Code Section Group

Civil Code - CIV

  ( Preliminary Provisions enacted 1872. )


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

(Enacted 1872.)


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

(Enacted 1872.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)


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

(Enacted 1872.)


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.

(Amended by Stats. 1955, Ch. 165.)


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 falls.

(r) Any Friday preceding any Saturday on which July 4th, September 9th, or December 25th falls.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 668, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)


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.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 668, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1995.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)


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 definition.

(Enacted 1872.)


(a) 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.

(b) 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 expressed.

(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 mentioned.

(7) The word “spouse” includes a registered domestic partner, as required by Section 297.5 of the Family Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 50, Sec. 3. (SB 1005) Effective January 1, 2017.)


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.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 426.)


Notice is:

1. Actual—which consists in express information of a fact; or,

2. Constructive—which is imputed by law.

(Enacted 1872.)


Every person who has actual notice of circumstances sufficient to put a prudent person upon inquiry as to a particular fact has constructive notice of the fact itself in all cases in which, by prosecuting such inquiry, he or she might have learned that fact.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 561, Sec. 15. (AB 1516) Effective January 1, 2018.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)


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.

(Enacted 1872.)

CIVCivil Code - CIV