Month


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MONTH. A space of time variously computed, as it is applied to astronomical, civil or solar, or lunar months.
     2. The astronomical month contains one-twelfth part of the time employed by the sun in going through the zodiac. In law, when a month simply is mentioned, it is never understood to mean an astronomical month.
     3. The civil or solar month is that which agrees with the Gregorian calendar, and these months are known by the names of January, February, March, &c. They are composed of unequal portions of time. There are seven of thirty-one days each, four of thirty, and one which is sometimes composed of twenty-eight days, and in leap years, of twenty-nine.
     4. The lunar mouth is composed of twenty-eight days only. When a law is passed or contract made, and the month is expressly stated to be solar or civil, which is expressed by the term calendar month, or when it is expressed to be a lunar month, no difficulty can arise; but when time is given for the performance of an act, and the word month simply is used, so that the intention of the parties cannot be ascertained then the question arises, how shall the month be computed? By the law of England a month means ordinarily, in common contracts, as, in leases, a lunar month; a contract, therefore, made for a lease of land for twelve months, would mean a lease for forty-eight weeks only. 2 Bl. Com. 141; 6 Co. R. 62; 6 T. R. 224. A distinction has been made between "twelve months," and "a twelve-month;" the latter has been held to mean a year. 6 Co. R. 61.
     5. Among the Greeks and Romans the months were lunar, and probably the mode of computation adopted in the English law has been adopted from the codes of these countries. Clef des Lois Rom. mot Mois.
     6. But in mercantile contracts, a month simply signifies a calendar month; a promissory note to pay money in twelve months, would therefore mean a promise to pay in one year, or twelve calendar months. Chit. on Bills, 406; 1 John. Cas. 99; 3 B. & B. 187; 1 M. & S. 111; Story on Bills, Sec. 143; Story, P. N. Sec. 213; Bayl. on Bills, c. 7; 4 Kent, Comm. Sect. 56; 2 Mass. 170; 4 Mass. 460; 6 Watts. & Serg. 179.
     7. In general, when a statute Speaks of a month, without adding "calendar," or other words showing a clear intention, it shall be intended a lunar month. Com. Dig. Ann. B; 4 Wend. 512; 15 John. R. 358. See 2 Cowen, R. 518; Id. 605. In all legal proceedings, as in commitments, pleadings, &c. a month means four weeks. 3 Burr. R. 1455; 1 Bl. Rep. 450; Dougl. R. 446 463.
     8. In Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and perhaps some other states, 1 Hill. Ab. 118, n., a month mentioned generally in a statute, has been construed to mean a calendar month. 2 Dall. R. 302; 4 Dall. Rep. 143; 4 Mass. R. 461; 4 Bibb. R. 105. In England, in the ecclesiastical law, months are computed by the calendar. 3 Burr. R. 1455; 1 M. & S. 111.
     9. In New York, it is enacted that whenever the term "month," or "months," is or shall be used in any statute, act, deed, verbal or written contract, or any public or private instrument whatever, it shall be construed to mean a calendar, and not a lunar month; unless otherwise expressed. Rev. Stat. part 1, c. 19, tit. 1, Sec. 4. Vide, generally, 2 Sim. & Stu. 476; 2 A. K. Marsh. Rep. 245; 3 John. Ch. Rep. 74; 2 Campb. 294; 1 Esp. R. 146; 6 T. R. 224; 1 M. & S. 111; 3 East, R. 407; 4 Moore, 465; 1 Bl. Rep. 150; 1 Bing. 307; S. C. 8 Eng. C. L. R. 328;. 1 M. & S. 111; 1 Str. 652; 6 M. & S. 227; 3 Brod. & B. 187; S. C. 7 Eng. C. L. R. 404.

References in classic literature ?
"Half the 15th of this month, half the 15th of next."
They come back, accompanied by Count Fosco and his wife, who propose to settle somewhere in the neighbourhood of London, and who have engaged to stay at Blackwater Park for the summer months before deciding on a place of residence.
Now, wisdom is all very well till the time comes to apply it; and as that month of June approached in which they had designed to give their love a holiday, they had found their courage growing less and less.
He reached Kazeh, on his return, on the 25th of August, and, in company with Burton, again took up the route to Zanzibar, where they arrived in the month of March in the following year.
The eighth and the ninth, two days at least of the waxing month (41), are specially good for the works of man.
After twice being delayed on the road, we arrived in London at three o'clock on the afternoon of the last day of the month. Had I reached my destination in time?
It may not be convenient for me to be fetched exactly at the two months' end."
For three months he had been thinking of nothing but the future; and he went without regret.
Now divide eighteen by twelve, that'd be a dollar an' a half a month interest." He stopped, satisfied that he had proved his contention.
Then there was room rent, $2.50; another month in advance, $2.50; two months' type-writer, $8.00; a month in advance, $4.00; total, $31.85.
But the woman had fled through a door, and on the paper was written:--"This is to certify that I, The Worm, have paid in full my debts to the Senior Subaltern, and, further, that the Senior Subaltern is my debtor, by agreement on the 23d of February, as by the Mess attested, to the extent of one month's Captain's pay, in the lawful currency of the India Empire."
These arrangements were decided upon early in the month of August.