Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1956 No. 258 - May 1 1956
Attorney General Don Eastvold


Whenever a declaration of dividends is otherwise proper, credit unions must make such declaration annually or semiannually.

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                                                                    May 1, 1956 

Honorable Arnold R. Zempel
Prosecuting Attorney
Snohomish County Court House
Everett, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 258

 Dear Sir:

             In your letter of April 20, 1956, previously acknowledged, you have requested our opinion on the following question:

             May a credit union declare other than annual or semiannual dividends?

            Our answer is in the negative.


             RCW 31.12.190 (1953 Supp.) provides:

             ". . .  At each annual or semiannual period the board may declare a dividend from net earnings, which shall be paid on all shares outstanding at the time of declaration. . . ."

             The statute thus provides that dividends may be paid at annual or semiannual periods.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Our supreme court in the case ofState ex rel. Port of Seattle v. Department of Public Service, 1 Wn. (2d) 102, at p. 112, quotes with approval from 25 R.C.L. 981, as follows:

             "'It is a general principle of interpretation that the mention of one thing implies the exclusion of another thing; . . .'"

             The statute has specifically stated the periods at which dividends may be declared, and under the rule of this case it would appear that by so doing, has excluded payments at any other times.

             In addition to this you will note that the legislature might well have left these words out, had it not intended to require such payments to be made at a specific time.  In effect, to hold otherwise than we here do would be to give the words "annual" or "semiannual" no effect, and it is a primary rule of construction of statutes that all words and phrases must be given an effect wherever possible.

             We hope this information will be of assistance to you.

 Very truly yours,
Attorney General 

Assistant Attorney General