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California’s First Codes

During the 1872 Session of the California Legislature, there were four original codes adopted

By Chris Micheli, July 20, 2022 6:36 am

California’s first constitution was adopted in 1849 after the Constitutional Convention of 1849. That first state constitution was actually published in both English and Spanish. Thereafter, a second constitutional convention was held in 1878-79 and resulted in California’s second constitution, which was adopted in 1879. That second constitution remains in place today.

During the 1872 Session of the California Legislature, there were four original codes that were adopted and which contained state statutes. In fact, today’s Civil Code contains several provisions under the heading, “Effect of the 1872 Codes.” This heading was added in 1951 by Chapter 655. The original four codes from 1872 were: the Political Code (which no longer exists), Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, and Penal Code.

Today, there are 29 codes that contain all the state’s statutes. Those 29 codes are the following: Business and Professions Code – Civil Code Code of Civil Procedure – Commercial Code – Corporations Code – Education Code – Elections Code – Evidence Code – Family Code – 

Financial Code – Fish and Game Code – Food and Agricultural Code – Government Code – 

Harbors and Navigation Code – Health and Safety Code – Insurance Code – Labor Code – 

Military and Veterans Code – Penal Code – Probate Code – Public Contract Code – Public Resources Code – Public Utilities Code – Revenue and Taxation Code – Streets and Highways Code – Unemployment Insurance Code – Vehicle Code – Water Code – Welfare and Institutions Code – 

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