Wilson v. Lenox & Maitland - 5 U.S. 194 (1803)
U.S. Supreme Court
Wilson v. Lenox & Maitland, 5 U.S. 1 Cranch 194 194 (1803)
Wilson v. Lenox & Maitland
5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 194
In an action of debt on a protested bill of exchange, under the law of Virginia, the declaration counted for principal, interest, damages, and charges of protest, but there was no averment of the amount of the charges of protest. Held that this was error.
As this is a mere technical objection, the court would disregard it if it was not a principle deemed essential in an action of debt that the declaration should state the demand with certainty.
This was an action of debt upon a bill of exchange drawn by A. and W. Ramsay on certain merchants in London upon which the plaintiff in error was endorser. The declaration claimed the amount of the bill with "damages, interest, and charges of protest." The verdict of the jury was for the debt mentioned in the declaration. The suit was instituted upon the authority of an act of assembly of Virginia which declares that any person "may prosecute an action of debt for principal, damages, interest, and charges of protest against the drawers. . . ." There was no averment of the amount of the charges of protest.
The exception taken in this Court, and upon which only the court gave an opinion, was that the debt demanded was not certain.