In the construction of the statutes, the following rules shall be observed, unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the general assembly, or repugnant to the context of the statute:
1. Appellate court. The term "appellate court" means and includes both the supreme court and the court of appeals. Where an act, omission, right, or liability is by statute conditioned upon the filing of a decision by an appellate court, the term means any final decision of either the supreme court or the court of appeals.
2. "Child" includes child by adoption.
3. Clerk---clerk's office. The word "clerk" means clerk of the court in which the action or proceeding is brought or is pending; and the words "clerk's office" mean the office of that clerk.
4. Consanguinity and affinity. Degrees of consanguinity and affinity shall be computed according to the civil law.
5. "Court employee" and "employee of the judicial department" include every officer or employee of the judicial department except a judicial officer.
6. Deed---bond---indenture---undertaking. The word "deed" is applied to an instrument conveying lands, but does not imply a sealed instrument; and the words "bond" and "indenture" do not necessarily imply a seal, and the word "undertaking" means a promise or security in any form.
7. Executor---administrator. The term "executor" includes administrator, and the term "administrator" includes executor, where the subject matter justifies such use.
8. Figures and words. If there is a conflict between figures and words in expressing a number, the words govern.
9. Highway---road. The words "highway" and "road" include public bridges, and may be held equivalent to the words "county way", "county road", "common road", and "state road".
10. Issue. The word "issue" as applied to descent of estates includes all lawful lineal descendants.
11. Joint authority. Words giving a joint authority to three or more public officers or other persons shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of them, unless it be otherwise expressed in the Act giving the authority.
12. "Judicial officer" means a supreme court justice, a judge of the court of appeals, a district judge, a district associate judge, an associate juvenile judge, an associate probate judge, or a magistrate. The term also includes a person who is temporarily serving as a justice, judge, or magistrate as permitted by section 602.1612 or 602.9206.
13. Land---real estate. The word "land" and the phrases "real estate" and "real property" include lands, tenements, hereditaments, and all rights thereto and interests therein, equitable as well as legal.
13A. "Livestock" includes but is not limited to an animal classified as an ostrich, rhea, or emu.
14. "Magistrate" means a judicial officer appointed under chapter 602, article 6, part 4.
16. Month---year---A.D. The word "month" means a calendar month, and the word "year" and the abbreviation "A.D." are equivalent to the expression "year of our Lord".
17. Number and gender. Unless otherwise specifically provided by law the singular includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular. Words of one gender include the other genders.
18. Numerals---figures. The Roman numerals and the Arabic figures are to be taken as parts of the English language.
19. Oath---affirmation. The word "oath" includes affirmation in all cases where an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in like cases the word "swear" includes "affirm".
20. Person. Unless otherwise provided by law, "person" means individual, corporation, limited liability company, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, or any other legal entity.
21. Personal property. The words "personal property" include money, goods, chattels, evidences of debt, and things in action.
21A. Persons with mental illness. The words "persons with mental illness" include persons with psychosis, persons who are severely depressed, and persons with any type of mental disease or mental disorder, except that mental illness does not refer to mental retardation as defined in section 222.2, or to insanity, diminished responsibility, or mental incompetency as defined and used in the Iowa criminal code or in the rules of criminal procedure, Iowa court rules, 3d ed. A person who is hospitalized or detained for treatment of mental illness shall not be deemed or presumed to be incompetent in the absence of a finding of incompetence made pursuant to section 229.27.
22. Population. The word "population" where used in this Code or any statute means the population shown by the latest preceding certified federal census, unless otherwise specifically provided.
23. "Preceding" and "following" when used by way of reference to a chapter or other part of a statute mean the next preceding or next following chapter or other part.
24. Property. The word "property" includes personal and real property.
25. Quorum. A quorum of a public body is a majority of the number of members fixed by statute.
26. Repeal---effect of. The repeal of a statute, after it becomes effective, does not revive a statute previously repealed, nor affect any right which has accrued, any duty imposed, any penalty incurred, or any proceeding commenced, under or by virtue of the statute repealed.
