Inventory of the California Law Revision Commission Records

Processed by Brenda Newman
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: archivesweb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2012
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the California State Law Revision Commission Records

Collection number: F3883:1-465, R178

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Brenda Newman
Date Completed:
August 2012
Encoded by:
Sara Kuzak
© 2012 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: California State Law Revision Commission Records
Dates: 1954-2010
Collection number: R178, F3883:1-465
Creator: State Law Revision Commission
Collection Size: 88.5 cubic feet
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The California Law Revision Commission Records consist of 88.5 cubic feet of textual materials organized into eleven record series: Study Files, 1954-1978; Approved Minutes, 1970-2010; Minutes, 1974-2005; Memoranda Files, 1977-2007; Tentative Recommendations, 1977-2000; Bill Files, 1961-1970; Legislative files, 1959-1969; 1980, Research Files, 1959-1991; Inverse Condemnation Files, 1954-1978; Correspondence Sent, 1975-1995; and General Correspondence, 1979-1988. It is the Law Revision Commission's practice to annually review the calendar of topics that it is authorized to study so that they may make recommendations and propose changes as necessary.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], California Law Revision Commission Records, [Identification number].[series number], Box [number], folder [number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition and Custodial History

The California State Archives acquired the State Law Revision Commission Records according to state law.

Administrative History

The California Law Revision Commission was created in 1953 through Chapter 1445 as a successor to the California Code Commission (1929-1953). The commission consists of one Senator, one Assembly Member, Legislative Counsel and seven members appointed by the Governor and with the approval of the Senate. The Legislative Counsel is an ex officio member of the Commission.
The California Law Revision Commission is an independent agency and makes recommendations to the Legislature and Governor about revisions to California law. The commission only studies topics that are authorized by the Legislature and the number of agenda topics and the topics themselves may vary year to year. Once legislation is submitted to the legislature, the Commission makes sure that its recommendations are understood and implemented as they intended and reviews legislation recommending changes as necessary. When reviewing proposed reform to a law, the commission solicits public input and suggestions from other sources including the American Law Institute, the national Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, judges, lawyers, public official, and bar associations. Then the commission makes final recommendations to the Legislature and Governor.
The Law Revision Commission is the tool that the Legislature uses to maintain systematic reviews of areas of antiquated or inequitable laws as well as to bring laws up-to-date with modern conditions. Before the Commission, law reform to specific fields was often erratic but through the commission entire codes can be altered through large comprehensive statutes.

Scope and Content

The California Law Revision Commission Records consist of 88.5 cubic feet of textual materials organized into eleven record series: Study Files, 1954-1978; Approved Minutes, 1970-2010; Minutes, 1974-2005; Memoranda Files, 1977-2007; Tentative Recommendations, 1977-2000; Bill Files, 1961-1970; Legislative files, 1959-1969; 1980, Research Files, 1959-1991; Inverse Condemnation Files, 1954-1978; Correspondence Sent, 1975-1995; and General Correspondence, 1979-1988. It is the Law Revision Commission's practice to annually review the calendar of topics that it is authorized to study so that they may make recommendations and propose changes as necessary.
Minutes is the largest series in the collection and includes studies, information for legislative bills under review or proposed legislation, letters to and from the committee about proposed changes, memoranda, and transcripts of meetings. These files document the Commission's projects and plans for updating and introducing legislation. The Commission meetings generally took place once per month and were held throughout California. Memoranda Files are the second largest series and include discussions on probate law, property law, trial court unification, eminent domain, health care, and common interest development. The Commission created the Memornandums so that their ideas and positions were clear on proposed changes to the laws.
The Commission conducted studies of various subjects in order to make recommendations that would free the Legislature to discuss policy questions rather than focus on legal and technical problems. Probate law is a re-occurring topic within this collection while other topics that occur through several series in the collection include powers of attorney, enforcement of judgments law, guardianship-conservatorship law, community property revisions, and amendments to the family code as well as various other topics.

Accruals

Further accruals are expected.

Related Collections at the California State Archives

California Constitution Revision Commission Records

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
California Law Revision Commission
California Code Commission


Series Descriptions

F3883:1-128, 430-465

Series 1 Study Files 1954-1978

Physical Description: 205 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by study file number.

Scope and Content Note

Each study file includes various materials including minutes of commission meetings, memoranda and exhibits, correspondence, reports and studies, publications, and commission recommendations.
Because of their size, study numbers 36 (Eminent Domain) and 39 (Attachment and Garnishment) are further divided into sub-topics which are arranged by type of record such as minutes, memoranda, correspondence, studies, publications, and recommendations.
See Appendix A at the California State Archives for study numbers, subject titles, and identification numbers.
R178.001, Box 1, folder 1 - Box 2, folder 9

Series 2 Approved Minutes 1970-2010

Physical Description: 29 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Approved Minutes comprise selected materials from the commission meetings that have been assembled by the commission. The Approved Minutes are a condensed version of the minutes and may include agendas, notes, letters, and study comments, in addition to the meeting minutes.
F3883:129-429. R178.002, Box 2, folder 10 - Box 24, folder 2

Series 3 Minutes 1954-2005

Physical Description: 760 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Minutes contain the meeting agenda as well as the meeting minutes. Also included are studies, information on legislation under review or proposed legislation, letters to and from the committee about proposed changes, memoranda, and transcripts of meetings.
February 1954-November 1973, F3883:129-429
February 1974-November 2005, R178.002
R178.003, Box 24, folder 3 - Box 48, folder 5

Series 4 Memoranda Files 1977-2007

Physical Description: 557 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year, then numerically by memoranda number.

