CACI 319 Interpretation—Reasonable Time

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

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.

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 (11th ed. 2017) Contracts, §§ 785–787
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