What The California Civil Code Says About Contracts
Below is the content of the California Civil Code Sections 1619-1632.9 min read
Updated October 28, 2020:
CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE -- CONTRACTS -- SECTIONS 1619-1632
1619. A contract is either express or implied.
1620. An express contract is one, the terms of which are stated in words.
1621. An implied contract is one, the existence and terms of which are manifested by conduct.
1622. All contracts may be oral, except such as are specially required by statute to be in writing.
1623. Where a contract, which is required by law to be in writing, is prevented from being put into writing by the fraud of a party thereto, any other party who is by such fraud led to believe that it is in writing, and acts upon such belief to his prejudice, may enforce it against the fraudulent party.
1624. The following contracts are invalid, unless they, or some note or memorandum thereof, are in writing and subscribed by the party to be charged or by the party's agent:
(a) An agreement that by its terms is not to be performed within a year from the making thereof.
(b) A special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another, except in the cases provided for in Section 2794.
(c) An agreement for the leasing for a longer period than one year, or for the sale of real property, or of an interest therein; such an agreement, if made by an agent of the party sought to be charged, is invalid, unless the authority of the agent is in writing, subscribed by the party sought to be charged.
(d) An agreement authorizing or employing an agent, broker, or any other person to purchase or sell real estate, or to lease real estate for a longer period than one year, or to procure, introduce, or find a purchaser or seller of real estate or a lessee or lessor of real estate where the lease is for a longer period than one year, for compensation or a commission.
(e) An agreement which by its terms is not to be performed during the lifetime of the promisor.
(f) An agreement by a purchaser of real property to pay an indebtedness secured by a mortgage or deed of trust upon the property purchased, unless assumption of the indebtedness by the purchaser is specifically provided for in the conveyance of the property.
(g) A contract, promise, undertaking, or commitment to loan money or to grant or extend credit, in an amount greater than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), not primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, made by a person engaged in the business of lending or arranging for the lending of money or extending credit. For purposes of this section, a contract, promise, undertaking or commitment to loan money secured soley by residential property consisting of one to four dwelling units shall be deemed to be for personal, family, or household purposes. This section does not apply to leases subject to Division 10 (commencing with Section 10101) of the Commercial Code.
1625. The execution of a contract in writing, whether the law requires it to be written or not, supersedes all the negotiations or stipulations concerning its matter which preceded or accompanied the execution of the instrument.
1626. A contract in writing takes effect upon its delivery to the party in whose favor it is made, or to his agent.
1627. The provisions of the Chapter on Transfers in General, concerning the delivery of grants, absolute and conditional, apply to all written contracts.
1628. A corporate or official seal may be affixed to an instrument by a mere impression upon the paper or other material on which such instrument is written.
1629. All distinctions between sealed and unsealed instruments are abolished.
1630. Except as provided in Section 1630.5, a printed contract of bailment providing for the parking or storage of a motor vehicle shall not be binding, either in whole or in part, on the vehicle owner or on the person who leaves the vehicle with another, unless the contract conforms to the following:
(a) "This contract limits our liability--read it" is printed at the top in capital letters of 10-point type or larger.
(b) All the provisions of the contract are printed legibly in eight-point type or larger.
(c) Acceptance of benefits under a contract included within the provisions of this section shall not be construed a waiver of this section, and it shall be unlawful to issue such a contract on condition that provisions of this section are waived.
A copy of the contract printed in large type, in an area at least 17 by 22 inches, shall be posted in a conspicuous place at each entrance of the parking lot. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the enactment of city ordinances on this subject that are not less restrictive, and such enactments are expressly authorized.
1630.5. The provisions of any contract of bailment for the parking or storage of a motor vehicle shall not exempt the bailee from liability, either in whole or in part, for the theft of any motor vehicle, when such motor vehicle is parked or stored with such bailee, and the keys are required by such bailee to be left in the parked or stored vehicle.
1631. Every person in this State who sells machinery used or to be used for mining purposes shall, at the time of sale, give to the buyer a bill of sale for the machinery. The seller shall keep a written record of the sale, giving the date thereof, describing the machinery, and showing the name and address of the buyer, and the buyer, if in this State, shall keep a record of his purchase, giving the name and address of the seller, describing the machinery, and showing the date of the purchase.
1632. (a) Any person engaged in a trade or business who negotiates primarily in the Spanish language orally or in writing in the course of entering into:
(1) A contract or agreement subject to the provisions of Title 2 (commencing with Section 1801) of, and Chapter 2b (commencing with Section 2981) and Chapter 2d (commencing with Section 2985.7) of Title 14 of, Part 4 of Division 3;
(2) A loan or extension of credit secured other than by real property, or unsecured, for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes;
(3) A lease, sublease, rental contract or agreement, or other term of tenancy contract or agreement, for a period of longer than one month, covering a dwelling, an apartment, or mobilehome, or other dwelling unit normally occupied as a residence; or
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a loan or extension of credit for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes where such loan or extension of credit is subject to the provisions of Article 7 (commencing with Section 10240) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code, or Division 7 (commencing with Section 18000), or Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) or Division 10 (commencing with Section 24000) of the Financial Code; or
(5) A contract or agreement, containing a statement of fees or charges, entered into for the purpose of obtaining legal services, when the person who is engaged in business is currently licensed to practice law pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 6000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code; shall, deliver to the party to such contract or agreement and prior to the execution thereof, an unexecuted Spanish-language translation of the contract or agreement, except that for a loan subject to this part and to the provisions of Article 7 (commencing with Section 10240) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code, the delivery of a Spanish-language translation of the statement to borrower required by Section 10240 of the Business and Professions Code, shall be deemed compliance with this subdivision. At the time and place where a contract or agreement described in this paragraph is entered into, a Spanish-language notice shall be provided to the lessee or tenant.
