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APA Reference List: Citing Court Decisions and Statutes (Template + Examples)

What are APA style reference list rules for court decisions, laws, supreme court cases, and statutes? The references below use the APA Publication Manual 7 (released on October 2019). Learn how to properly cite a source or reference in APA style format in this full APA format citation guide. Read the other guides to learn how to cite other source types according to research papers, professional papers, scholarly journal’s, and student essays.

Understanding an APA reference list with audiovisual material: what is APA style?

APA is a writing format for academic documents. These documents typically include scholarly journals, books, student essays, and other educational material. For example, in the field of behavioral and social sciences (including sociology, education, health science, criminal justice, and psychology) APA style is used as a standard format for research.

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. The APA became involved in journal publishing in 1923. And in 1929, an APA committee had created a seven-page writer’s guide published in the Psychological Bulletin. Editions of the APA manual have since evolved. With major releases in 1974, 1983, 1994, 2001, 2009, and 2019. Each with their edition titles.

For example, the 2019 edition is referred to as “APA 6” style. Revisions of the APA style guide tend to follow developments of the English language and linguistics as a whole.

APA Style 7th Edition font suggestions

APA Publication Manual 7 requires that chosen fonts be accessible to readers and consistent throughout essays and research papers. The APA Manual does not specify a certain typeface or font for papers. They do recommend the following typefaces with their point sizes as follows:

FontPoint size
Lucida Sans Unicode10-point
Times New Roman12-point
Computer Modern10-point
APA Style font recommendations

What are the APA reference list rules for citing court decisions and statues (federal and state)

In many cases, both state and US federal court decisions are published in research papers. This could include title/name of the case, citation (in law), jurisdiction of the course, date of the decision, and a URL to the reference.

Here are the rules that govern citations of legal references in APA style:

RuleFormat + Template
US Supreme Court ReferenceName v. Name, Volume # U.S. Page # (Year). URL
US Circuit Court Reference“Name v. Name, Volume # F. [or F.2d, F.3d] Page # (Court Year). URL
US District Court ReferenceName v. Name, Volume # F. Supp. Page # (Court Year). URL
State Court Decisions ReferenceName v. Name, Volume # Reporter Page # (Court Year). URL
Federal and State StatutesName of Act, Title # Source § Section # (Year). URL
Federal TestimonyTitle of testimony, ### Cong. (Year) (testimony of Testifier Name). URL
Full Federal HearingTitle of hearing, ### Cong. (Year). URL
Federal Bill or ResolutionTitle [if relevant], H.R. or S. bill/resolution number, ### Cong. (Year). URL
Concurrent Federal ResolutionS. Res. ###, ### Cong., Volume # Cong. Rec. Page # (Year) (enacted). URL
Federal Regulation, CodifiedTitle or Number, Volume # C.F.R. § ### (Year). URL
Federal Regulation, Not CodifiedTitle or Number, Volume # F.R. Page (proposed Month Day, Year) (to be codified at Volume # C.F.R. § ###). URL
Executive OrderExec. Order No. #####, 3 C.F.R. Page (Year). URL
PatentInventor, A. A. (Year patent issued). Title of patent (U.S. Patent No. ###). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. URL
Article of ConstitutionU.S. Const. art. ###, § x.
Amendment to a constitutionU.S. Const. amend. ###
UN CharterU.N. Charter art. ##, para. ##.
UN Treaty or ConventionName of Treaty or Convention, Month Day, Year, URL

APA 7th Edition Formatting and Style Guides:

Here are more resources on APA style:


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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