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How are laws structured/numbered/organized in Arizona? Pursuant to ARS 1-101, we know there are titles and sections, but where can I find how they are organized further?

Based on reading, I gather there are titles, chapters, articles, sections, subsections, and paragraphs. However, what comes after paragraphs and what am I missing?

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    The way that state laws are formatted within sections is not necessarily uniform or consistent. While Western states tend to be more consistent than Eastern states or Congress (since they are younger), there is really no uniformity at that level of granularity.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 27, 2023 at 14:53

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There is a legally important distinction, which you may encounter in statutory language where a codified law states "As defined in this title", "notwithstanding contrary provisions in this chapter", "as defined in this subsection". Ultimately, one has to look at the law as passed. For example, this bill refers to "Section 1. Section 16-332, Arizona Revised Statutes", and contains things labeled A and B. This bill refers to Section 1. Title 1, chapter 2, article 4, Arizona Revised Statutes and makes an amendment by adding section 1-273.

This bill is much bigger. We learn from the language that there are subsections C, H, etc. and when Subsection G says "may extend the time period provided in this subsection", we can infer what the scope of "subsection" is (it's the stuff labeled with capital letters). ARS 13-105 (the codified law, not the enacted bill) states

  1. "Culpable mental state" means intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence as those terms are defined in this paragraph:

which is then followed by

(a) "Intentionally" or "with the intent to" means, with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, that a person's objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.

(b) "Knowingly" means, with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware or believes that the person's conduct is of that nature or that the circumstance exists. It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of the act or omission.

(c) "Recklessly" means, with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard of such risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but who is unaware of such risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect to such risk.

(d) "Criminal negligence" means, with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

There are two imaginable meanings of "this paragraph". One is that is just refers to

(a) "Intentionally" or "with the intent to" means, with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, that a person's objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.

The other possibility is that is refers to the entire sequence of text each part headed by a lower-case letter. We can reject the narrow scope reading of "this paragraph" because the other three paragraphs are necessary in order to actually define what "10" ("10" is apparently a subsection – the first division of the section is into numerical parts, i.e. sub-sections).

This bill was enacted in 2022, and you can compare the enacted bull with the current ARS, which is about a particular section. Both versions refer to "subsection B" and "paragraph 5". This allows us to conclude that subsections have capital letter designators, paragraphs (which are subordinate to subsections) have Arabic number designators. There does not seem to be any official name for the lowest-level designators (a), (b), (c)...

In Arizona, as in Washington, permanent laws that are enacted then get codified into the "Revised Code" or "Revised Statutes". This process changes "which" to "that" and adds or deleted sections or subsections (etc), and is typically what people see when they read about a law. RCW 9.12.010 originated at least in 1854 on p 92, §91 (the first session of the territorial legislature), but this is already-codified law and I have no idea whether there is a record of what the legislature initially enacted. At any rate, the current Title-Chapter-Section scheme (title 9, chapter 12, section 010) has been adopted for a long time in Washington. In case it matters (and sometimes it does), the courts will look at the enrolled bill and not the revised statutes to understand what the law says.

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  • A lower case roman numeral symbol such as i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi etc. is called a "romanette" en.wiktionary.org/wiki/romanette
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 27, 2023 at 18:35
  • Okay, I've never seen any statute or ruling that refers to a "romanette", so that new knowledge.
    – user6726
    Jan 27, 2023 at 18:39
  • I'd been a lawyer for about fifteen years before I first saw the term used and have only seen it used in court cases or other authoritative legal documents four or five times. It used to be used more widely in the course of judges and lawyers dictating legal documents to secretaries but didn't usually appear in spelled out form in print. When lawyers started to do their own typing its use greatly declined.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 27, 2023 at 18:41
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    Apparently in US v. Hayes, CJ Roberts also did not know the term: legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2008/11/…
    – user6726
    Jan 27, 2023 at 18:45

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