(Atlantic City, NJ)- If you are in the United States of America, your reading this blog, I can safely assume that you are interested in understanding the Statutes of these United States of America. A "statute" can be defined as an act of the legislature declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something; a particular law established by the will of the legislative department of government.
The authorities of law within the jurisdictions of the U.S. may be divided into two categories or divisions other than God's law and man's law as I previously pointed out, and those divisions are termed "primary" and "secondary" law.
Primary Law is found within written constitutions and the enactment of legislatures (and in some jurisdictions through the vote of their electorates); rulings and regulations issued by authorized administrative bodies; and the body of law found in the written opinions of the courts. An easy way to remember it is by looking at the United States first as a whole, and the nation is formed by the Constitution, which allow there to be a government.
After looking on the national level, in the case of the U.S. We think Federal law which goes from coast to coast. But then there are the individual States which make up the nation and for separate jurisdiction that kinda want to be left alone. So we get State law, the state constitutions allow counties to be formed in which there are cities. Hence statutes of a state, regulations of a county such as zoning laws, then city ordinances.
If you are dealing with constitutions, legislation, or decisions of the highest court of a jurisdiction you are dealing with what's known as "Mandatory primary" laws. One arriving at JFK airport in New York from lets say Cuba, and being arrested for violating our nations drug laws would receive a charge for violating a Federal Statute, and the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States holds the most weight and must be followed.
Beyond the primary sources of the law above attorney's and courts use many other types of law books that a pro se litigant must become familiar with. These include treatises, periodicals and journals, form books, and citators make up and or complete the secondary sources of the law.
Join me next time when I will discuss what I've learned about legal research. Thanks for viewing. EDH Pro se!