BILL, legislation. An instrument drawn or presented by a
member or committee to a legislative body for its approbation and
enactment. After it has gone through both houses and received the
constitutional sanction of the chief magistrate, where such approbation
is requisite, it becomes a law. See Meigs, R. 237.
BILL, chancery practice. A complaint in writing addressed
to the chancellor, containing the names of the parties to the suit,
both complainant and defendant, a statement of the facts on which
the complainant relies, and the allegations which he makes, with
an averment that the acts complained of are contrary to equity ,
and a prayer for relief and proper process. Its office in a chancery
suit, is the same as a declaration in an action at law, a libel
in a court of admiralty or an allegation in, the spiritual courts.
2. A bill usually consists of nine parts. 1. The address, which must be to
the chancellor, court or judge acting as such. 2. The second part consists of
the names of the plaintiffs and their descriptions; but the description of the
parties in this part of the bill does not, it seems, constitute a sufficient
averment, so as to put that fact in issue. 2. Ves. & Bea. 327. 3. The third
part is called the premises or stating part of the bill, and contains the
plaintiff's case. 4. In the fourth place is a general charge of confederacy. 5.
The fifth part consists of allegations of the defendant's pretences, and charges
in evidence of them. 6. The sixth part contains the clause of jurisdiction and
in averment that the acts complained of are contrary to equity. 7. The seventh
part consists of a prayer that the parties answer the premises, which is usually
termed the interrogatory part. 8. The prayer for relief sought forms the eighth
part. And, 9. The ninth part is a prayer for process. 2 Mad. Ch. 166; Blake's
Ch. P. 35; 1 Mitf. Pl. 41. The facts contained in the bill, as far as known to
the complainant, must, in some cases, be sworn to be true; and such as are not
known to him, he must swear he believes to be true; and it must be signed by
counsel; 2 Madd. Ch. Pr. 167; Story, Eq. Pl. §26 to 47; and for cases requiring
an affidavit, see, 3 Brow. Chan. Cas. 12, 24, 463; Bunb. 35; 2 Brow. 11 1 Fow.
Proc. 256 Mitf. Pl. 51; 2 P. Wms. 451; 3 Id. 77; 1 Atk. 450; 3 Id. 17, 132; 3
Atk. 132 Preced. in Ch. 332 Barton's Equity, 48 n. 1, 53 n. 1, 56 n. 1 2 Brow.
Ch. Cas. 281, 319; 4 Id. 480
3. Bills may be divided into three classes, namely: 1. Original bills. 2.
Bills not original. 3. Bills in the nature of original bills.
4. - 1. An original bill is one which prays the decree of the court, touching
some right claimed by the person exhibiting the bill, in opposition to some
right claimed by the person against whom the bill is exhibited. Hinde, 19; Coop.
Eq. Pl. 43. Original bills always relate to some matter not before litigated in
the court by the same persons, and standing in the same interests. Mitf. Eq. Pl.
by Jeremy, 34; Story, Eq. Pl., §16. They may be divided into those which pray
relief, and those which do not pray relief.
5. - 1st. Original bills praying relief are of three kinds. First. Bills
Praying the decree or order of the court, touching some right claimed by the
party exhibiting the bill, in opposition to some right, real or supposed,
claimed by the party against whom the bill is exhibited, or touching some wrong
done in violation of the plaintiff's right. Mitf. Eq. Pl. 32.
6. - Secondly. A bill of interpleader, is one in which the person exhibiting
it claims no right in opposition to the rights claimed by the person against
whom the bill is exhibited, but prays the decree of the court touching the
rights of those persons, for the safety of the person exhibiting the bill.
Hinde, 20; Coop. Eq. Pl. 43; Mitf. Pl. 32. The Practical Register defines it to
be a bill exhibited by a third person, who, not knowing to whom he ought of
right to render a debt or duty, or pay his rent, fears he may be hurt by some of
the claimants, and therefore prays be may interplead, so that the court may
judge to whom the thing belongs, and he be thereby safe on the payment. Pr. Reg.
