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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

Loane v Bunn [1830] NSWSupC 61

bill of exchange, laches

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 7 September 1830

Source: Australian, 10 September 1830

Loane v. Bunn.  This was an action brought by the plaintiff, damages 800l. to recover the amount of a Bill of Exchange for 735l. drawn by Mr. Thomas Raine, of Sydney, Merchant, and left by the plaintiff in the hands of defendant for payment or recovery, with accumulation of interest since that date, as his agent, on leaving the colony, in November 1827.  On its becoming due, it appeared that defendant renewed the original bill, which became cancelled, taking a second bill at six months longer, with the addition of the bank interest, but without any additional security.  In the mean time, the drawer of the bill in question, and his creditors came to an arrangement, by which the latter were to be paid 6s. 8d. in the pound, and this proportion the plaintiff, on his return to the Colony a few months ago, was offered by a letter from Mr. Raine.[1 ]  The plaintiff brought his action on the ground that defendant was not authorised in renewing the bill in question, and that had proper steps been taken when the bill became due, and the drawer of it solvent, the whole amount might have been recovered: hence, that defendant being an agent in the business, and the plaintiff having suffered the loss of the bill through his laches, the defendant should be held liable for the whole amount so deficient.  On the part of the defendant, it was proved to be a general practise among the mercantile community to renew bills, when such extension was likely to lead to an ultimate payment, which could not be had perhaps by pressing immediately, but seldom to fail in such case of taking additional security, when it could be had, which course, counsel for the the [sic] plaintiff in this case contended had not been resorted to.  After considerable argument, and hearing evidence on both sides, the case went to the assessors, who retiring with the judge for upwards of half an hour, about 3, p m. to the general surprise, returned a verdict for the defendant.  Counsel for the plaintiff, Dr. Wardell; for the defendant, Mr. Wentworth.

 

Notes

[1 ] On Raine's financial difficulties, see also James v. Raine, 1830; In re Raine, 1830.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University