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acceptors of the bill: Quebec Bank v. Miller, 3 Man. L. R. 17 § 23. (1886).
17. When a bill is payable to the order of a firm and the partnership is subsequently dissolved, the indorsement of an expartner of the late firm transfers the property therein, and authorizes the payment thereof: King v. Smith, 4 C. & P. 108 (1829); Lewis v. Reilly, 1 Q. B. 349 (1841). Contra, 1 Daniel $ 370a, and cases there cited.
18. Where a member of a firm in fraud of his partner accepts a bill in a name which is not the regular firm name but resembles it, the latter is not liable: Faith v. Richmond, 11 A. & E. 339 (1840); Kirk v. Blurton, 9 M. & W. 284 (1841); Royal Canadian Bank v. Wilson, 24 U. C. C. P. 362 (1874).
19. A person carries on business in his own name, but has a dormant partner. He accepts a bill in the common name on his private account. If the dormant partner can show that the bill is not a firm bill, he is not liable: Yorkshire Banking Co. v. Beatson, 5 C. P. D. 109 (1880).
24. Subject to the provisions of this Act, where Forged or a signature on a bill is forged or placed thereon without the authority of the person whose signature it purports to be, the forged or unauthorized signature is wholly inoperative, and no right to retain the bill or to give a discharge therefor or to enforce payment thereof against any party thereto can be acquired through or under that signature, unless the party against whom it is sought to retain or enforce payment of the bill is precluded from setting up the forgery or want of authority:
Provided, that nothing in this section shall affect Proviso. the ratification of an unauthorized signature not amounting to a forgery: And provided also, that if
§ 24. a cheque, payable to order, is paid by the drawee upon a forged indorsement out of the funds of the drawer, or is so paid and charged to his account, the drawer shall have no right of action against the drawee for the recovery back of the amount so paid, or no defence to any claim made by the drawer for the amount so paid as the case may be, unless he gives notice in writing of such forgery to the drawee within one year after Payment he has acquired notice of such forgery; and in case
of failure by the drawer to give such notice within the said period, such cheque shall be held to have been paid in due course as respects every other party thereto or named therein, who has not previously instituted proceedings for the protection of his rights. Imp. Act, s. 24.
Right of drawee
2. If the drawee of a cheque bearing a forged or indorser indorsement pays the amount thereof to a subse
quent indorser, or to the bearer thereof, he shall have all the rights of a holder in due course for the recovery back of the amount so paid from any indorser who has indorsed the same subsequent to the forged indorsement, as well as his legal recourse against the bearer thereof as a transferrer by delivery, and any indorser who has made such payment shall have the like rights and recourse against any antecedent indorser subsequent to the forged indorsement; the whole, however, subject to the provisions and limitations contained in the last preceding sub-section. 54-55 V. c. 17, s. 4.
The first paragraph of this section and the first proviso $ 24. are taken from the Imperial Act, and form the whole of section 24 of that Act. The second proviso is in part a substitute for section 60 of the Imperial Act, which protects a banker who pays a cheque or bill payable on demand on which one or more indorsements are forged.
In the bill as introduced into the Canadian Parliament, section 60 was a copy of the same section in the Imperial Act; but after a long discussion it was struck out in the House of Commons as it would have made an important innovation in our law: Commons Debates, 1890, p. 1526. In the Senate a motion was made to restore it, but this was rejected: Senate Debates, 1890, p. 373. In lieu of section 60, the second proviso of this section was in substance inserted in the Bill in the Senate: Debates, p. 464; and the Commons finally accepted it.
The second sub-section is part of the amending Act of 1891. It did not form part of the Bill as introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Justice, but was inserted in the Senate on the suggestion of the Prime Minister, as it was believed that a bank or indorser would not, without this amendment, have the remedy thereby given against indorsers subsequent to the forged indorsement.
"Subject to the provisions of this Act."-These words in the Imperial Act applied especially to section 60 above referred to. The sections in the present Act to which they would appear to apply are 54 and 55 relating to estoppel as to a drawer or acceptor of a bill, and 79 and 81 relating to the payment of crossed cheques by a bank.
"Forged or unauthorized signature."-Forgery is making a false document with intent to defraud. Signing the name of a non-existing or fictitious person or firm
§ 24. with fraudulent intent is forgery: Reg. v. Rogers, 8 C. & P. 629 (1838).
It was a misdemeanor at common law, but has been made a felony by various statutes. The Canadian statute relating to the forgery of bills is R. S. C. c. 165, s. 28: "Every one who, with intent to defraud, forges or alters, or offers, utters, disposes of, or puts off knowing the same to be forged or altered, any bill of exchange, or any acceptance, indorsement or assignment of any bill of exchange, or any promissory note for the payment of money, or any indorsement on, or assignment of, any such promissory note, is guilty of felony, and liable to imprisonment for life." The forged instrument must be false in itself. The mere subscribing a cheque, given as a party's own, by a fictitious name, is not forgery Reg. v. Martin, 5 Q. B. D. 34 (1879).
The present section does not treat of bills forged by being fraudulently altered. For these, see section 63.
A signature that is wholly unauthorized whether purporting to be by procuration or otherwise, is as ineffectual to convey title to a bill as a forged signature, except as against a party who is precluded or estopped from setting up the forgery or want of authority.
A person is guilty of forgery, who, with intent to defraud, and without lawful authority or excuse, draws, makes, signs, accepts or indorses a bill of exchange or promissory note: R. S. C. c. 165, s. 30.
A signature placed on a bill, without being authorized, but not amounting to a forgery, may be ratified.
It has been laid down that a forgery cannot be ratified, and the language of the first proviso of this section would seem by implication to sustain that view. In Brook v. Hook, L. R. 6 Ex. 89 (1871), Chief Baron Kelly, speaking for the majority of the court, says, p. 100: "In all the cases cited for the plaintiff, the act ratified was an act pretended to
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