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have been done for or under the authority of the party § 24. sought to be charged; and such would have been the case here if Jones had pretended to have had the authority of the defendant to put his name to the note, and that he had signed the note for the defendant accordingly, and had thus induced the plaintiff to take it. In that case although there had been no previous authority, it would have been competent to the defendant to ratify the act. But here Jones had forged the name of the defendant to the note, and pretended that the signature was that of defendant; and there is no instance to be found in the books of such an act being held to have been ratified by a subsequent ratification or statement. Again, in the cases cited, the act done, though unauthorized at the time, was a civil act, and capable of being made good by a subsequent recognition or declaration; but no authority is to be found that an act which is itself a criminal offence is capable of ratification." This view has been adopted by the Court of Appeal in Ontario: Merchants' Bank v. Lucas, 15 Ont. A. R. 573 (1888); and affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the same case: 18 S. C. Can. 704 (1890). See also La Banque Jacques Cartier v. La Banque d' Epargne, 13 App. Cas. (1887) at p. 118.

In the United States, however, it has been held that a forgery may be ratified: Union Bank v. Middlebrook, 33 Conn. 95 (1865); Greenfield Bank v. Crafts, 4 Allen, 447 (1862); Howard v. Duncan, 3 Lansing 175 (1870); but there are decisions there to the contrary: McHugh v. Schuylkill Co., 5 Am. Rep. 445 (1871); Shisler v. Van Dyke, 92 Penn. St. 449 (1880); Henry v. Heeb, 114 Ind. 275 (1887).

Some remarks of Lord Blackburn in the Scotch case of McKenzie v. The British Linen Co., 6 App. Cas. 82 (1881), at page 99, would appear to sustain the position that a forgery

§ 24.

5. When the maker of a note, whose signature was forged, stated before suit that he had signed the note for the accommodation of the indorser and offered to pay if time was given, and the holder in consequence refrained from prosecuting the indorser for forgery; held that the maker was liable and was precluded from setting up the defence of forgery: Union Bank v. Farusworth, 19 N. S. (6 R. & G.) 82 (1886).

6. Plaintiff, a sea captain, deposited with the defendants. $1,000, and took a deposit receipt payable to his order, which he left with R., the managing owner of the vessel, who indorsed plaintiff's name and drew the money. Plaintiff was absent three years, and on his return R. confessed, promised to pay the money and gave a mortgage as security. Plaintiff was again. absent two years, and when he returned R. had absconded. The jury gave a verdict for plaintiff, but held on appeal that by withholding from the bank for two years the knowledge he had, plaintiff by his laches was estopped from recovery: Scott v. Bank of New Brunswick (N. B.), 11 C. L. T. 344 (1891).

7. Where a note is payable to the order of Henry Davis and is indorsed by another person of the same name it is a forgery and the indorsee cannot recover: Mead v. Young, 4 T. R. 28 (1790); and if he collect on the forged indorsement he is liable to refund: Johnson v. Windle, 3 Bing. N. C. 225 (1836); Robarts v. Tucker, 16 Q. B. 560 (1851); Ogden v. Benas, L. R. 9 C. P. 513 (1874); Carpenter v. Northborough National Bank, 123 Mass. 66 (1877); Ryan v. Bank of Montreal, 14 Ont. A. R. 533 (1887).

8. If a party whose name is forged on a bill acknowledges the signature, and a holder takes it on the strength of this, he is liable Leach v. Buchanan, 4 Esp. 226 (1803).

9. Where the original indorsement of the payee's name is a forgery, a real indorsement by the payee after the bill has arrived at maturity will not give the holder any title: Esdaile v. La Nauze, 1 Y. & C. 394 (1835).

10. The name of a firm, as drawers and indorsers of a bill, was forged. The acceptor who negotiated is estopped from

setting up the defence of forgery to the indorsement as well as § 24. to the drawing: Beeman v. Duck, 11 M. & W. 251 (1843).

11. A clerk of the payee of a letter of credit forges the payee's name and gets the money from the bank. The payee can recover the amount from the bank: Orr v. Union Bank, 1 Macqueen H. L. 513 (1854).

12. A partner in a commercial firm fraudulently accepts a bill in the firm name for his private debt. The firm is estopped from setting up the fraud against a holder for value without notice: Hogg v. Skeen, 18 C. B. N. S. 432 (1865).