78; Harr. Ch. Pr. 45; Edw. Inj. 393; 2 Paige, 199 Id. 570; 6 John. Ch. R.
7. The interpleader has been compared to the intervention (q. v.) of the
civil law. Gilb. For. Rom. 47. But there is a striking difference between them.
The tertius in our interpleader in equity, professes to have no interest in the
subject, and calls upon the parties who allege they have, to come forward and
discuss their claims: the tertius of the civil law, on the other hand, asserts a
right himself in the 'Subject, which two persons are at the time actually
contesting, and insists upon his right to join in the discussion. A bill of
interpleader may be filed, though the party has not been sued at law, or has
been sued by one only of the conflicting claimants, or though the claim of one
of the defendants is actionable at law, and the other in equity. 6 Johns. Chan.
R. 445. The requisites of a bill of this kind are, 1. It must admit the want of
interest in the plaintiff in the subject matter of dispute. 2. The plaintiff
must annex an affidavit that there is no collusion between him and either of the
parties. 3. The bill must contain an offer to bring the money into court, when
there is any due; the want of which is a ground of demurrer, unless the money
has actually been paid into court. Mitf. Eq. Pl. 49; Coop. Eq. Pl. 49; Barton,
Suit in Eq. 47, note 1. 4. The plaintiff should state his own rights, and
thereby negative any interest in the thing in controversy; and also should state
the several claims of the opposite parties; a neglect on this subject is good
cause of demurrer. Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 142; 2 Story on Eq. §821; Story, Eq.
Pl. 292. 5. The bill should also show that there are persons in esse capable of
interpleading, and setting up opposite claims. Coop. Eq. Pl. 46; 1 Mont. Eq. Pl.
234; Story, Eq. Pl. §295; Story on Eq. §821; 1 Ves. 248. 6. The bill should pray
that the defendants set forth their several titles, and interplead, settle, and
adjust their demands between themselves. The bill also generally prays an
injunction to restrain the proceedings of the claimants, or either of them, at
law; and, in this case, the bill should offer to bring the money into court and
the court will not in general act upon this part of the prayer, unless the money
be actually brought into court. 4 Paige's R. 384 6 John. Ch. R. 445.
8. Thirdly. A bill of certiorari, is one praying the writ of certiorari to
remove a cause from an inferior court of equity. Coop. El q. 44. The requisites
of this bill are that it state, 1st. the proceedings in the inferior court; 2d.
the incompetency of such court, by suggesting that the cause is out of its
jurisdiction; or that the witnesses live out of its jurisdiction; or are not
able, by age or infirmity, or the distance of the place, to follow the suit
there or that, for some other cause, justice is not likely to be done-, 3d. the
bill must pray a writ of certiorari, to certify and remove the record and the
cause to the superior court. Wyatt, Pr. Reg. 82; Harr. Ch. Pr. 49; Story, Eq.
Pl. §298. This bill is seldom used in the United States.
9. - 2d. Original bills not praying relief are of two kinds. First,. Bills to
secure evidence, which are bills to perpetuate the testimony of witnesses or
bills to examine witnesses de bene esse. These will be separately
10. - 1. A bill to perpetuate the testimony of witnesses, is one which prays
leave to examine them, and states that the witnesses are old, infirm, or sick,
or going beyond the jurisdiction of the court, whereby the party is in danger of
losing the benefit of their testimony. Hinde, 20. It does not pray for relief.
Coop. Eq. Pl. 44.
11. In order to maintain such a bill, it is requisite to state on its face
all the material facts to support the jurisdiction. It must state, 1. the
subject-matter toucbing which the plaintiff is desirous of giving evidence. Rep.
Temp. Finch, 391; 4 Madd. R. 8, 10. 2. It must show that the plaintiff has some
interest in the subject-matter, which may be endangered if the testimony in
support of it be lost; and a mere expectancy, however strong, is not sufficient.
