1-14 Words have usual meaning. The words of a law are generally to be understood in their most known and usual signification, without attending so much to the literal and strictly grammatical construction of the words as to their general or popular use or meaning. [CC 1859, 9; RL 1925, 9; RL 1935, 10; RL 1945, 9; RL 1955, 1-17; HRS 1-14]

 

Attorney General Opinions

 

Cited in construing "child". Att. Gen. Op. 93-1.

 

Case Notes

 

Where statute does not refer to renewal of a license and treats all licenses as similar whether first or subsequent, circumstance that in popular mind there is a difference not sufficient to alter plain meaning. 12 H. 303, 306.

Where words are defined in statute express declaration of meaning governs. 15 H. 29, 34; 33 H. 371, 374; 36 H. 170, 178; 37 H. 314, 319, aff'd 174 F.2d 21; 37 H. 374, reh'g denied. 37 H. 380; 38 H. 16, 28; 49 H. 426, 421 P.2d 294; 4 U.S.D.C. Haw. 664, 667.

Presumption is that words used in usual sense. 25 H. 669, 686; 31 H. 625, 629, aff'd 52 F.2d 411; 41 H. 156, 159; 43 H. 154, 160; 44 H. 519, 530, 356 P.2d 1028; 46 H. 375, 399, 381 P.2d 687. Other cases where usual sense given or statute cited: 3 H. 793; 5 H. 321; 8 H. 259; 25 H. 747, 754; 39 H. 100, 109. But most known and usual sense may be repelled by the context, 25 H. 669, 686; 34 H. 269, 272, reh'g denied. 34 H. 324, aff'd 105 F.2d 286; or where would lead to absurdity or inconsistency, 43 H. 154, 157; 44 H. 220, 227, 352 P.2d 846. Compare where strict construction called for. 22 H. 618, 625; 38 H. 421, 426; 44 H. 59, 67, 352 P.2d 335; 45 H. 167, 177, 363 P.2d 990.

Modern meaning given, as distinguished from ancient restricted meaning. 34 H. 245. Commonly accepted meaning, as distinguished from fine distinctions of law of future interests. 46 H. 375, 381 P.2d 687.

More natural interpretation may be rejected where would lead to unconstitutionality. 36 H. 170, 182; 40 H. 257, 259.

While common meaning is general rule, where statute involves a trade presumption is that words have trade meaning. 45 H. 167, 177, 363 P.2d 990.

There must be substantial justification for disregarding generally accepted meaning, but court must look to evils which provision expected to cure. 50 H. 212, 437 P.2d 99.

Words of any statute, usually read in their ordinary and popular sense. 52 H. 279, 474 P.2d 538.

Usual meaning should be rejected if it results in absurdity. 55 H. 55, 515 P.2d 621.

Statute may be construed contrary to literal meaning where literal meaning results in absurdity and the words are susceptible of another construction carrying out the manifest intent. 57 H. 84, 549 P.2d 737.

Whatever is necessarily or plainly implied is as much a part of the statute as that which is expressed. 58 H. 53, 564 P.2d 436.

Courts are bound to give effect to all parts of a statute if such a construction can legitimately be found. 60 H. 487, 591 P.2d 607.

Cited in construing "accident". 1 H. App. 625, 623 P.2d 1271.

Cited in construing "decision". 131 H. 513, 319 P.3d 432 (2014).

Mentioned: 9 H. App. 325, 839 P.2d 530.

 

 

Previous Vol01_Ch0001-0042F Next