in the Code of Federal Regulations and was found in the Federal Register. It is President Trump's order "Preventing Hoarding of Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19."
Exec. Order 13,910, 85 F.R. 17001 (2020) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/03/26/2020-06478/preventing-hoarding-of-health-and-medical-resources-to-respond-to-the-spread-of-covid-19
References should include the name of the treaty, convention, or other agreement; the signing or approval date; and a URL, if available. Provide the name of the treaty or convention and the year in your in-text citations.
The North Atlantic Treaty, April 4, 1949, https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/stock_publications/20120822_nato_treaty_en_light_2009.pdf
Patent references include the author (inventor), (year). title, patent number, and source. Citations include the inventor and year.
Reference list: Inventor, A.A. (Year Patent Issued). Title of patent (U.S. Patent No. x,xxx,xxx). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. URL
Here's link to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (a truly challenging place to search!).
Here's an example of a patent issued in 2016
Hiremath, S.C., Kumar, S., Lu, F., & Alehi, A. (2016). Using metaphors to present concepts across different intellectual domains. (U.S. Patent No. 9,367,592). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=9367592.PN.&OS=PN/9367592&RS=PN/9367592
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