6 Ves. 260 1 Vern. 105; 15 Ves. 136; Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 51 Coop. Eq. Pl.,
52. 3. It must state that the defendant has, or pretends to have, or that he
claims an interest to contest the title of the plaintiff in the subject-matter
of the proposed testimony. Coop. Pl. 56; Story, Eq. Pl. §302. 4. It must exhibit
some ground of necessity for perpetuating the evidence. Story, Eq. Pl. §303
Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 52, 148 and note y; Coop. Eq. Pl. 53. 5. The right of
which the bill is brought to perpetuate the evidence or testimony, should be
described with reasonable certainty in the bill, so as to point the proper
interrogations on both sides to the true merits of the controversy. 1 Vern. 312;
Coop. Eq. Pl. 56. 6. It should pray leave to examine the witnesses touching the
matter stated, to the end that their testimony maybe preserved and perpetuated.
Mitf. Pl 52. A bill to perpetuate testimony differs from a bill to take
testimony de bene esse, in this, that the latter is sustainable only when there
is a suit already depending, while the former can be maintained only when no
present suit can be brought at law by the party seeking the aid of a court to
try his right. Story, Eq. Pl. §307. The canonists had a similar rule. According
to the canon law, witnesses could be examined before any action was commenced,
for fear that their evidence might be lost. x, cap. 5 Boehmer, n. 5 8 Toull. n.
12. - 2. Bill to take testimony de bene esse. This bill, the name of which is
sufficiently descriptive of its object, is frequently confounded with a bill to
perpetuate testimony; but although it bears a close analogy to it, ,it is very
different. Bills to perpetuate testimony can be maintained only, when no present
suit can be maintained at law by the party seeking the aid of the court to try
his right; whereas bills to take testimony de bene esse, are sustainable only in
aid of a suit already depending. 1 Sim. & Stu. 83. The latter may be brought
by a person who is in possession, or out of possession; and whether he be
plaintiff or defendant in the action at law. Story, Eq Pl. §307 and 303, note;
Story on Eq. 1813, note 3. In many respects the rules which regulate the framing
of bills to perpetuate testimony, are applicable to bills to take testimony ae
13. - Secondly. A bill of discovery, emphatically so called, is one which
prays for the discovery of facts resting within the knowledge of the person
against whom the bill is exhibited, or of deeds, writings, or other things in
his custody or power. Hinde, 20; Blake's Ch. Pr. 37. Every bill, except the bill
of certiorari, may in truth, be considered a bill of discovery, for every bill
seeks a disclosure of circumstances relative to the plaintiff's case; but that
usually and emphatically distinguished by this appellation is a bill for the
discovery of facts, resting in the knowledge of the defendant, or of deeds or
writings, or other things in his custody or power, and seeking no relief in
consequence of the discovery.
14. This bill is commonly used in aid of the jurisdiction of some other court
as to enable the plaintiff Ito prosecute or defend an action at law. Mitf. Pl.
52. "The plaintiff, in this species of bill, must be entitled to the discovery
he seeks, and shall only have a discovery of what is necessary for his own
title, as of deeds he claims under, and not to pry into that of the defendant. 2
Ves. 445. See Blake's Ch. Pr. 45 Mitf. Pl. 52 Coop. Eq. Pl. 58 1 Madd. Ch. Pr.
196 Hare on Disc. passim Wagr. on Disc. passim.
15. The action ad exhibendum, in the Roman law, was not unlike a bill of
discovery. Its object was to force the party against whom it was instituted, to
exhibit a thing or a title in his power. It was always preparatory to another,
which was always a real action in the sense of the word in the Roman law. See
Action ad exhibendum; Merlin, Questions de Droit, tome i. 84.
16. - II . Bills not original. These are either in addition to, or a
continuance of an original bill, or both. Mitf. c. 1, s . 2; Story, Eq. Pl.
§388; .4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4100.
