California Civil Code
The Civil Code of California is a collection of statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

s for the State of California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. The code is made up of statutes which govern the general obligations and rights of persons within the jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 of California. It was based on a civil code originally prepared by David Dudley Field II for the state of New York (but which was never enacted in that state).

Though the Code is organized in a similar manner to many civil law civil code
Civil code
A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of private law. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure...

s, many of its provisions are codifications of well-established common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 principles. For example, it contains a definition of consideration
Consideration is the central concept in the common law of contracts and is required, in most cases, for a contract to be enforceable. Consideration is the price one pays for another's promise. It can take a number of forms: money, property, a promise, the doing of an act, or even refraining from...

, a principle in the common law of contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

s which has no direct equivalent in civil law systems.

First adopted in 1872 and signed into law by then Governor
Governor of California
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

 Newton Booth
Newton Booth
Newton Booth was an American politician.Born in Salem, Indiana, he attended the common schools. In 1841, his parents Beebe and Hannah Booth moved from Salem to Terre Haute, Indiana. Newton graduated from Asbury University, later renamed DePauw University, in nearby Greencastle, Indiana. He studied...

, the Civil Code is divided -similarly to its civil law analogues- into four divisions: "the first relating to persons"; "the second to property"; "the third to obligations"; "the fourth contains general provisions relating to the three preceding divisions." Division One contains laws which govern personal rights while Division Two contains laws which govern property rights. Division Three codifies the substantive contract law of the State of California as well as various regulations relating to agency, mortgages, unsecured loans, extensions of credit, and other areas of California law. Division Four defines remedies available in lawsuits, what constitutes a nuisance, various maxims of jurisprudence, and other miscellaneous provisions which relate "to the three preceding divisions."

Over the years, the Civil Code has been repeatedly amended by legislation and initiative measures. A very significant change to the Civil Code occurred in the early 1990s when nearly all of the Civil Code's provisions relating to marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

, community property
Community property
Community property is a marital property regime that originated in civil law jurisdictions and is now also found in some common law jurisdictions...

, and other family law matters were removed from the Civil Code (at the suggestion of the California Law Revision Commission) and re-enacted in the form of a new Family Code. The California Family Code went into effect on January 1, 1994.

Most statutes that deal with civil procedure are codified in a separate code, the California Code of Civil Procedure
California Code of Civil Procedure
The California Code of Civil Procedure contains most California statutes that govern the filing of lawsuits, legal notices that must be given in a variety of circumstances, and many other procedural aspects of California civil law, including the statutes of limitations that control the period of...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.