Title 1, Chapter 3, Section 1
(a) In all interpretations of statutes, the courts shall look
diligently for the intention of the General Assembly, keeping in
view at all times the old law, the evil, and the remedy. Grammatical
errors shall not vitiate a law. A transposition of words and clauses
may be resorted to when a sentence or clause is without meaning as
(b) In all interpretations of statutes, the ordinary signification
shall be applied to all words, except words of art or words
connected with a particular trade or subject matter, which shall
have the signification attached to them by experts in such trade or
with reference to such subject matter.
(c) A substantial compliance with any statutory requirement,
especially on the part of public officers, shall be deemed and held
sufficient, and no proceeding shall be declared void for want of
such compliance, unless expressly so provided by law.
(d) In addition to the rules for construction prescribed in
subsections (a) through (c) of this Code section, the rules provided
in this subsection shall govern the construction of all statutes
with respect to the subjects enumerated.
(1) Bonds. When a bond is required by law, an undertaking in
writing, without seal, is sufficient; and in all bonds where the
names of the obligors do not appear in the bond but are subscribed
thereto, they are bound thereby.
(2) Census. Whenever there is used in the statutory law of this
state the term "federal census," "United States census,"
"decennial census," or similar words referring to the official
census conducted every ten years by the United States of America
or any agency thereof as required by Article I, Section II,
Paragraph III of the Constitution of the United States, the
effective date of such census for the purpose of making operative
and of force any statutory law of this state shall be determined
(A) The effective date of the census shall be July 1 of the
first year after the year in which the census is conducted, for
the purpose of making operative and of force the following laws:
(i) Code Section 15-16-20;
(ii) Code Sections 15-6-88 through 15-6-92;
(iii) Code Section 48-5-183;
(iv) Code Sections 15-9-63 through 15-9-67;
(v) Code Section 36-5-25;
(vi) Code Section 15-10-23; and
(vii) Code Section 45-16-11;
provided, however, that if a county's population decreases
according to a more recent census below its population according
to an earlier census, then, notwithstanding any other provision
of law, any officer who is compensated under a law specified in
this subparagraph and who is in office on the date specified in
this subparagraph shall continue during his entire tenure in
such office (including any future terms of office in such
office) to be compensated on the basis of the county's
population according to such earlier census;
(B) For purposes of any program of grants of state funds to
local governments, the effective date of the census shall be
July 1 of the first year after the year in which the census is
(C) For the purpose of reconstituting the membership of any
constitutional or statutory board, commission, or body whose
members are appointed from congressional districts, the
effective date of the census shall be January 1 of the third
year after the year in which the census is conducted;
(D) The effective date of the census shall be July 1 of the
second year after the year in which the census is conducted for
the purpose of making operative and of force all other statutory
laws which do not expressly provide otherwise.
(3) Computation of time. Except as otherwise provided by time period computations specifically applying to other laws, when a period of time measured in days, weeks, months, years, or other measurements of time except hours is prescribed for the exercise of any privilege or the discharge of any duty, the first day shall not be counted but the last day shall be counted; and, if the last day falls on Saturday or Sunday, the party having such privilege or duty shall have through the following Monday to exercise the privilege or to discharge the duty. When the last day prescribed for such action falls on a public and legal holiday as set forth in Code Section 1-4-1, the party having the privilege or duty shall have through the next business day to exercise the privilege or to discharge the duty. When the period of time prescribed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.
(4) Gender. The masculine gender includes the feminine and the
(5) Joint authority. A joint authority given to any number of
persons or officers may be executed by a majority of them, unless
it is otherwise declared.
(6) Number. The singular or plural number each includes the other,
unless the other is expressly excluded.
(7) Tense. The present or past tense includes the future.