ACCOUNT STATED (An) is an admission by one in an account with another, that a balance is due from him to the other. Stich an admission is equivalent to a promise to pay upon demand, and creates a liability which may be the subject-matter of an action. In every case in which the action is upon an account stated, the same must be claimed with full particularity. The plaintiff must prove an absolute acknowledgment by the defendant of the claim ; a qualified or conditional acknowledgment being insufficient. The following are some illustrations. A verbal admission of a debt due for goods sold may prove an account stated, even though the agreement for the sale was in writing. An I.O.U. is evidence of an account stated with the person who produces it : and if another person was meant, the defendant 'mist prove this. But there must be an admission of a debt due, in order to support an account stated : therefore when the defendant verbally agreed to purchase a lease from the plaintiff; and gave as deposit an I.O.U., and after wards refused to complete the purchase, it was hejd that the I.O.U., together with the circumstances under which it was given, was no evidence of an account stated.
As a general rule, an account is not stated unless there is some specific sum agreed upon. Thus, a letter asking the plaintiff " to hold the defendant's cheque till Monday, when I will send the amount," the amount of the cheque being unknown, did not support a claim brought upon an account stated. Where parties have had many and intricate dealings and accounts between them, it is advisable for the creditor to obtain such an admission as will admit of an action upon an account stated. The great advantage is that the several items constituting the account need not be proved, proof of the admission of a single item as representing a balance would be sufficient. An account may be stated by the debtor, with the creditor's wife, but not by the debtor's wife with the creditor, unless she is also proved to have been the debtor's agent in the matter. Admission in casual conversation with a stranger, no't the creditor's agent, is insufficient.
At one time an account stated was considered conclusive, but now errors in it may be col rested. An improperly stamped promissory note cannot be given in evidence of an account stated. Further, the account must be stated before the commencement of the action. Where an incoming tenant agrees to take fixtures at a valuation to be made by brokers, and after it has been made the tenant takes possession, the value as ascertained by the brokers may be sued on as an account stated. By the Infants Relief Act, 1874, all accounts stated with infants are absolutely void, and they are incapable of ratification. Nor can a lunatic state an account—by himself, or through an FALSIFICATION OF.—This is a smisdemeanour under the Falsification of Accounts Act, 1875. It may be committed by any clerk, officer, or servant, or any person employed or acting in the capacity of a clerk, officer, or servant. The offence lies in any such person (a) wilfully, and with intent to defraud, destroying, 'altering, mutilating, or falsifying any book, paper, writing, valuable security or account, which belongs to, or is in the possession of, his employer, or has been received by him for or on behalf of his employer ; or (b) wilfully, and with intent to defraud, making, or concurring in the making of, any false entry in or omission or alteration, or concurring in omitting or altering, any material particular from or in any such book or in any document or account. Falsification of accounts is not in all cases forgery, but it may take such a form as to amount thereto. The jury would probably imply the intent to defraud if they were satisfied of the wilful destruction, alteration, mutilation, or falsification. To prove the last named, it must be shown that accused knew the falsity of his act. A person may be guilty of making a false entry under this Act, although it was not made pith his own hands, but by a third party acting innocently and without knowledge of the falsity, whom the accused had fraudulently and wilfully procured to do the act.