Bussard v. Levering - 19 U.S. 102 (1821)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bussard v. Levering, 19 U.S. 6 Wheat. 102 102 (1821)
Bussard v. Levering
19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 102
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Where the second day of grace falls on Saturday, it is the last day of grace, and notice of nonpayment given to the drawer of a bill on that day, after a demand upon the acceptor on the same day, is sufficient to charge the drawer.
Notice to the drawer, by putting the same into the post office, where the persons live in different places, is good.
Assumpsit against the defendant below (Bossard) as drawer of an inland bill of exchange drawn at Baltimore on 3 October, 1816, upon one Martin Gillet, for $1,244.79, payable six months after date and accepted by Gillet. Plea, nonassumpsit. On the trial of the cause, the plaintiff produced and read in evidence to the jury the bill, acceptance, and protest, the handwriting of the respective parties being admitted, and gave evidence to prove that after bank hours, on Saturday, 5 April, 1817, being the second day of grace after the said bill became due, the same was presented by a notary to the acceptor for payment, and not being paid, was duly protested. And on the same day written notice was sent by the mail to the defendant, residing at Georgetown, D.C., notifying him of the nonpayment and protest of the bill. And gave evidence that such protest and notice, on the second day of grace, under those circumstances, was conformable
to the general usage in Baltimore. And no other evidence of demand or notice was offered. Whereupon the counsel for the defendant prayed the opinion and instruction of the court to the jury that the defendant, under the circumstances so given in evidence, was not liable in this action, the drawer of the said bill not having received due notice of the dishonor of the same, but that the notice given upon the same day that the payment of the draft was demanded, to-wit, on Saturday, 5 April, 1817, was not regular and sufficient to charge the defendant in this action. Which instruction the court refused, and the defendant's counsel excepted. A verdict and judgment thereon was rendered for the plaintiff, and the cause was brought by writ of error to this Court.
This Court was unanimously of opinion that, by the general law merchant, notice of nonpayment given to the drawer on the last day of grace, after a demand upon the acceptor on the same day (and Saturday, in this case, was the last day of grace, the next day being Sunday) was sufficient to charge the drawer, and that the notice in this case given to the drawer, by putting the same into the post office, was good.