Rules: Statutory interpretation

From Pena v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, NPO, COA 3/11/2011

“The seminal duty of a court in construing a statute is to effectuate the intent of the legislature.” Commonwealth v. Plowman, 86 S.W.3d 47, 49 (Ky. 2002) (citing Commonwealth v. Harrelson, 14 S.W.3d 541 (Ky. 2000)). If a statute is clear and unambiguously expresses the legislature’s intent, it must be applied as written. Hall v. Hospitality Resources, Inc., 276 S.W.3d 775, 784 (Ky. 2008); see also Griffin v. City of Bowling Green, 458 S.W.2d 456, 457 (Ky. 1970). Furthermore, when a word used in a statute is ascribed a particular meaning, courts must accept such even if the statutory definition differs from the ordinary meaning of the word. Schroader v. Atkins, 657 S.W.2d 945, 947 (Ky. 1983). Finally, “[w]hen there appears to be a conflict between two statutes, . . . a general rule of statutory construction mandates that the specific provision take precedence over the general.” Commonwealth v. Crum, 250 S.W.3d 347, 351 (Ky. App. 2008) (quoting Commonwealth v. Phon, 17 S.W.3d 106, 107-8 (Ky. 2000)).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are inappropriate, offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.