17. - 1st. Of the first class are, 1. A supplemental bill. This bill is
occasioned by some defect in a suit already instituted, whereby the parties
cannot obtain complete justice, to which otherwise the case by their bill would
have entitled them. It is used for the purpose of supplying some irregularity
discovered in the formation of the original bill, or some of the proceedings
there upon; or some defect in a suit, arising from events happening since the
points in the original were at issue, which give an interest to˜20persons not
parties to the suit. Blake's Ch. Pr. 50. See 3 Johns. Ch. R. 423.
18. It is proper to consider more minutely 1. in what cases such a bill may
be filed; 2. its particular requisites.
19.- 1. A supplemental bill may be filed, 1st. whenever the imperfection in
the original bill arises from the omission of some material fact, which existed
before the filing of the bill, but the time has passed in which it can be
introduced into the bill by amendment,, Mitf. Eq. Pl. 55, 61, 325 but leave of
court must be obtained, before a bill which seeks to change the original
structure of the bill, and to introduce a new and different case, can be filed.
2d. When a party necessary to the proceedings has been omitted, and cannot be
admitted by an amendment. Mitf. Eq. Pl. 61 6 Madd. R. 369; 4 John. Ch. R. 605.
3d. When, after the court has decided upon the suit as framed, it appears
necessary to bring some other matter before the court to obtain the full effect
of the decision; or before a decision has been obtained, but after the parties
are at issue upon the points in the original bill, and witnesses have been
examined, (in which case, an amendment is not in general permitted,) some other
point appears necessary to be made, or some additional discovery is found
requisite. Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 55; Coop Eq. Pl. 73; 3 Atk. R. 110; 12
Paige, R. 200. 4th. When new events or new matters have occurred since the
filing of the bill; Coop. Eq. Pl. 74; these events or matters, however, are
confined to such as refer to and support the rights and interests already
mentioned in the bill. Story, Eq. Pl. §336.
20. - 2. The supplemental bill must state the original bill, and the
proceedings thereon and when it is occasioned by an event which has occurred
subsequently to the original bill, it must state that event, and the consequent
alteration with regard to the parties. In general, the supplemental bill must
pray that all defendants appear and answer the charges it contains. Mitf. Eq.
Pl. by Jeremy, 75 Story, Eq. Pl. §343.
21. - 2. A bill of revivor, which is a continuance of the original bill, when
by death some party to it has become incapable of prosecuting or defending a
suit, or a female plaintiff has by marriage incapacitated herself from suing
alone. Mitf. Pl. 33, 70; 2 Madd. Ch. Pr. 526. See 3 Johns. Ch. R. 60: Story, Eq.
Pl. §354, et. seq.
22. - 3. A bill of revivor and supplement. This is a compound of a
supple-mental bill and bill of revivor, and not only continues the suit, which
has abated by the death of the plaintiff, or the like, but supplies any defects
in the original bill, arising from subsequent events, so as to entitle the party
to relief on the whole merits of his case. 5 Johns.Ch R. 334; Mitf. Pl. 32,
23. - 2d. Among the second class may be placed, 1. A cross bill. This is one
which is brought by a defendant in a suit against the plaintiff, respecting the
matter in question in that bill. Coop. Eq. Pl. 85 Mitf. Pl. 75.
24. A bill of this kind is usually brought to obtain, either a necessary
discovery, or full relief to all the parties. It frequently happens, and
particularlly if any questions arises between two defendants to a bill, that the
court cannot make a complete decree without a cross bill, or cross bills to
bring every matter in dispute completely before the court, litigated by the
proper parties, and upon proper proofs. In this case it becomes necessary for
some one of the defendants to the original bill to file a bill against the
plaintiff and other defendants in that bill, or some of them, and bring the
litigated point properly before the court.
25. A cross bill should state the original bill, and the proceedings thereon,
and the rights of the party exhibiting the bill which are necessary to be made
the subject of a cross litigation, or the grounds on which he resists the claims
of the plaintiff in the original bill, if that is the object of the new
26. A cross bill may be filed to answer the purpose of a plea puis darrein
continuance at the common law. For example, where, pending a suit, and after
replication and issue joined, the defendant having obtained a release and
attempted to prove it viva voce at the bearing, it was determined that the
release not being in issue in the cause, the court could not try the facts, or
direct a trial at law for that purpose, and that a new bill must be filed to put
the release in issue. Mitf. Pl. 75, 76 Coop. Eq. Pl. 85; 1 Harr. Ch. Pr.