(b) Provision by a supervised financial organization of a Spanish- language translation of the disclosures required by Regulation M or Regulation Z, and, if applicable, Division 7 (commencing with Section 18000) or Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) or Division 10 (commencing with Section 24000) of the Financial Code, prior to the execution of the contract shall also be deemed compliance with the requirements of subdivision (a) with regard to the original contract or agreement.
(1) "Regulation M" and "Regulation Z" mean any rule, regulation, or interpretation promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and any interpretation or approval issued by an official or employee duly authorized by the board to issue interpretations or approvals dealing with, respectively, consumer leasing or consumer lending, pursuant to the Federal Truth in Lending Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).
(2) As used in this section, "supervised financial organization" means a bank, savings association (as defined in Section 5102 of the Financial Code), credit union, or holding company, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof, or any person subject to Article 7 (commencing with Section 10240) of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code, or Division 7 (commencing with Section 18000) or Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) or Division 10 (commencing with Section 24000) of the Financial Code.
(c) At the time and place where a contract or agreement described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) is entered into, a Spanish- language notice shall be conspicuously displayed to the effect that the person described in subdivision (a) is required to provide an unexecuted Spanish-language contract or agreement, or a Spanish-language translation of the disclosures required by law, as the case may be. If a person described in subdivision (a) does business at more than one location or branch, the requirements of this section shall apply only with respect to the location or branch at which the Spanish language is used.
(d) The term "contract" or "agreement," as used in this section, means the document creating the rights and obligations of the parties and includes any subsequent document making substantial changes in the rights and obligations of the parties. The term "contract" or "agreement" does not include any subsequent documents authorized or contemplated by the original document such as periodic statements, sales slips or invoices representing purchases made pursuant to a credit card agreement, a retail installment contract or account or other revolving sales or loan account, memoranda of purchases in an add-on sale, or refinancing of a purchase as provided by, or pursuant to, the original document. The term "contract" or "agreement" does not include a home improvement contract as defined in Sections 7151.2 and 7159 of the Business and Professions Code, nor does it include plans, specifications, description of work to be done and materials to be used, or collateral security taken or to be taken for the retail buyer's obligation contained in a contract for the installation of goods by a contractor licensed pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, if such home improvement contract or installation contract is otherwise a part of a contract described in subdivision (a). Matters ordinarily incorporated by reference in contracts or agreements as described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), including but not limited to rules and regulations governing a tenancy and inventories of furnishings to be provided by the person described in subsection (a) are not included in the term "contract" or "agreement."
(e) This section shall not apply to any person engaged in a trade or business who negotiates primarily in the Spanish language as described by subdivision (a) if the party with whom he or she is negotiating is a buyer of goods or services, or receives a loan or extension of credit, or enters an agreement obligating himself or herself as a tenant, lessee, or sublessee, or similarly obligates himself or herself by contract or lease, and such party negotiates the terms of the contract, lease, or other obligation through his or her own interpreter. As used in this subdivision, "his or her own interpreter" means a person, not a minor, able to speak fluently and read with full understanding the English and Spanish languages, and who is not employed by, or whose service is made available through, the person engaged in the trade or business.
(f) The terms of the contract or agreement which is executed in English shall determine the rights and obligations of the parties. However, the Spanish-language translation of the contract or the disclosures required by subdivision (b) shall be admissible in evidence only to show that no contract was entered into because of a substantial difference in the material terms and conditions of the contract and the translation.
(g) Upon a failure to comply with the provisions of this section, the person aggrieved may rescind the contract or agreement in the manner provided by this chapter. When the contract for a consumer credit sale or consumer lease which has been sold and assigned to a financial institution is rescinded pursuant to this subdivision, the consumer shall make restitution to and have restitution made by the person with whom he made the contract, and shall give notice of rescission to the assignee. Notwithstanding that the contract was assigned without recourse, the assignment shall be deemed rescinded and the assignor shall promptly repurchase the contract from the assignee.
(h) A person engaged in a trade or business may submit to the Department of Consumer Affairs and the department shall then verify the accuracy of Spanish-language translations of contracts, agreements, disclosures required by subdivision (b), and notices.
(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the liability of the Department of Consumer Affairs and its employees in verification of the translation of contracts from English to Spanish is limited to misrepresentations in such translations and the liability of the Department of Consumer Affairs and employees is controlled by Sections 815.2 and 822.2 of the Government Code.
(j) No advertisement, announcement, publication or other representation either oral or written that a contract or agreement translation from English to Spanish has been verified by the Department of Consumer Affairs may be made by any person, business or employee utilizing such translated contracts or agreements.
(k) Immediately upon the enactment of this provision the Department of Consumer Affairs shall prepare a schedule of fees for translation verification as set forth herein.