Scope and Content Note

Memoranda Files were created by the Law Revision Commission to discuss possible changes to the law. Prominent topics include probate law, property law, trial court unification, eminent domain, health care, and common interest development. The memoranda are created by the Commission to detail thoughts on topics as well as suggestions for revisions. Memoranda may include exhibits, proposed bills and amendments, letters to and from the commission, tentative recommendations, and information from relevant court cases.
If a memorandum is listed as "not in file" it may mean one was never created for that number or that it was not received by the Archives.
See Appendix B at the California State Archives for memoranda numbers, subject titles and identification numbers.
R178.004, Box 48, folders 6-19

Series 5 Tentative Recommendations 1977-2000

Physical Description: 14 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year.

Scope and Content Note

Tentative Recommendations address issues and changes to law. They are distributed to the public so that people are aware of the tentative conclusions and can make their comments and suggestions to the Commission. Tentative Recommendations may include the recommendations, summaries of recommendations, and recommendations to the legislation. Prominent topics include probate law and inheritance, power of attorney issues, statutes of limitation, trail court unification, and homestead exemptions.
At the beginning of each year is a sheet that lists the study numbers and titles contained in the file for that year.
R178.005, Box 49, folder 1 - Box 50, folder 13

Series 6 Bill Files 1961-1970

Physical Description: 36 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by legislative session, then numerically by bill number.

Scope and Content Note

Bill files may contain drafts of bills, proposed amendments, correspondence, fiscal reports, memos, commission recommendations, and reports from legislative committees. A prominent topic in these files is sovereign immunity which involves the liability of public employees when neglectful or wrongful acts occur on the job. This topic is discussed in SB42 to SB47 of 1963 as well as SB100 of 1969 and SB94 of 1970.
1961: AB464-AB832 (1ff) Box 49/1
1961: SB202-SB219 (3ff) Box 49/2 - Box 49/4
1963: SB23-SB499 (5ff) Box 49/5 - Box 49/9
1965: AB333-AB1735 (3ff) Box 49/10 - Box 49/12
1965: SB967-SB1140 (4ff) Box 49/10 - Box 49/13
1967: SB244-SB531 (4ff) Box 49/14 - Box 49/17
1968: AB39-AB73 (2ff) Box 49/18 - Box 49/19
1968: SB19-SB71, SCR2-SCR3 (3ff) Box 49/18 - Box 49/22
1969: SB98-SB105, SCR16-SCR17 (4ff) Box 49/23 - Box 50/3
1970: AB123-AB171 (4ff) Box 50/4 - Box 50/7
1970: SB90-SB266, SCR6-SCR8 (6ff) Box 50/8 - Box 50/13
R178.006, Box 50, folders 14 - 22

Series 7 Legislative Files 1959-1969 1980

Physical Description: 9 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year then alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

Legislative Files include correspondence, legislative programs, legislative histories, and status reports on legislation as well as background materials on bills. Also included is a report on the functions of the Law Revision Commission written in 1980 that includes a brief history, goals, and functions of the commission as well as some of the topics being studied at the time including Enforcement of Judgments, the Marketable Title Act, and Community Property.
R178.007, Box 50, folder 23 - Box 52, folder 5

Series 8 Research Files 1959-1991

Physical Description: 26 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

Research Files contain studies, reports, drafts of bills, copies of court cases, newspaper and journal clippings, drafts of code revisions, correspondence and notes by the Commission that the Commission used as background materials for proposed legislation and studies conducted. Court Unification comprises most of this series and relates to justice court consolidation and the consolidation of superior and municipal courts. Within the Court Unification files are administrative files, reports and research proposals, legislation and proposed legislation as well as other topics. The Research Files document proposed revisions to the business, civil and government codes as well as annual reports, incentives and retirement benefits for judicial service, and other topics.
R178.008, Box 52, folder 6 - Box 53, folder 19

Series 9 Inverse Condemnation Files 1954-1978

Physical Description: 44 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by code number as assigned by the Commission.

Scope and Content Note

Files contain memoranda, studies, correspondence, notes by the Commission, and copies of relevant court cases. Inverse condemnation takes place when the owner of a piece of property alleges that the government has damaged or obtaind a piece of his or her property without proper compensation to the owner and the owner is trying to recoup their losses. Subjects discussed within the files are losses to a person's property or to the value of their property by highway and street improvements, proximity damage, water damage, and noise damage.
R178.009, Box 53, folder 20 - Box 57, folder 6

Series 10 Correspondence Sent 1975-1995

Physical Description: 89 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by name or affiliation.

Scope and Content Note

The letters found in these files are from the commission and are mainly addressed to lawyers, judges, law professors, and other committees and branches of government as well as people concerned with changes to California law.
A note to researchers, items were filed different ways over the years and as such may be filed by a person's last name, their company, or their country of residence. For example, a letter to the Assembly Judiciary Committee may be filed under A or J, while a letter to a professor at the University of Toronto may be found under his or her name, department, or C for Canada.
R178.010, Box 57, folders 7 - 10

Series 11 General Correspondence 1979-1988

Physical Description: 4 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year.

Scope and Content Note

These correspondences contain letters to and from the Commission regarding proposed legislation, studies, and requests for documents.