Time

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Time

It is legally recognized that time is divided into years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. The time kept by a municipality is known as civic time. A local government may not use a system of time different from that adopted by its state legislature. During daylight saving time, the customary time system is advanced one hour to take advantage of the longer periods of daylight during the summer months.

Time Zones

In the past, the states followed various standards of time until the railroads of the nation cooperated in establishing a standard time zone system, which was then adopted by federal statutes. Under the standard time zone system, the continental United States is divided into four different zones. The time in each zone is based upon the mean solar time at a specified degree of longitude west from Greenwich, England. Eastern standard time is based on the mean solar time at 75° longitude west; Central standard time, on 90° longitude west; Mountain time, on 105° longitude west; and Pacific time on 120° longitude west.

Calculations

A year is the period during which the earth revolves around the sun. A calendar year is 365 days, except for every fourth year, which is 366 days. The year is divided into twelve months. A week ordinarily means seven consecutive days, either beginning with no particular day, or from a Sunday through the following Saturday. A day is twenty-four hours, extending from midnight to midnight. When distinguished from night, however, a day refers to the period from sunrise to sunset.

In calculating a specified number of days, it is customary to exclude the first and include the last. As a consequence, when a lease provides that it shall continue for a specified period from a particular day, that day is excluded in computing the term. This rule is applied in calculating the time for matters of practice and procedure. The rule governs, for example, the period in which a lawsuit may be commenced, so that the day the Cause of Action accrues is excluded for Statute of Limitations purposes.

The general rule is that when the last day of a period within which an act is to be performed falls on a Sunday or a holiday, that day is excluded from the computation. The act may rightfully be done on the following business day. This rule has been applied in figuring the deadline for conducting a meeting of corporate shareholders; for filing a claim against a dead person's estate; for filing a statement proposing a new ordinance for a Municipal Corporation; for recording a mortgage; and for redeeming property from a sale foreclosing a mortgage.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

TIME, contracts, evidence, practice. The measure of duration., It is divided into years, months. days, (q.v.) hours, minutes, and seconds. It is also divided into day and night. (q.v.)
     2. Time is frequently of the essence of contracts and crimes, and sometimes it is altogether immaterial.
     3. Lapse of time alone is often presumptive evidence of facts which are otherwise unknown; an uninterrupted enjoyment of certain rights for twenty or twenty-one years, is evidence that the party enjoying them is legally entitled to them; after such a length of time, the law presumes payment of a bond or other specialty. 10 S. & R. 63, 383; 3 S. & R. 493; 6 Munf. R. 532; 2 Cranch, R. 180; 7 Wheat. R. 535; 2 W. C. C R. 323; 4 John. R. 202; 7 John' R. 556; 5 Conn. 1; 3 Day 289; 1 McCord 145; 1 Bay, 482; 7 Wend. 94; 5 Vern. 236.
     4. In the computation of time, it is laid down generally, that where the computation is to be made from an act done, the day when such act was done is included. Dougl. 463. But it will be excluded whenever such exclusion, will prevent a forfeiture. 4 Greenl. 298. Sed vide 15 Ves. 248; 1 Ball & B. 196. In general, one day is taken inclusively and the other exclusively. 2 Browne; Rep. 18. Vide Chitt. Bl. 140 n. 2; 2 Evans, Poth. 50; 13 Vin. Abr. 52, 499; 15 Vin. Ab. 554; 20 Vin. Ab. 266; Com. Dig. Temps; 1 Rop. Legacy, 518; 2 Suppl. to Ves. jr. 229; Graham's Pract. 185; 1 Fonb. Equity, 430; Wright, R. 580; 7 John. R. 476; 1 Bailey, R. 89; Coxe, Rep. 363; 1 Marsh. Keny. Rep. 321; 3 Marsh. Keny. Rep. 448; 3 Bibb, R. 330; 6 Munf. R. 394; vide Computation.

TIME, pleading. The avertment of time is generally necessary in pleading; the rules are different, in different actions.
     2.-1. Impersonal actions, the pleadings must allege the time; that is, the day, month and year when each traversable fact occurred; and when there is occasion to mention a continuous act, the period of its duration ought to be shown. The necessity of laying a time extends to traversable facts only; time is generally considered immaterial, and any time may be assigned to a given fact. This option, however, is subject to certain restrictions. 1st. Time should be laid under a videlicit, or the party pleading it will be required to, prove it strictly. 2d. The time laid should not be intrinsically impossible, or inconsistent with the fact to which it relates. 3d. There are some instances in which time forms a material point in the merits of the case; and, in these instances, if a traverse be taken, the time laid is of the substance of the issue, and must be strictly proved. With respect to all facts of this description; they must be truly stated, at the peril of a failure for variance; Cowp. 671: and here a videlicit will give no help. Id. 6 T. R 463; 5 Taunt. 2; 4 Serg. & Rawle, 576; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 405. Where the time needs not to be truly stated, (as is generally the case,) it is subject to a rule of the same nature with one that applies to venues in transitory matters, namely, that the plea and subsequent pleadings should follow the day alleged in the writ or declaration; and if in these cases no time at all be laid, the omission is aided after verdict or judgment by confession or default, by operation of the statute of jeofails. But where, in the plea or subsequent pleadings, the time happens to be material, it must be alleged, and there the pleader may be allowed to depart from the day in the writ and declaration.
     3.-2. In real or mixed actions, there is no necessity for alleging any particular day in the declaration. 3 Bl. Com. App. No. 1, Sec. 6; Lawes' Pl. App. 212; 3 Chit. Pl. 620-635; Cro. Jac. 311; Yelv. 182 a, note; 2 Chitt. Pl. 396, n. r; Gould, Pl. c. 3, Sec. 99, 100; Steph. Pl. 314; Com. Dig. Pleader, C 19.
     4.-3. In criminal pleadings, it is requisite, generally, to show both the day and the year on which the offence was committed; but the indictment will be good, if the day and year can be collected from the whole statement, though they be not expressly averred. Com. Dig. Indictm. G 2; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 315. Although it be necessary that a day certain should be laid in the indictment, the prosecutor may give evidence, of an offence committed, on any other day, previous to the finding of the indictment. 5 Serg. & Rawle, 316; Arch. Cr. Pl. 95; 1 Phil Evid. 203; 9 East, Rep. 157. This rule, however, does not authorize the laying of a day subsequent to the trial. Addis. R. 36. See generally Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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