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The Statutory Construction Law

As Amended to the Commencement of the Legislative Session of 1897. [Note. We here insert the Statutory Construction Law upon the theory that the aid which the legislature has provided in the construing and interpreting of statutes is properly a part of a work which has for its foundation legislative enactments, and should logically be first considered.]

Laws 1892, chap. 677 - An act relating to the construction of statutes, constituting chapter one of the general laws.

[Became a law May 18, 1892, taking effect immediately.]


Section 1. Short title; extent of application.

2. Property.

3. Real property.

4. Personal property.

5. Person

6. Judge.

7. Lunacy; idiocy.

8. Gender; number; tense.

9. Heretofore; hereafter; now.

10. Last; preceding; next; following.

11. Folio.

12. Writing; signature.

13. Seal.

14. Oath; affidavit; swear.

15. Acknowledge; acknowledgment.

16. Bond; undertaking.

17. Choose; elect; appoint.

18. Board composed of one person.

19. Meeting; quorum; powers and majority.

20. Service of notice upon board or body.

21. County clerk; register.

22. Village.

23. State.

24. Public holiday; half-holiday.

25. Year.

26. Month.

Section 27. Day; mode of computing days; night-time. 28. Standary time.

29. Civil and criminal codes.

30. Laws of England and of the colony of New York.

81. Limiting the effect of repealing statutes.

32. Effect of repeal and re-enactment.

83. Effect of revision upon laws passed at sante session or before

revision takes effect.

34. Alterations of titles and headnotes.

35. Laws repealed.

36. Time of taking effect.

[Thus am. by Laws 1894, chap. 448. See § 34 hereof.]

Section 1. Short title; extent of application.- This chapter shall be known as the Statutory Construction Law, and is applicable to every statute unless its general object, or the context of the language construed, or other provisions of law indicate that a different meaning or application was intended from that required to be given by this chapter.

See note to § 31 hereof, and note in 29 Abb. N. C. 146.

§ 2. Property.-The term property includes real and personal property.

§ 3. Real property.- The term real property includes real estate, lands, tenements and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal.

§ 4. Personal property.- The term personal property includes chattels, money, things in action, and all written instruments themselves, as distinguished from the rights or interests to which they relate, by which any right, interest, lien or incumbrance in, to or upon property, or any debt or financial obligation is created, acknowledged, evidenced, transferred, discharged or defeated, wholly or in part, and everything, except real property, which may be the subject of ownership. The term chattels includes goods and chattels.

§ 5. Person. The term person includes a corporation and a joint-stock association. When used to designate a party whose property may be the subject of any offense, the term person also includes the State, or any other State, government or country which may lawfully own property in the State.

6. Judge. The term judge includes every judicial officer authorized, alone or with others, to hold or preside over a court of record.

§ 7. Lunacy idic cy. The terms lunatic and lunacy include every kind of unsoundness of mind except idiocy.

For definition of insanity as a defense to crime, see Penal Code, §§ 20-22.

§ 8. Gender, number; tense.- Words of the masculine gender include the feminine and the neuter, and may refer to a corporation, or to a board or other body or assemblage of persons; and, when the sense so indicates, words of the neuter gender may refer to any gender. The term men includes boys and the term women includes girls.

Words in the singular number include the plural, and in the plural number include the singular.

Words in the present tense include the future.

§ 9. Heretofore, hereafter; now. Each of the terms, heretofore, and hereafter, in any provision of a statute, relates to the time such provision takes effect. The term now in any provision of a statute referring to other laws in force, or to persons in office, or to any facts or circumstances as existing, relates to the laws in force, or the person in office, or to the facts or circumstances existing, respectively, immediately before the taking effect of such provision.

§ 10. Last; preceding; next; following. A reference to the last or preceding section, or other provision of a statute, means the section or other division immediately preceding, and a reference to the next or following section or other division of a statate means the section or other division immediately following.

§ 11. Folio.-A folio is one hundred words, counting as a word each figure necessarily used.

