California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

319. Interpretation—Reasonable Time

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319.Interpretation—Reasonable Time
If a contract does not state a specific time in which the parties are to
meet the requirements of the contract, then the parties must meet them
within a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time depends on the
facts of each case, including the subject matter of the contract, the
reasons each party entered into the contract, and the intentions of the
parties at the time they entered the contract.
New September 2003; Revised December 2014
Directions for Use
This instruction may be given with CACI No. 314, Interpretation—Disputed Words.
See the Directions for Use and Sources and Authority to that instruction for
discussion of when contract interpretation may be a proper jury role.
Sources and Authority
• Time of Performance of Contract. Civil Code section 1657.
• “[A]s the contract was silent as to the time of delivery a reasonable time for
performance must be implied.” (Palmquist v. Palmquist (1963) 212 Cal.App.2d
322, 331 [27 Cal.Rptr. 744].)
• “The question of what constituted a reasonable time was of course one of fact.”
(Lyon v. Goss (1942) 19 Cal.2d 659, 673 [123 P.2d 11].)
• “[W]hat constitutes a reasonable time is a question of fact, depending upon the
situation of the parties, the nature of the transaction, and the facts of the
particular case.” (Sawday v. Vista Irrigation Dist. (1966) 64 Cal.2d 833, 836 [52
Cal.Rptr. 1, 415 P.2d 816].)
Secondary Sources
1 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Contracts, §§ 762–764
13 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 140, Contracts, § 140.41
(Matthew Bender)
27 California Legal Forms, Ch. 75, Formation of Contracts and Standard
Contractual Provisions, § 75.15 (Matthew Bender)
1 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation, Ch. 13, Attacking
or Defending Existence of Contract—Absence of Essential Element, 13.49
2 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation, Ch. 21, Asserting
a Particular Construction of Contract, 21.30
2 Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Contract Litigation, Ch. 22, Suing or
Defending Action for Breach of Contract, 22.46
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