I've seen legal notation in various documents that refers to a state or federal law written like this:

29 U.S.C. § 203 B

I'm assuming the U.S.C. stands for United States Supreme Court, but I don't know what this notation is referred to as, and I don't know what each part means.

Can some one explain this?

2 Answers 2


The term is "citation." In the citation you entered, U.S.C. refers to the United States Code, which is a compilation of every general permanent law Congress has passed that's organized by topic (and not by when it was passed). The US Code is developed by the Office of Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives, and is organized into (at the moment) 54 titles. The 29 is the title for the code section you cited; Title 29 deals with labor. Other titles include Title 10 (dealing with the military), Title 18 (crimes and criminal procedure), and Title 26 (income tax).

There are levels of organization below the title, but they vary by title (e.g. Title 29 is divided into chapters, while Title 10 has five subtitles, divided into parts, and those are divided into chapters). The level where the actual text of the law is found is the section; when you're citing something in the US Code, you cite it by title and section (§ is a standard symbol for "section"). So 29 USC § 203(b) is section 203 of Title 29, subsection B. You don't include the fact that it's in Chapter 8 in your citation, because title and section is all you need to find it.


U.S.C. stands for United States Code. You can search the code here.

The basic idea is that the resolutions passed by Congress can be found in the U.S. Statutes at Large. However, it is common practice to have potentially unexpected things in the same resolution (e.g. maybe a Defense Appropriation needed an extra vote or two to pass, and that required adding something to the resolution about a different area of law). In is the way, the Statutes at Large aren't always arranged in an intuitive way (they're arranged chronologically). The U.S. Code corrects this problem by implementing the organization scheme to which other answers refer.

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