General Laws of Massachusetts

General Laws of Massachusetts

Massachusetts General Laws, also known as the General Laws of Massachusetts, is a codification of many of the statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth's laws are promulgated by an elected bicameral legislative body, the Massachusetts General Court. The General Court amends the General Laws by enacting session laws, which are published chronologically as the Acts and Resolves. Session law may effect modifications and additions in the General Laws. Not all session laws, which apply equally to codified law, are entered into the General Laws.

In legal citations, Massachusetts General Laws are abbreviated as M.G.L. or G.L. Provisions in the General Laws are identified by chapter and section, e.g., M.G.L. c. 93A, § 9. Chapters are grouped topically by part and title. The parts of the General Laws are as follows: I. Administration of Government; II. Real and Personal Property and Domestic Relations; III. Courts, Judicial Officers, and Proceedings in Civil Cases; IV. Crimes, Punishments, and Proceedings in Criminal Cases; V. The General Laws and Express Repeal of Certain Acts and Resolves. The unannotated official version of the General Laws is published every two years. Two widely-used annotated collections are Massachusetts General Laws Annotated (M.G.L.A.) from West Publishing, and Annotated Laws of Massachusetts (A.L.M.) published by LexisNexis. Both are available as bound collections and by subscription online.

The General Laws replaced the General Statutes, which are abbreviated as G.S. when cited in lists of local-option statutes accepted by cities and towns.

The Massachusetts Constitution expressly grants to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court the power to review and interpret these laws.


Chapter 93h 201 cmr 17.00

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