General Tips for Reading the California Government Code

California statutes are contained in 29 separate codes. Thirteenth in alphabetical order is the Code of Government. The 29 codes contain general provisions applicable to the reading and interpretation of the sections of this code. Here are some general provisions of the Government Code:

Section 1 – This Act is known as the Code of Government.

Section 2 – The provisions of this Code, to the extent that they are substantially identical to existing legal provisions on the same subject, shall be interpreted as restatements and continuations, and not as new provisions.

Article 5 – Unless the provision or the context requires otherwise, these general provisions, rules of interpretation and definitions govern the interpretation of this Code.

Section 6 – The title, division, part, chapter, article and section headings do not in any way affect the scope, meaning or intent of the provisions of this Code.

Section 7 – Whenever a power is granted or an obligation is imposed on a public officer, the power may be exercised or the function may be exercised by a deputy of the officer or by a person authorized, in accordance with the law, by the officer, unless this Code expressly provides otherwise.

Section 8 – Writing includes any form of recorded message that can be understood by ordinary visual means. Whenever a notice, report, statement or recording is required or permitted by this Code, it must be in writing in English, unless expressly provided otherwise.

Section 9 – Wherever reference is made to any part of this Code or any other law of this State, the reference applies to all amendments and additions made now or hereafter.

Section 11 – The present includes the past and the future; and the future includes the present.

Article 12 – The masculine gender includes the feminine and the neuter.

Section 12.2 – The term “spouse” includes “registered domestic partner”.

Section 12.5 – The Legislature hereby declares its intention that the terms “man” or “men”, where applicable, shall be deemed to be “person” or “persons” and that any reference to the terms “man” or “men” in the sections of this code be modified. to “person” or “persons” when the sections of the Code are amended for any purpose. This law is declaratory and does not amend existing law.

Article 13 – The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

Article 14 – The term “shall” is mandatory and “may” is permissive.

Article 15 – The term “oath” includes affirmation.

Section 17 – The term “person” includes any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, limited company, business trust, company or corporation.

Section 23 – If any provision of this Code, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of the Code, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected .

Section 24 – The Legislature declares its intention that the term “workmen’s compensation” be known as “workmen’s compensation”. Pursuant to this policy, the Legislature desires that references to the term “workers’ compensation” in this code be replaced with “workers’ compensation” when sections of the code are amended for any purpose. This law is declaratory and does not amend existing law.

Bernard P. Love