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Protest

bill, protested, noted, dishonoured, notary and day

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PROTEST. .\ protest is the official certi ficate given by a notary public respecting the dishonour of a bill of exchange by non acceptance or non-payment. When a bill is dishonoured, a holder may hand It to a notary public to be protested. London usually hold a dishonoured bill till the close of business and then, f to be noted, send it to a notary. The notary presents it again to the drawee or to the acceptor, and if acceptance or payment is still not obtained, a note of the facts is made upon the bill, or upon a slip attached to the bill, which act constitutes a " noting " of the bill. The official certificate, or protest. may be ex tended subsequently, as of the date of the noting, hut the noting must take place on the day the bill is dishonoured. If not noted on the day of dishonour it cannot be done afterwards to be of any value. A notary may present the bill at any time on the day of maturity.

It is not necessary to note or protest an inland bill in order to preserve the recourse against the drawer or indorsers, though they are sometimes noted, but, in the case of foreign bills, it is necessary to have them noted and protested, unless the remitter of the bills sends instructions that they are not to be noted or protested.

Where an acceptor has become bankrupt or has disappeared, a bill is sometimes pro tested " for better security." In such a case the bill would be presented at the address of the acceptor (not at the bank where it may have been accepted payable) and better security asked for, and be protested accordingly.

The rules regarding the noting or protest of a bill are contained in Section 51 of the Bills of Exchange Act, 1882 : " (1) Where an inland bill has been dis honoured it may, if the holder think fit, be noted for non-accept ance or non-payment, as the case may be ; but it shall not be neces sary to note or protest any such bill in order to preserve the recourse against the drawer or indorser.

(2) Where a foreign bill, appearing on the face of it to be such, has been dishonoured by non-acceptance it must be duly protested for non acceptance, and where such a bill, which has not been previously dishonoured by non-acceptance, is dishonoured by non-payment it must be duly protested for non payment. If it be not so protested

the drawer and indorsers are discharged. Where a bill does not appear on the face of it to be a foreign bill, protest thereof in case of dishonour is unnecessary.

" (3) A bill which has been protested for non-acceptance may besubsequently protested for non-payment.

" (4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, when a bill is noted or protested, it must be noted on the day of its dishonour. When a bill has been duly noted, the protest may be subsequently extended as of the date of the noting.

(5) \There the acceptor of a bill becomes bankrupt or insolvent or suspends payment before it matures, the holder may cause the bill to be protested for better security against the drawer and indorsers.

" (6) A bill must be protested at the place where it is dishonoured : Provided that " (a) When a bill is presented through the post office, and returned by post dishon oured, it may be protested at the place to which it is returned and on the day of its return if received during business hours, and if not received during business hours, then not later than the next business day: " When a bill drawn payable at the place of business or residence of some person other than the drawee, has been dishonoured by non acceptance, it must be protested for non-payment at the place where it is ex pressed to be payable, and no further presentment for payment to, or demand on, the drawee is necessary.

" (7) A protest must contain a copy of the bill, and must be signed by the notary making it, and must specify " (a) The person at whose request the bill is protested : " (b) The place and date of pro test, the cause or reason for protesting the bill, the demand made, and the answer given, if any, or the fact that the drawee or acceptor could not be found.

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