2009 California Civil Code - Section 2-21 :: Preliminary Provisions


2.  This Code takes effect at twelve o'clock noon, on the first day
of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-three.

3.  No part of it is retroactive, unless expressly so declared.

4.  The rule of the common law, that statutes in derogation thereof
are to be strictly construed, has no application to this Code. The
Code establishes the law of this State respecting the subjects to
which it relates, and its provisions are to be liberally construed
with a view to effect its objects and to promote justice.

5.  The provisions of this Code, so far as they are substantially
the same as existing statutes or the common law, must be construed as
continuations thereof, and not as new enactments.

6.  No action or proceeding commenced before this Code takes effect,
and no right accrued, is affected by its provisions.

7.  Holidays within the meaning of this code are every Sunday and
such other days as are specified or provided for as holidays in the
Government Code of the State of California.

7.1.  Optional bank holidays within the meaning of Section 9 are:
   (a) Any closing of a bank because of an extraordinary situation,
as that term is defined in the Bank Extraordinary Situation Closing
Act (Chapter 20 (commencing with Section 3600) of Division 1 of the
Financial Code).
   (b) Every Saturday.
   (c) Every Sunday.
   (d) January 1st.
   (e) The third Monday in January, known as "Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Day."
   (f) February 12, known as "Lincoln Day."
   (g) The third Monday in February.
   (h) The last Monday in May.
   (i) July 4th.
   (j) The first Monday in September.
   (k) September 9th, known as "Admission Day."
   (l) The second Monday in October, known as "Columbus Day."
   (m) November 11th, known as "Veteran's Day."
   (n) December 25th.
   (o) Good Friday from 12 noon until closing.
   (p) The Thursday in November appointed as "Thanksgiving Day."
   (q) Any Monday following any Sunday on which January 1st, February
12th, July 4th, September 9th, November 11th, or December 25th
   (r) Any Friday preceding any Saturday on which July 4th, September
9th, or December 25th falls.

9.  All other days than those mentioned in Section 7 are business
days for all purposes; provided, that as to any act appointed by law
or contract, or in any other way, to be performed by, at, or through
any bank organized under the laws of or doing business in this state,
any optional bank holiday as defined in Section 7.1 is not a
business day; and provided, that any act appointed by law or
contract, or in any other way, to be performed on any day which is an
optional bank holiday as defined in Section 7.1, by, at, or through
any bank or branch or office thereof, whether acting in its own
behalf or in any other capacity whatsoever, may be performed on that
optional bank holiday if the bank or branch or office by, at, or
through which the act is to be performed is open for the transaction
of business on that optional bank holiday, or, at the option of the
person obligated to perform the act, it may be performed on the next
succeeding business day.

10.  The time in which any act provided by law is to be done is
computed by excluding the first day and including the last, unless
the last day is a holiday, and then it is also excluded.

11.  Whenever any act of a secular nature, other than a work of
necessity or mercy, is appointed by law or contract to be performed
upon a particular day, which day falls upon a holiday, it may be
performed upon the next business day, with the same effect as if it
had been performed upon the day appointed.

12.  Words giving a joint authority to three or more public officers
or other persons are construed as giving such authority to a
majority of them, unless it is otherwise expressed in the Act giving
the authority.

13.  Words and phrases are construed according to the context and
the approved usage of the language; but technical words and phrases,
and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate
meaning in law, or are defined in the succeeding section, are to be
construed according to such peculiar and appropriate meaning or

14.  Words used in this code in the present tense include the future
as well as the present; words used in the masculine gender include
the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural, and
the plural the singular; the word person includes a corporation as
well as a natural person; county includes city and county; writing
includes printing and typewriting; oath includes affirmation or
declaration; and every mode of oral statement, under oath or
affirmation, is embraced by the term "testify," and every written one
in the term "depose"; signature or subscription includes mark, when
the person cannot write, his name being written near it, by a person
who writes his own name as a witness; provided, that when a signature
is by mark it must in order that the same may be acknowledged or may
serve as the signature to any sworn statement be witnessed by two
persons who must subscribe their own names as witnesses thereto. The
following words have in this code the signification attached to them
in this section, unless otherwise apparent from the context:
   1. The word "property" includes property real and personal;
   2. The words "real property" are coextensive with lands,
tenements, and hereditaments;
   3. The words "personal property" include money, goods, chattels,
things in action, and evidences of debt;
   4. The word "month" means a calendar month, unless otherwise
   5. The word "will" includes codicil;
   6. The word "section" whenever hereinafter employed refers to a
section of this code, unless some other code or statute is expressly

17.  Wherever any notice or other communication is required by this
code to be mailed by registered mail, the mailing of such notice or
other communication by certified mail shall be deemed to be a
sufficient compliance with the requirements of law.

18.  Notice is:
   1. Actual--which consists in express information of a fact; or,
   2. Constructive--which is imputed by law.

[19.]  Section Nineteen. Every person who has actual notice of
circumstances sufficient to put a prudent man upon inquiry as to a
particular fact, has constructive notice of the fact itself in all
cases in which, by prosecuting such inquiry, he might have learned
such fact.

20.  No statute, law, or rule is continued in force because it is
consistent with the provisions of this Code on the same subject; but
in all cases provided for by this Code, all statutes, laws, and rules
heretofore in force in this State, whether consistent or not with
the provisions of this Code, unless expressly continued in force by
it, are repealed or abrogated.
   This repeal or abrogation does not revive any former law
heretofore repealed, nor does it affect any right already existing or
accrued, or any action or proceeding already taken, except as in
this Code provided.

21.  This Act, whenever cited, enumerated, referred to, or amended,
may be designated simply as "THE CIVIL CODE," adding, when necessary,
the number of the section.

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