Online Legal Information
Finding Online Legal Information
Finding reliable, acurate, legal information online can be tricky. We provide the links below as good starting places for information, but do not guarantee the accurcy of the infomation on any of these sites. It is good practice to verify any information found online through a trusted source. The sections below cover free databases, general legal sites, California Law, and Federal Law.
Connecting with legal assistance: See our Community and Legal Resources page for local organizations that may be able to assist.
EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center: Provides full-text pdf access to hunders of self-help publications, including those published by NOLO Press. Remote access from any device with internet access. Login: State abbreviation – CA Password – santacruz
General Legal Information:
California Courts Self-Help Center: Free legal information and procedural guidance on common legal topics. The site is available in Spanish.
Sacramento County Law Library: The Law 101 section on the site provides legal informatoin on a variety of topics. Links to their Step-by-Step guides are provided. The guides are written for Sacramento, so make sure you are following your local procedures.
LawHelpCA.org: Provides information about common legal issues, as well as, connects you with organizations in your area that may be able to provide assistance.
Ask a Law Librarian: Chat live with a law librarian that can help you find information to answer your questions. This is NOT legal advice but directional in nature. Chat services are available Monday – Saturday.
Nolo: Provides plain english legal articles on many different legal topics. They also provide a plain language legal dictionary to help you understand legal terminology.
Findlaw: Their “Learn About the Law” section provides informational articles about a variety of legal topics. Provides information on state specific laws too.
Legal Information Institue (Cornell Law School): Provides lots of information on legal topics through its legal dictionary and encyclopedia, links to state and federal laws, and information on proper legal citation.
Public Counsel: For people representing themselves in federal district court. Lots of helpful informational sheets on all aspects of starting and moving a case through federal district court.
Local Law & Government Resources:
Local Law Enforcment:
Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department: Information on civil process, warrant checks, jail inmate locator, permits issued and other services offered.
Santa Cruz City Police Department: Information on making a report, permits issued by the department, and other services.
Capitola Police Department: Information on making a report, permits issued by the department, and other services.
Watsonville Police Department: Information on making a report, permits issued by the department, and other services.
Scotts Valley Police Department: Information on making a report, permits issued by the department, and other services.
California Law & Government Resources
Current California Codes, and Senate and Assembly bills going back to the 1999-2000 legislative session are available through the State Legislature. Senate and Assembly bill information from the 1993-1994 session through the 2015-2016 session is archived here. Statutes and Legislative documents dating back to 1849 is available through the State Assembly Office of the Chief Clerk.
California Code of Regulations excluding Title 24 Building Code
California Ballot Propositions and Initatives
California Cases: Lexis provides the free version of the “official reports” Searchable by keyword or citation.
Google Scholar: Provides access to California case law. Searchable by keyword or citation.
Federal Law & Government Resources
United States Supreme Court: Official website of the U.S. Supreme Court with links to opinions, the current docket, merit briefs for scheduled cases, rules of court, transcripts of oral arguments and much more.
Unites States District Court Northern District of California: This is the federal district court that covers Santa Cruz County. Information on filing, rules of court, and forms. Access to case information requires a PACER account. A Pro Se Litigants (self-represented) handbook is available here. The Federal Pro Se Program at the San Jose Courthouse provides information and limited assistance.
Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California: Residents of Santa Cruz County wanting to file Bankruptcy do so through the Northern District Courthouse in San Jose. If you are filing without an attorney read this information.
U.S. Federal Courts: Information about the federal court system and links to all federal courts.
Federal Law: Links to the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Federal Register, Congressional bills and other documents.