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Introduction
This guide provides an overview of where the statutes for the state of Colorado are located, how to find them and how to update them.
Colorado Revised Statutes
Colorado has two versions of its statutes. The official state version is the red set published by LexisNexis and titled Colorado Revised Statutes. This set is reissued in its entirety every year, and the library keeps all current and superseded sets on Reserve and in the Colorado Section on the second floor of the library. 

Colorado Revised Statutes
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1830 .C66
LAW READY REF  KFC 1830 .C66
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 .C66


LexisNexis also makes the Colorado Revised Statutes available for free online.

West also publishes an unofficial version of the statues called West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated. The set is blue and is updated annually by pocket parts. The law library keeps all superseded pocket parts and the Current volumes in the Colorado Section on the second floor of the law library. This is also the version of the statutes available electronically on Westlaw.

West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1973 .A47 1989
LAW READY REF  KFC 1830 1973 .A47 1989


The text and the numbering of the statutes in the two sets is exactly the same, although the annotations in the two versions are different. So, researchers may wish to look at the annotations in both versions to identify all relevant sources.
Older Versions of the Colorado Statutes

The current official version of the Colorado statutes has only been the official statutory compilation since 1973. There have been many other versions throughout the State's history. Below is a chronological list of the statutory compilations and their locations.

Revised Statutes of Colorado (1868)
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1867 .A2
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1867 .A2
LAW RARE BOOKS basement  KFC 1830 1867 .A2
 

General Laws of Colorado (1877)
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1877 .A2
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1877 .A2
LAW RARE BOOKS basement  KFC 1830 1877 .A2


General Statutes of Colorado (1883)
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1883 .A2
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1883 .A2
LAW RARE BOOKS basement  KFC 1830 1883 .A2
Colorado Statutes Annotated (1935)
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1935 .A2
LAW RARE BOOKS basement  KFC 1830 1935 .A2
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1935 .A2
 
Colorado Revised Statutes (1953)
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1953 .A2
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 1830 1953 .A2
LAW STORAGE  KFC 1830 1953 .A2
LAW RARE BOOKS basement  KFC 1830 1953 .A2
 
Colorado Court Rules
The Colorado Court Rules include the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, Colorado Rules of County Court Civil Procedure, Colorado Rules of Procedure for Small Claims Courts, Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure, Colorado Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, Colorado Appellate Rules, Colorado Rules of Evidence, and other rules of Court in Colorado.

The various Colorado Court Rules are available both in print and online versions. In the print versions, the court rules are in their own volumes at the end of the set. West also publishes an annual volume of the Colorado Court Rules, which is a compilation of just the Court Rules in Colorado.

West's Colorado Court Rules
LAW COLORADO 2nd floor  KFC 2329 .A1 W471
LAW READY REF  KFC 2329 .A1 W471


Annotated versions of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure are also available in the Civil Rules Annotated volumes (4 and 5) of the Colorado Practice Series.

Civil Rules Annotated
LAW RESERVE 2nd floor  KFC 1880 .C6
LAW READY REF  KFC 1880 .C6
Finding Colorado Statutes and Court Rules

Finding Statutes in Print

To find a statute by topic in either print set, researchers should begin in the index volumes, which are located at the end of the set. There are several ways to use the index:
 
  • Researchers can look up the subject in the A to Z section.
  • Researchers can use the Words and Phrases section towards the back of the index to look up common English words and find the corresponding code section(s) which deals with that issue.
  • Researchers can look up a statute's popular name or short title in the short title and popular names section of the index.
  • Researchers can use the comparative tables section of the index to translate the citation from an older numbering system to the current citation.
 

Finding Statutes Online

Searching for statutes in one of the electronic versions is very different than it is in the print sets. 

In the free online version provided by LexisNexis researchers can browse the Table of Contents for statutes or they can search by keyword. The statutes are codified by subject, so researchers can browse each title of the statutes to find statutes within that section. To search by keyword, researchers can choose to conduct a "natural language" search, which is similar to a Google type search. Otherwise, researchers can conduct a "terms and connectors" search which allows researchers to set the search parameters using different connectors between terms.








Westlaw provides access to West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated and also allows researchers to browse the Titles and Articles for statutes or to run a keyword search. In Westlaw Classic, researchers are given the same choice to search by natural language or by terms and connectors. In WestlawNext, the default search is a natural language search and researchers can set search parameters by choosing the "advanced" search option. WestlawNext also makes it easy for researchers to narrow their results by different factors in the results display.
Updating the Statutes
Once researchers have located a statute, they must make sure that the statute is up to date. If the researcher has located the statute in the free online version or on Westlaw, it should be current as the online versions are updated regularly.

However, if the researcher has located the statute in one of the print versions, the researcher will need to consult the pamphlets used to update the print sets:

The Red Book is produced at the end of each legislative session and comprises tables that list changes to the statutes. This should be used to update statutes located in the official print version. Researchers can look up the relevant section in the table to see if it has been affected by a recently passed law and can read the new law if the section has been affected.

West's Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated are updated by pamphlets called pocket parts in the back of each volume. West also publishes a biweekly legislative service and a semiannual interim annotation service to update statutes and annotations. To update sections located in West's print version, researchers should first look up the section in the pocket part at the back of the book and then look up the section in the table of the most recent legislative service pamphlet to see if a recent law has changed the section. Researchers can then check the interim annotation service to see if there are any recent court opinions regarding that section.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Robert Linz

Robert Linz
Associate Director & Head of Public Services
Tel: 303 492-2504