§ 12. Writing; signature. The terms writing and written include every legible representation of letters upon a material substance, except when applied to the signature of an instrumeni The term signature includes any memorandum, mark or sign, written or placed upon any instrument or writing with intent to execute or authenticate such instrument or writing.

13. Seal. The private seal of a person, other than a corporation, to any instrument or writing, shall consist of a wafer, wax or other similar adhesive substance affixed thereto, or of paper or other similar substance affixed thereto, by mucilage or other adhesive substance, or of the word "seal," or the letters "L. S.," opposite the signature.

A seal of a court, public officer or corporation may be impressed directly upon the instrument or writing to be sealed, or upon wafer, wax or other adhesive substance affixed thereto, or upon paper or other similar substance affixed thereto by mucilage. or other adhesive substance. An instrument or writing duly executed, in the corporate name of a corporation, which shall not have adopted a corporate seal, by the proper officers of the corporation under their private seals, shall be deemed to have been executed under the corporate seal.

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As to what constituted a seal at common law, and when equity before this statute would treat "L. S.," etc., as a seal, see Barnard v. Gantz, 140 N. Y. 249; Town of Solon v. Williamsburgh Bank, 114 id. 122.

§ 14. Oath; affidavit; swear. The terms oath and affidavit include every mode authorized by law of attesting the truth of that which is stated.

The term swear includes every mode authorized by law for administering an oath. When an affidavit is authorized or required it may be sworn to before any officer authorized by law to take the acknowledgment of deeds in this state, unless a particular officer is specified before whom it is to be taken.

For definitions of these terms for the purposes of perjury, see Penal Code, § 97. Any verified pleading or other paper is an affidavit within the meaning of the Civil Code, see § 3343, sub. 11. As to mode of administering oaths, etc., see Civil Code, §§ 842-851. As to what officers may take acknowledgments of deeds in this State, see note to next section.

§ 15. Acknowledge; acknowledgment.- When the execution of any instrument or writing is authorized or required by law to be acknowledged, or to be proven so as to entitle it to be filed or recorded in a public office, the acknowledgment may be taken or the proof made before any officer then and there authorized to take the acknowledgment or proof of the execution of a deed

of real property to entitle it to be recorded in a county clerk's office, and shall be made and certified in the same manner as such acknowledgment or proof of such deed.

The term acknowledge and acknowledgment, when used with reference to the execution of an instrument or writing other than a deed of real property, includes a compliance with the provisions of this section by either such proof or acknowledgment. As to the requirements of acknowledgments, see R. S., part II, chap. 3, §§ 9, 12, 15.

The following officers may take acknowledgments within the State: Notaries public. Executive Law (Laws 1892, chap. 683), § 85, as amended by Laws 1894, chap. 88.

Commissioners of deeds. Executive Law (Laws 1892, chap. 683), § 88, as amended by Laws 1894, chap. 88.

Justices of the peace. Laws 1840, chap. 238, § 1.

Mayors, recorders and judges of courts of record, R. S., part II, chap. 3, 4, sub. 1,

Surrogates. Laws 1884, chap. 300.

§ 16. Bonds; undertaking.-A provision of law authorizing or requiring a bond to be given shall be deemed to have been complied with by the execution of an undertaking to the same effect.

§ 17. Choose; elect; appoint.-The term choose includes elect and appoint.

§ 18. Board composed of one person.-A reference to several officers of a municipal corporation holding the same office, or to a board of such officers, shall be deemed to refer to the single officer holding such office, when but one person is chosen to fill such office in pursuance of law.

§ 19. Meeting quorum; powers of majority. Whenever three or more public officers are given any power or authority, or three or more persons are charged with any public duty to be performed or exercised by them jointly or as a board or similar body, a majority of all such persons or officers at a meeting duly held at a time fixed by law, or by any by-law duly adopted by such board or body, or at any duly adjourned meeting of such meeting, or at any meeting duly held upon reasonable notice to all of them, may perform and exercise such power, authority or

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