Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 76A.djvu/496

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–400–

-400§ 3053. Effect of declarations and acts of one person on rights of another (a) The rights of a party may not be prejudiced by the declaration, act, or omission of another, except by virtue of a particular relation between them; therefore, proceedings against one may not affect another. (b) Where one derives title to real property from another, the declaration, act, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, in relation to the property, is evidence against the former. (c) Where the declaration, act, or omission forms part of a transaction, which is itself the fact in dispute, or evidence of that fact, the declaration, act, or omission is evidence, as part of the transaction. (d) Where the question in dispute between the parties is the obligation or duty of a third person, whatever would be the evidence for or against the third person is prima facie evidence between the parties. (e) The declaration, act, or omission of a member of a family who is a decedent, or out of the jurisdiction, is admissible as evidence of common reputation, in cases where, on questions of pedigree, such reputation is admissible. (f) The declaration, act, or omission of a decedent, having sufficient knowledge of the subject, against his pecuniary interest, is admissible as evidence to that extent against his successor in interest. § 3054. Part of transaction proved; admissibility of whole When part of an act, declaration, conversation, or writing is given in evidence by one party, the whole on the same subject may be inquired into by the other. When a letter is read, the answer may be given. When a detached act, declaration, conversation, or writing is given in evidence, any other act, declaration, conversation, or writing, which is necessary to make it understood, may also be given in evidence. § 3055. Parol evidence rule; agreements reduced to writing (a) When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing by the parties, it is to be considered as containing all those terms, and therefore there can be between the parties and their representatives, or successors in interest, no evidence of the terms of the agreement other than the contents of the writing, except in the following cases: (1) where a mistake or imperfection of the writing is put in issue by the pleadings; or (2) where the validity of the agreement is the fact in dispute. (b) This section does not exclude other evidence of the circumstances under which the agreement was made or to which it relates, as defined by section 3059 of this title, or to explain an extrinsic ambiguity, or to establish illegality or fraud. The term agreement includes deeds and wills, as well as contracts between parties. § 3056. Construction of writings; place of execution The language of a writing is to be interpreted according to the meaning it bears in the place of its execution, unless the parties have reference to a different place. § 3057. Construction of statutes or instruments; duty of judge I n the construction of a statute or instrument, the office of the judge is simply to ascertain and declare what is in terms or in substance contained therein, not to insert what has been omitted, or to omit what has been inserted. Where there are several provisions or particulars, a construction which will give effect to all shall be adopted, if possible.