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United States — Puerto Rico
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Reviewed 15 October 2013 E-mail: Administrator@LawSource.com

NOTE—Sources of law for Puerto Rico officially are in Spanish. For some advice on dealing with that problem, aimed at persons not fluent in Spanish, see “How to Obtain Unpublished Puerto Rico Statutes, Regulations and Court Decisions Officially Translated Into English” by Maria M. Otero of the University of Puerto Rico Law Library.
 
Both the Puerto Rico Constitution and the Puerto Rico Code in English translation are freely available at a Lexis Nexis web site.
 
For additional links to Puerto Rico law sources, see Biblioteca Jurídica Puertorriqueña, which is a web site maintained by Evelyn N. Ortiz Hernández, a law librarian. It is available in both an English version and a Spanish version.

Puerto Rico Court Decisions

A diagram of the commonwealth court system (including a summary of each court’s jurisdiction) is available on the web site of the National Center for State Courts.
  1. Supreme Court (P.R.) • Tribunal Supremo

  2. U.S. District Court (D.P.R.)


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Puerto Rico Constitution and Legislation

See also a database of commonwealth ballot measures since 1990, maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

  1. Constitution • Constitución (P.R. Const.)
    The constitution in English translation is freely available at a Lexis Nexis web site, as part of the Puerto Rico Code.

    Additional Resources
    Constitution … [Magaly Rivera (Ill.)] — English translation.
    Note—See also the following sources for descriptions of the government of Puerto Rico and the status of Puerto Rico and its citizens, in relation to the United States:
    Welcome to Puerto Rico [Magaly Rivera (Ill.)]
    Puerto Rico USA Citizenship Foundation [John A. Regis, Jr.]

  2. Bills
    Bills in Spanish can be viewed at the web site for the lower house of the legislature: Cámara de Represententes.

  3. Acts of Congress
  4. Organic Act of Puerto Rico
  5. Title 48, United States Code, ch. 4
  6. Acts of the Puerto Rico Legislature
  7. Judiciary Law • Ley de Judicatura
  8. Law on Customs Duties • Ley de Aranceles
  9. Codified Laws
    Both the Spanish version of the Puerto Rico Code (Leyes de Puerto Rico) and a version in English translation are available for free access at the Lexis Nexis web site. Cookies must be enabled in order to use the web site.


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Puerto Rico Rules of Procedure and Practice

  1. Rules of Procedure
    Rules of civil procedure and rules of evidence in English translation are freely available at a Lexis Nexis web site, as part of the Puerto Rico Code (appended to the Code of Civil Procedure), and rules of criminal procedure and rules of juvenile procedure are also on that web site (appended to the Code of Criminal Procedure).

    Rules of the commonwealth courts are in Spanish.


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Puerto Rico Administrative Law Sources

  1. Ordenes Ejecutivas


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Puerto Rico Ordinances and Home-Rule Charters

Ordinances are local laws, commonly organized into codes, that have been enacted by municipalities — cities, towns, etc. — and counties. Charters are organic laws (similar in function to a constitution) of those local government entities for which “home rule” is authorized by state law. For local laws not found through the links given here, try the municipality web sites at “State and Local Government on the Net” by Piper Resources, or a publisher’s web site.

  1. Charters
    Note that a charter could be included in a collection of ordinances (see below) instead of being separately accessible.
  2. County Ordinances
     
    Click on the button keyed to the name of the county. NOTE: On some web sites, selecting the state is necessary for access to the ordinances link.
  3. Municipal Ordinances
     
    Click on the button keyed to the name of the municipality. NOTE: On some web sites, selecting the state is necessary for access to the ordinances link.


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Puerto Rico Law-Related Periodicals

Periodicals providing on-line articles are linked here. See also links to web sites of all U.S.-published law reviews and periodicals.


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Other Puerto Rico Commentary

The web site for The World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists provides some information about Puerto Rico law.

  1. A Guide to Doing Business in Puerto Rico. McConnell Valdés. … [Lex Mundi]


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Puerto Rico Law-Related Topical Web Sites



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Puerto Rico Court Information

See also links to state court web sites, maintained by the National Center for State Courts. Additionally, see Judgepedia, a Wikipedia-style web site, self-described as “an encyclopedia about judges and courts,” which is maintained by the Sam Adams Alliance (Illinois).
  1. Web Sites

    For additional links to web sites (in Spanish) related to the Puerto Rico judicial system, see Sistema de Tribunales.


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Puerto Rico Forms



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Other Puerto Rico Resources

  1. Government-Related Web Sites
    See also the Piper Resources list of sites.
  2. Additional Resources
    ¶ Vital Records — Contact Information … [Elizabeth Orsay (Ind.)]
    ¶ Workers’ Compensation — Agency Contact and Staff Contact Information … [Robert W. McDowell / North Carolina Industrial Commission]

  3. Association of Puerto Rico Attorneys • Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico

  4. Law Schools
  5. Interamerican University of Puerto Rico Faculty of Law • Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico Facultad de Derecho
  6. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law • Pontificia Universidad Catòlica de Puerto Rico Escuela de Derecho


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Legal Research and Assistance

  1. Law Libraries

    See also links to web sites of public law libraries and catalogs of academic law libraries, maintained by the library at Washburn University School of Law; and the LibrarySites.Info database of library web sites (“Libcat”).
  2. Information About Judicial Proceedings • Orientación

    These links all point to information in Spanish.
  3. Low-Cost Legal Aid … See also the web site for LawHelp.org and the web site for SelfHelpSupport.org.
    1. Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico … “Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico, Inc. (‘SLPR’) es una corporación privada sin fines de lucro que provee representación y orientación legal gratuita a los pobres del país que cualifiquen en casos de índole civil.
    2. Puerto Rico Legal Help for the Poor … [Am. Bar Ass’n] — Contact information for legal-aid programs, from the ABA’s Directory of Pro Bono Programs. The ABA also provides a page of links to pro bono programs’ web sites.

 

 


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Revised 15 October 2013
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