2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 12 - Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters
Article 2A - Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act
Section 12-2A-5 - Number, gender and tense.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 12-2A-5 (2019)

A. Use of the singular number includes the plural, and use of the plural number includes the singular.

B. Use of a word of one gender includes corresponding words of the other genders.

C. Use of a verb in the present tense includes the future tense.

History: Laws 1997, ch. 173, § 5.


Effective dates. — Laws 1997, ch. 173 § 22 made the Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act effective July 1, 1997.

Singular includes the plural. — Courts have consistently construed enhancement statutes that are written in the singular as authorizing the imposition of multiple enhancements. State v. McClendon, 2001-NMSC-023, 130 N.M. 551, 28 P.3d 1092.

When singular appears it can be construed as plural, and vice versa. New Mexico & S. Pac. R.R. Co. v. Madden, 1893-NMSC-018, 7 N.M. 215, 34 P. 50.

Where intent determined it is appropriate to transpose words. — This section provides that words importing the plural number may be applied to one person or thing, for it is appropriate to transpose words and phrases to carry out the manifest intent where the purpose and intent of a statute has been determined. State ex rel. Dresden v. District Court, 1941-NMSC-013, 45 N.M. 119, 112 P.2d 506.

Person includes persons. — While effect of a former statute similar to this section was that use of word "person" in statute included plural "persons," the homestead exemption statute could not be construed so as to permit individual partners an exemption of partnership assets equivalent to their homestead. In re Spitz Bros., 1896-NMSC-025, 8 N.M. 622, 45 P. 1122.

Construing the term "owner". — Construing the term "owner" in 30-31-34G(2) NMSA 1978 to protect innocent co-owners as well as sole owners from forfeiture of their vehicles for drug use is not contrary to the legislature's intent and is a permissible extension of a singular term to include the plural under this rule of statutory construction. In re Forfeiture of One 1970 Ford Pickup, 1991-NMCA-124, 113 N.M. 97, 823 P.2d 339.

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