|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page
Image of the Judicial Council of California Seal

2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 1.5. Construction of rules and standards

(a) Construction

The rules and standards of the California Rules of Court must be liberally construed to ensure the just and speedy determination of the proceedings that they govern.

(b) Terminology

As used in the rules and standards:

(1)  "Must" is mandatory;

(2)  "May" is permissive;

(3)  "May not" means not permitted to;

(4)  "Will" expresses a future contingency or predicts action by a court or person in the ordinary course of events, but does not signify a mandatory duty; and

(5)  "Should" expresses a preference or a nonbinding recommendation.

(c) Standards

Standards are guidelines or goals recommended by the Judicial Council. The nonbinding nature of standards is indicated by the use of "should" in the standards instead of the mandatory "must" used in the rules.

(d) Construction of additional terms

In the rules:

(1)  Each tense (past, present, or future) includes the others;

(2)  Each gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter) includes the others; and

(3)  Each number (singular or plural) includes the other.

Rule 1.5 adopted effective January 1, 2007.

[ Back to Top ]