27. A cross bill must be brought before publication is passed on the first
bill, 1 Johns. Ch. R. 62, and not after, except the plaintiff in the cross bill
go to the hearing on the depositions already published; because of the danger of
perjury and subornation, if the parties should, after publication of the former
depositions, examine witnesses, de novo, to the same matter before examined
into. 7 Johns. Ch. Rep. 250; Nels. Ch. R. 103.
28. - 2. A bill of review. Bills of review are in the nature of writs of
error. They are brought to have decrees of the court reviewed, altered, or
reversed, and there are two sorts of these bills. The first is brought where the
decree has been signed and enrolled and the second, where the decree has not
been signed and enrolled. 1 Ch. Cas. 54; 3 P. Wms. 371. The first of these is
called, by way of preeminence, a bill of review; while the other is
distinguished by the appellation of a bill in the nature of a bill of review, or
a supplemental bill iii the nature of a bill of review. Coop. Eq. Pl. 88; 2
Madd. Ch. Pr. 537.
29. A bill of review must be either for error in point of law; 2 Johns. C. R.
488; Coop. Eq. Pl. 89; or for some new matter of fact, relevant to the case,
discovered since publication passed in the cause; and which could not, with
reasonable diligence, have been discovered before. 2 Johns. C. R. 488; Coop. Eq.
Pl. 94. See 3 Johns. R. 124,
30. - 3. Bill to impeach a decree on the ground of fraud. When a decree has
been obtained by fraud, it may be impeached by original bill, without leave of
court. As the principal point in issue, is the fraud in obtaining it, it must be
established before the propriety of the decree can be investigated, and the
fraud must be distinctly stated in the bill. The prayer must necessarily be
varied according to the nature of the fraud used, and the extent of its
operation in obtaining an improper decision of the court. When the decree to set
aside a fraudulent decree has been obtained, the court will restore the parties
to their former situation, whatever their rights may be. Mitf. Eq. Pl. 84; Sto.
Eq. Pl. §426.
>31. - 4. Bill to suspend a decree. The operation of a decree may be
suspended under special circumstances, or avoided by matter subsequent to the
decrees upon a new bill for that purpose. See 1 Ch. Cas. 3, 61 2 Ch . Cal 8
Mitf. Eq. Pl. 85 , 86.
32. - 5. Bill to carry a decree into execution. This is one which is filed
when from the neglect of parties, or some other cause, it may become impossible
to carry a decree into execution without the further decree of the court. Hinde,
68; 1 Harr. Ch. 148.
33. - 6. Bills partaking of the qualities of some one or more of other bills.
34. First. Bill in the nature of a bill of revivor. A bill in the nature of a
bill of revivor, is one which is filed when the death of a party, whose interest
is not determined by his death, is attended with such a transmission of his
interest, that the title to it, as well as the person entitled, may be litigated
in the court of chancery, as in the case of a devise of real estate, the suit is
not permitted to be continued by bill of revivor. 1 Ch. Cas. 123; Id. 174; 3 Ch.
Rep. 39; Mosely, R. 44. In such cases an original bill, upon which the title may
be litigated, must be filed, and this bill will have so far the effect of a bill
of revivor, that if the, title of the representative by the act of the deceased
party is established, the same benefit may be had of the proceedings upon the
former bill, as if the suit had been continued by bill of revivor. 1 Vern. 427;
2 Vern. 548 Id. 672; 2 Bro. P. C. 529; 1 Eq. Cas. Ab. 83; Mitf. Pl. 66, 67.
35. Secondly. Bill in the nature. of a supplemental bill. An original bill in
the nature of a supplemental bill, is one filed when the interest of the
plaintiff or defendant, suing or defending, wholly determines, and the same
property becomes vested in another person not claiming under him. Hinde, 71;
Blake's Ch. Pr. 38. The principal difference between this and a supplemental
bill, seems to be, that a supplemental bill is applicable to such cases only,
where the same parties or the same interests remain before the court; whereas,
an original bill in the nature of a supplemental bill, is properly applicable
where new parties, with new interests, arising from events occurring since the
institution of the suit, are brought before the court. Coop. Eq. Pl. 75; Story,
Eq. Pl. §345.
