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What Is a ‘Heading’ in California Law?

The heading is the name of the Title or Chapter or Division within a Code

By Chris Micheli, October 5, 2022 4:15 pm

On occasion, while reading bills in the California Legislature, you may run across a section of the bill that adds or amends “the heading” of a chapter or title, for example. What is the heading?

The heading is the name of the Title or Chapter or Division within a Code. Just like with other bills, the heading can be added, amended, or repealed. What does this look like in a bill? The following is an example from a bill pending on the Governor’s Desk:

The heading of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 10260) of Division 10.2 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

CHAPTER  4. Agricultural Conservation Easements and Fee Title

One note about amending headings in a bill: The current law version does not show any strikeout language in the bill. Instead, the new heading is simply set forth it italicized words as noted above.

Some bills may affect more than one heading. And, the changes to one or more headings are set forth in the Title of the bill. The following is an example of a recently-enacted bill and the language used in the bill’s Title:

An act to amend Section 124 of, and to repeal and add the heading of Article 1 (commencing with Section 124) of Chapter 6 of Title 1 of Part 1 of, the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to courts.

Thereafter, the following is the actual language from this bill:

SECTION 1.

The heading of Article 1 (commencing with Section 124) of Chapter 6 of Title 1 of Part 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure is repealed.

SEC. 2.

The heading of Article 1 (commencing with Section 124) is added to Chapter 6 of Title 1 of Part 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

Article 1. Open Court Access

Note also that the repealed heading is not shown with strikeout in the bill. Instead, it is left out of the bill and the action line states that the current law’s heading is being repealed by this bill.

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