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PA Statutes

Pennsylvania statutes are laws passed by the state legislature, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which includes the PA House and PA Senate.

 PA statutes can be found for free online at:

 Unofficial Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes from Westlaw

Although this is not the official publication of Pennsylvania laws, the site is organized by topic and includes access to both the Consolidated and Unconsolidated statutes in one place. Researchers should double check the language and currency found in these resources against the official versions.


For the official publication of current Pennsylvania laws:

► Visit the PA General Assembly's page on the Statutes of Pennsylvania.

► Make sure to check both the Consolidated and Unconsolidated statutes when researching a legal issue.

For more information, see Jenkins' Pennsylvania Statutes guide. 

More About the PA Statutes

Currently, Pennsylvania does not have one “official” publication that includes all current Pennsylvania laws. Instead, the current Pennsylvania statutes are split into two groupings:

  • Consolidated Statutes - These PA laws have been arranged by topic.
  • Unconsolidated Statutes - These PA laws have not yet been organized by topic. They are organized by date, based on when they were passed into law. 

Because of this, researchers should:

► Check both the Consolidated & Unconsolidated statutes when using the official version of the statutes.

► Or use an unofficial version that arranges both the Consolidated & Unconsolidated statutes by topic in one place (for example, Unofficial Purdon's online, Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated in print, or legal databases at Jenkins). 

For more information, see Jenkins' Pennsylvania Statutes guide. 

The Consolidated Statutes are those that the Pennsylvania legislature has grouped by subject. The Consolidated Statutes have the citation Pa.C.S.

The official Consolidated Statutes are available online from the Pennsylvania General Assembly

A print copy of the consolidated statutes is prepared by the Legislative Reference Bureau and is available at Jenkins.

These statutes are not annotated, meaning they do not provide additional references or a list of relevant case citations.

Prior to 1970, all Pennsylvania statutes were unconsolidated. In 1970, the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Consolidated Pennsylvania Statutes Act (Nov. 25, 1970, P.L. 707, Act 230) “[i]n order to facilitate the codification and compilation of the law of this Commonwealth”. This is an on-going project and not all Pennsylvania laws have been consolidated. Because of this, researchers should also search the Unconsolidated Statutes.

For more information, see Jenkins' Pennsylvania Statues guide. 

Not all of the Pennsylvania acts have been consolidated (grouped by subject). Because of this, researchers should also search the Unconsolidated Statutes. The Unconsolidated Statutes are the acts as they were passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in chronological order.

They are available on the General Assembly’s website. Note: The General Assembly’s website does not include amendatory acts prior to 1990. 

The unconsolidated statutes are also printed as pamphlet laws (P.L.) in the Laws of the General Assembly. In Pennsylvania, the P.L. number of an act refers to the page number the act begins on in the Laws of the General Assembly. Select years of this publication are available online from the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau. Jenkins also has access to this title in print as well as on the database HeinOnline.

According to the Official Note found at Pa.R.A.P. 126, the Unconsolidated Statutes should be cited by their Act and P.L. (pamphlet law) numbers. If available, the citation to the act as it is found in Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated may be included as a parallel citation.

For more information, see Jenkins' Pennsylvania Statues guide. 

Since the early 1800s, legal publishers have worked to compile Pennsylvania statutes by topic in an easy-to-use format. Today, one unofficial compilation remains: Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated ("annotated" means it includes additional references and summaries of cases that interpret the statutes).

Popularly known as Purdon’s, this multi-volume set contains Pennsylvania statutes arranged by subject. The set also includes the Pennsylvania Constitution and court rules. Though not official, Purdon's is one way to research both the Consolidated (abbreviated Pa.C.S.A.) and the Unconsolidated statutes (abbreviated P.S.). 

Purdon's is available in print at Jenkins. The Free Library of Philadelphia also has copies of Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes Annotated at their Northeast RegionalNorthwest Regional, and Parkway Central locations. Please contact the Free Library directly with additional questions about their collection, locations, and hours.

Westlaw also provides free online access to both the consolidated and unconsolidated statutes on the Unofficial Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes from Westlaw website. This online version is not annotated. This site is compiled and maintained by the editorial staff of Thomson Reuters, and made available in an unannotated version under agreement with the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau. It is not an official publication of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Because these compilations are not the official versions of the statutes, researchers should double check the language and currency found in these resources against the official versions listed above.

For more information, see Jenkins' Pennsylvania Statues guide. 

Legal databases like Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, and Fastcase (all available at Jenkins), can be used to search both the consolidated and unconsolidated statutes. 

For more information on the history of the Pennsylvania statutes and the consolidation project, see Pennsylvania Legal Research Handbook (ALM).

For additional information on how to cite to Pennsylvania statutes, both the consolidated statutes and the unconsolidated acts, see PAstyle: A Pennsylvania Stylebook and Citation Guide for Legal Writing (PBI Press).

For more information, see Jenkins' Pennsylvania Statues guide.