This Act shall be known as The Civil Code of the State of California, and is in Four Divisions, as follows:
I.--THE FIRST RELATING TO PERSONS.
II.--THE SECOND TO PROPERTY.
III.--THE THIRD TO OBLIGATIONS.
IV.--THE FOURTH CONTAINS GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE THREE PRECEDING DIVISIONS.
This Code takes effect at twelve o'clock noon, on the first day of January, eighteen hundred and seventy-three.
No part of it is retroactive, unless expressly so declared.
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.
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.
No action or proceeding commenced before this Code takes effect, and no right accrued, is affected by its provisions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.