TITLE 1

General Provisions

CHAPTER 3. INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES


The rules of construction and the definitions set forth in this chapter shall be observed in the construction of this Code and all other statutes, unless such construction would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the General Assembly, or repugnant to the Code or to the context of the same statute.

Code 1852, § 34; Code 1915, § 1; Code 1935, § 1; 1 Del. C. 1953, § 301.;

In the construction of this Code and of all other statutes of this State, unless the context requires a different meaning:

(1) "Adult" or "adult person" means a person of the age of 18 years or older.

(2) "Child" means a person who has not reached the age of 18 years.

(3) "Full age" means the age of 18 years or older.

(4) "Grantee" includes every person to whom a freehold estate or interest is conveyed.

(5) "Grantor" includes every person by whom a freehold estate or interest is conveyed.

(6) "Infancy" means an age of less than 18 years.

(7) "Infant" means a person who has not reached the age of 18 years.

(8) "Inhabitant" means a resident in any place.

(9) "Kin" and "kindred," as applied to the descent of estates, signify kin or kindred by blood, and the degrees of consanguinity shall be computed by the civil law method; but collateral kindred claiming through a nearer common ancestor, shall be preferred to those claiming through a more remote common ancestor.

(10) "Lawful age" means the age of 18 years or older.

(11) "Minor" or "minor child" means a person who has not reached the age of 18 years.

(12) "Money" or "dollars" means lawful money of the United States.

(13) "Month" means a calendar month, unless otherwise expressed.

(14) "Oath" includes affirmation in all cases where an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and "sworn" includes affirmed; and the forms shall be varied accordingly.

(15) "Person" and "whoever" respectively include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies and joint-stock companies, as well as individuals.

(16) "Person with a mental condition" includes every person with an emotional or psychiatric disorder or disability.

(17) "Real estate" or "real property" is synonymous with the phrase "lands, tenements and hereditaments."

(18) "State" means the State of Delaware; and when applied to different parts of the United States, it includes the District of Columbia and the several territories and possessions of the United States.

(19) "Tavern" includes inn.

(20) "Under age" means an age of less than 18 years.

(21) "United States" includes its territories and possessions and the District of Columbia.

(22) "Will" means "last will and testament" and includes "codicil."

(23) "Written" and "writing" respectively include printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, lithographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding or otherwise; but in all cases where the written signature of any person is by law required, it shall be the proper handwriting of such person, or if the person cannot write the person's name, the person's mark.

(24) "Year" means a calendar year, and is equivalent to the words "year of our Lord."

Code 1852, §§ 37-49; Code 1915, § 1; Code 1935, § 1; 1 Del. C. 1953, § 302; 49 Del. Laws, c. 57, § 1; 58 Del. Laws, c. 439, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 1.;

Words and phrases shall be read with their context and shall be construed according to the common and approved usage of the English language. Technical words and phrases, and such others as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in the law, shall be construed and understood according to such peculiar and appropriate meaning.

Code 1852, § 35; Code 1915, § 1; Code 1935, § 1; 1 Del. C. 1953, § 303.;

(a) Words used in the singular number include the plural and the plural includes the singular.

(b) Words importing the masculine gender include the feminine as well, except as otherwise clearly indicated by the context.

(c) All forms prescribed by law may be varied according to subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

Code 1852, § 36; Code 1915, § 1; Code 1935, § 1; 1 Del. C. 1953, § 304.;

The classification and organization of the titles, parts, chapters, subchapters, and sections of this Code, and the headings thereto, are made for the purpose of convenient reference and orderly arrangement, and no implication, inference or presumption of a legislative construction shall be drawn therefrom.

1 Del. C. 1953, § 305.;

The various analyses set out in this Code, constituting enumerations or lists of the titles, parts, chapters, subchapters and sections of this Code, and the descriptive headings or catchlines immediately preceding or within the texts of the individual sections of this Code, except the section numbers included in the headings or catchlines immediately preceding the texts of such sections, do not constitute part of the law. All derivation and other notes set out in this Code are given for the purpose of convenient reference, and do not constitute part of the law.

1 Del. C. 1953, § 306.;

(a) Unless otherwise indicated in the context, references in this Code to titles, parts, chapters, subchapters or sections shall mean titles, parts, chapters, subchapters or sections of this Code.

(b) Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this Code or any other law, the reference applies to all amendments thereto.

1 Del. C. 1953, § 307.;

If any provision of this Code or amendments hereto, or the application thereof to any person, thing or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the provisions or application of this Code or such amendments that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this Code and such amendments are declared to be severable.

1 Del. C. 1953, § 308.;