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General Guidance in Reading the California Health and Safety Code

The code covers health care, health insurance, environmental

By Chris Micheli, June 23, 2022 6:16 am

California’s statutes are contained in 29 separate codes. The fifteenth alphabetically is the Health and Safety Code. All 29 Codes have general provisions applicable to reading and interpreting that Code’s sections. The following are selected general provisions of the Health and Safety Code:

Section 1 – This Act is known as the Health and Safety Code.

Section 2 – The provisions of this Code in so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutory provisions relating to the same subject matter are to be construed as restatements and continuations, and not as new enactments.

Section 5 – Unless the provision or the context otherwise requires, these definitions, rules of construction, and general provisions govern the construction of this Code.

Section 6 – Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings do not in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this Code.

Section 7 – Whenever a power is granted to, or a duty is imposed upon, a public officer, the power may be exercised or the duty may be performed by a deputy of the officer or by a person authorized, pursuant to law, by the officer, unless this Code expressly provides otherwise.

Section 8 – Writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, statement, or record is required or authorized by this Code, it must be made in writing in the English language unless it is expressly provided otherwise.

Section 9 – Whenever reference is made to any portion of this Code or of any other law of this State, the reference applies to all amendments and additions now or later made.

Section 11 – The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future tense includes the present.

Section 12 – The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.

Section 12.2 – The term “spouse” includes “registered domestic partner.”

Section 13 – The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

Section 15 – Unless expressly otherwise provided, any notice required to be given to any person by any provision of this Code may be given by mailing notice, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified, at his residence or principal place of business in this State. The affidavit of the person who mails the notice, stating the facts of such mailing, is prima facie evidence that the notice was mailed.

Section 16 – The term “shall” is mandatory and “may” is permissive.

Section 17 – The term “oath” includes affirmation.

Section 24 – If any provision of this Code, or the application of it to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the Code, or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.

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