27. "Rule" includes "regulation".
28. Seal. Where the seal of a court, public office or officer, or public or private corporation, may be required to be affixed to any paper, the word "seal" shall include an impression upon the paper alone, as well as upon wax or a wafer affixed thereto or an official ink stamp if a notarial seal.
29. Series. If a statute refers to a series of numbers or letters, the first and the last numbers or letters are included.
30. Shall, must, and may. Unless otherwise specifically provided by the general assembly, whenever the following words are used in a statute enacted after July 1, 1971, their meaning and application shall be:
a. The word "shall" imposes a duty.
b. The word "must" states a requirement.
c. The word "may" confers a power.
31. Sheriff. The term "sheriff" may be extended to any person performing the duties of the sheriff, either generally or in special cases.
32. State. The word "state", when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" may include the said district and territories.
33. Tense. Words in the present tense include the future.
34. Time---legal holidays. In computing time, the first day shall be excluded and the last included, unless the last falls on Sunday, in which case the time prescribed shall be extended so as to include the whole of the following Monday. However, when by the provisions of a statute or rule prescribed under authority of a statute, the last day for the commencement of an action or proceedings, the filing of a pleading or motion in a pending action or proceedings, or the perfecting or filing of an appeal from the decision or award of a court, board, commission, or official falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, a day on which the office of the clerk of the district court is closed in whole or in part pursuant to the authority of the supreme court, the first day of January, the third Monday in January, the twelfth day of February, the third Monday in February, the last Monday in May, the fourth day of July, the first Monday in September, the eleventh day of November, the fourth Thursday in November, the twenty-fifth day of December, and the following Monday when any of the foregoing named legal holidays fall on a Sunday, and any day appointed or recommended by the governor of Iowa or the president of the United States as a day of fasting or thanksgiving, the time shall be extended to include the next day which the office of the clerk of the court or the office of the board, commission, or official is open to receive the filing of a commencement of an action, pleading or a motion in a pending action or proceeding, or the perfecting or filing of an appeal.
35. "United States" includes all the states.
36. The word "week" means seven consecutive days.
37. Will. The word "will" includes codicils.
38. Words and phrases. Words and phrases shall be 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, shall be construed according to such meaning.
39. Written---in writing---signature. The words "written" and "in writing" may include any mode of representing words or letters in general use. A signature, when required by law, must be made by the writing or markings of the person whose signature is required. If a person is unable due to a physical disability to make a written signature or mark, that person may substitute either of the following in lieu of a signature required by law:
a. The name of the person with a disability written by another upon the request and in the presence of the person with a disability.
b. A rubber stamp reproduction of the name or facsimile of the actual signature when adopted by the person with a disability for all purposes requiring a signature and then only when affixed by that person or another upon request and in the presence of the person with a disability.
40. The word "year" means twelve consecutive months.
[C51, § 26, 2513; R60, § 29, 4121, 4123, 4124; C73, § 45; C97, § 48; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 63; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 4.1]
83 Acts, ch 186, §10002, 10201; 87 Acts, ch 115, § 3; 92 Acts, ch 1151, § 1; 93 Acts, ch 9, §1; 95 Acts, ch 43, § 1; 96 Acts, ch 1129, §1; 96 Acts, ch 1153, §1
Referred to in § 43.49, 50.24, 135G.2, 142C.2, 152C.4, 163.35, 235B.2, 237.1, 362.2, 386.1, 455B.482, 480.1, 481B.1, 490.140, 490A.102, 502A.1, 508B.5, 514.1, 514E.1, 515G.5, 523A.9, 523E.9, 523H.1, 524.103, 527.5, 533.20, 714.15
Similar provision on population, § 9F.6 ~ITransition provisions for court reorganization in article 11, chapter 602
© 1997 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
Last update: Mon Jan 27 16:05:08 CST 1997