The Lord's day (Sunday) is not juridical, or a day for legal proceedings.
None of the courts of law or equity can sit upon this day ; nor is the execution of any civil process, nor the performance of any works, save of necessity or charity, lawful. An exception to the rule, however, is, that bail may take their principal. So, also, the defendant may be retaken after an escape if it be negligent and without the consent or knowledge of the sheriff or officer. Arrests, also, in criminal cases, as for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, and all proceedings and acts necessary for the immediate protection and safety of the State, may be considered exceptions — indeed they are most of them so made by statute.
The days in reference to legal proceedings are distinguished by the terms “dies juridici” and “dies non juridici ;” and “dies juridici” are those having especial reference to those days only whereupon judicial proceedings are had in the superior courts ; therefore “dies juridici” are in term only, except at the assizes ; and “ dies non juridici ” are those days which are not in term, including also the Lord's-day, and such other saint days as are within the term, which formerly were many, but of which now only few are observed as “dies non juridici,” those which are observed as such being — in Easter Term, the days intervening the Thursday before and the Wednesday next after Easter-day ; if they fall within the term as fixed by statute ; and in the other terms, any Sundays falling within the several terms.
A legal process, as a writ of summons or of execution, bearing date or returnable on a Sunday is irregular and void ; nor can such writ of summons or of execution be served or put into force upon a Sunday ; nor will an attachment be granted for non-payment of money awarded to be paid on a Sunday ; nor can an attachment be executed, nor an affidavit sworn, nor rule nisi served on a Sunday.
All contracts made on a Sunday or to be performed on a Sunday are void as to parties and privies, but not as to an innocent party. In ordinary business matters, where anything is agreed to be done within a certain time, Sunday is to be counted ; therefore, if a bill of exchange become due on a Sunday, it must be advised on the Saturday previously; or if a notice has to be served expiring on Sunday, it must be served on the Saturday preceding.
In computation of time in legal proceedings Sunday is ordinarily reckoned, unless it is the last day, when the following day is allowed to the party required to take the step. It is included in the time allowed for appeal, and in the eight days allowed for appearance on a writ specially indorsed in case of default. Many statutes have been passed to prevent Sunday labour, the chief of which is the 29 Oar. 2, c. 7, which enacts that no tradesman, artificer, workman, labourer, or other person whomsoever, shall do or exercise any worldly labour, business, or work, or their ordinary callings on Sunday.
The passenger traffic on railways and in cabs, the keeping open of public-houses, and such like, are considered works of necessity, and they are permitted either by the common law or by statute, with certain restrictions. Some notices, also, are required b}' statute to be fixed on church doors on the Sunday.
It appears not to be a good defence to an attorney's bill that the business was done on a Sunday.
Go. Litt. 133; 2 Saund. 201; Anon. 6 Mod. 231; Noy's Max. 2; 2 Ld. Raym. 1028 ; 29 Car. 2, u. 7 ; Fennell v. Ridler, 8 D. & R. 204 ; Bloxome v. Williams, 3 B. & C. 232 ; Taylor v. Phillips, 3 East, 1 55 ; Rex v. Myers,
1 T. R. 205 ; Phillips v. Innes, 4 C. & F. 234 ; Ra-wlina v. Overseers of W. D.,
2 C. B. 72 ; Featherstonhaulgh r. Atkinson, Barnes, 373 ; Peate ;•. Dicken,
3 Dowl. 1 71 ; M'lleham v. Smith, 8 T. R. 86 ; Wright v. Lewis, 9 Doivl. 183.