36. Thirdly. Bill in the nature of a bill of review. A bill in the nature of
a bill of review, is one brought by a person not bound by a decree, praying that
the same may be examined and reversed; as where a decree is made against a
person who has no interest at all in the matter in dispute, or had not an
interest sufficient to render the decree against him binding upon some person
claiming after him. Relief may be obtained against error in the decree, by a
bill in the nature of a bill of review. This bill in its frame resembles a bill
of review, except that instead of praying that the former decree may be reviewed
and reversed, it prays that the cause may be heard with respect to the new
matter made the subject of the supplemental bill, at the same time that it is
reheard upon the original bill; and that the plaintiff may have such relief as
the nature of the case made by the supplemental bill may require. 1 Harr. Ch. P.
37. There are also bills which derive their names from the object which the
complainant has in view. These will be separately considered.
38.- 1. Bill of foreclosure. A bill of foreclosure is one filed by a
mortgagee against the mortgagor, for the purpose of having the estate, sold,
thereby to obtain the sum mortgaged on the premises, with interest and costs. 1
Madd. Ch. Pr. 528. As to the persons who are to be made parties to a bill of
foreclosure, see Story, Eq. Pl. §199-202.
39. - 2. Bill of information. A bill of information is a bill instituted in
behalf of the state, or those whose rights are the object of its care and
protection. It is commenced by information exhibited in the name of the
attorney-general, and differs from other bills little more than in name. If the
suit immediately concerns the right of the state, the information is generally
exhibited without a relator. If it does not immediately concern those rights, it
is conducted at the instance and under the immediate direction of, some person
whose name is inserted in the information, and is termed the relator; the
officers of the state, in such or the like cases, are not further concerned than
as they are instructed and advised by those whose rights the state is called
upon to protect and establish. Blake's Ch. Pl. 50; see Harr. Ch. Pr. 151.
40. - 3. Bill to marshal assets. A bill to marshal assets is one filed in
favor of simple contract creditors, and of legatees, devisees, and heirs, but
not in favor of next of kin, to prevent specialty. creditors from exhausting the
personal estate. See Marshaling of Assets.
41. - 4. Bill to marshal securities. A bill to marshal securities is one
which is filed against a party who has two funds by which his debt is secured,
by a person having an interest in only one of those funds. As if A has two
mortgages and B has but one, B has a right to throw A upon the security which B
cannot touch. 2 Atk. 446; see 8 Ves. 388, 395. This last case contains a
luminous exposition in all its bearings. In Pennsylvania, and perhaps in some
other states, the object of this bill is reached by subrogation, (q. v.) that
is, by substituting the creditor, having but one fund to resort to, to the
rights of the other creditor, in respect to the other fund.
42. - 5. Bill for a new trial. This is a bill filed in a court of equity
praying for an injunction after judgment at law, when there is any fact, which
renders it against conscience to execute such judgment, and of which the injured
party could not avail himself in a court of law-, or, if he could, was prevented
by fraud or accident, unmixed with any fault or negligence of himself or his
agents. Mitf. Pl. by Jer. 131; 2 Story Eq. §887. Of late years bills of this
description are not countenanced. Id.˜201 John. Ch. R. 432 6 John. Ch. R.
43. - 6. Bill of peace. A bill of peace is one which is filed when a person
has a right which may be controverted by various persons, at different times,
and by different actions. In such a case the court will prevent a multiplicity
of suits, by directing an issue to determine the right, and ultimately grant an
injunction. 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 166; 1 Harr. