Counting to 10 in Californian

I’m working on getting the California Codes online, focussing on the user’s experience: reading, searching, and accessing. This weekend I thought I had found an error in the numbering in the state’s online version, and so I headed to the law library to open a real book and see what’s going on. I was surprised to see that the printed text is the same. (West’s annotated and non-annotated editions.)

Here are three examples from the Code of Civil Procedure. The first, sections 676 et. seq. are the way I’d expect, in so-called natural sort order:

natural ordering

But here, a mathematical decimal ordering is in use:

decimal ordering

Weirder still, both kinds are used in this group of codes:

mixed ordering

4 thoughts on “Counting to 10 in Californian

  1. This is very strange. There are two people to contact:
    1) Editor at West for the Cal codes
    2) Carol Levitt, Internet for Lawyers. Carol I think used to teach Legal Research. I’m wondering if way back when that they did not leave open numbers for additions to the statutes with legislative changes. I’m dying to know the explanation to this! Sincerely, Cookie


  2. When the legislature overhauled the Code of Civil Procedure, they did a much better job. Now the numbers are decimal like 2019.010, 2019.210, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would imagine the authors intent isn’t to daze and confuse rather a result of laws that have been updated, found irrelevant due to current conditions or perhaps subjected to terms that expired.


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