13. A partner fraudulently indorses for a private debt a bill payable to the firm. The indorsee collects the money. The partner becomes bankrupt. The other members of the firm and his trustee can recover the money from the indorsee: Heilbut v. Nevill, L. R. 5 C. P. 478 (1870).

14. Defendant in order to prevent the prosecution of one who had forged his name to a note wrote, "I hold myself responsible for a note dated, etc., bearing my signature." The ratification is illegal and he is not liable: Brook v. Hook, L. R. 6 Ex. 89 (1871).

15. Before discounting a bill plaintiff went to the acceptor, and asked him if he had accepted bills for the drawer. He said he had but was not shewn the bills. The jury found for the defendant; the Court refused a new trial, the Judge not saying that he was dissatisfied with the verdict: Levinson v. Young, 1 T. L. R. 571 (1885).

tion signa

25. A signature by procuration operates as Procuranotice that the agent has but a limited authority to tures. sign, and the principal is bound by such signature only if the agent in so signing was acting within the actual limits of his authority. Imp. Act, s. 25.

Whenever an authority purports to be derived from a written instrument, or the agent signs the paper with the

$25. words "by procuration," in such a case the party dealing with him is bound to take notice that there is a written. instrument of procuration, and he ought to call for and examine the instrument itself, to see whether it justifies the act of the agent. Under such circumstances he is chargeable with enquiry as to the extent of the agent's authority; and if without examining into it when he knows of its existence--and especially if he has it in his possession--he ventures to deal with the agent, he acts at his peril and must bear the loss if the agent has transcended his authority: Daniel, § 280.


The same rule applies where a bill is signed on behalf officers. of a corporation by its officers or agents. In such a case the statute or by-laws take the place of the power of attorney. As to Dominion and Provincial Joint Stock Companies: see the notes on section 22, ante p. 131.



An agent or attorney who is not competent to make himself liable on a bill, may nevertheless be able to bind a principal. It may be laid down as a general rule that all persons of sane mind are capable of becoming agents to sign bills. This applies to infants, married women, etc.

As to the personal liability of an agent who transcends his authority or who signs without authority, see the notes on the next section.

"The mandate and powers of the partners to act for the partnership cease with its dissolution, except for such acts as are a necessary consequence of business already begun" C. C. Art. 1897. The giving of a note or the drawing or accepting a bill in the firm name even for partnership business would not be such an act, but would require special authority from the co-partners: Dolman v. Orchard, 2 C. & P. 104 (1825); Bank of Montreal v. Page, 98 Ill. 110 (1881).


1. A general power of attorney to an agent to sign bills, notes, etc., and to superintend, manage and direct all the affairs of the principal, gives him a power to indorse notes: Auldjo v. McDougall, 3 U. C. O. S. 199 (1833).

2. D. was a clerk or agent keeping a store at L.for defendant, who had sanctioned his purchasing certain goods. Held, that the circumstances gave D. no implied authority to sign defendant's name to a note: Heathfield v. Van Allan, 7 U. C. C. P. 346 (1857).

3. J. M. B. held a power of attorney from the executors of E., authorizing him, among other things, to indorse notes in their names. He indorsed some notes "J. M. B., agent of the executors of E.," and others "the executors late E., per pro. B.," and delivered them to M., an executor, who was financially embarrassed, and who discounted them with plaintiffs on his private account. Held, that the indorsements were sufficient in form, but not within the scope of B.'s power, and the other executor was not liable: Gore Bank v. Crooks, 26 U. C. Q. B. 251 (1867).

4. When the president was authorized by the directors to sign a note in the name of the company, irregularity in the appointment of the directors was not sufficient to destroy such authority, when the company received value and the plaintiff took the note in good faith: Currier v. Ottawa Gas Company, 18 U. C. C. P. 202 (1868).

5. A wife bought her husband's insolvent estate and the business was continued by him, she having given him a power of attorney. Held, that his agency was not limited by the writing, but might be ascertained from any admissil le evidence, and she was held for notes given by him not strictly within the written authority: Cooper v. Blacklock, 5 Ont. A. R. 535 (1880).

6. Where an agent fraudulently gave a note, which was, however, within the scope of his authority, the principal was

§ 25.

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