Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

Sunday is not a day for judicial or legal proceedings

Origin

This Latin maxim has, at its origin, the 4th of the Ten Commandments, to keep Sunday ‘holy’; later, Sunday was said to be the day of the week upon which Jesus resurrected.

Explanation

It means Sunday is not a day of law. It is considered as a day of rest in most parts of the world so no legal proceeding is carried on. In India as per the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 the term “public holiday” includes Sundays and any other day declared by the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be a public holiday.

Illustration

When the date of maturity of a bill of exchange falls on a public holiday i.e. Sunday, the preceding business day will be the date of maturity.

Case Law

In the case of Smith vs. State the court in the State of Tennessee stated that the rule at common law, expressed by the phrase “dies dominicus non est juridicus”, is that judicial proceedings cannot be held or judicial acts performed on Sunday. In Jurisdictions where the common law prevails, right or authority to perform any judicial act on Sunday must be derived from statute conferring that right or authority.

In the case of Blizzard vs. Blizzard in the Appeal Court of Georgia, it was held that Sunday is dies non juridicus service cannot be made and legal notice given on that day or business or work of ordinary callings done.

In the case of Cooper vs. Nolan in Court of Tennessee state that in common law which is adhered by the court generally, Sunday is dies non juridicus and any judicial act performed on Sunday is void.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Agrima during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Agrima is a third-year law student at Hidayatullah National Law University, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh.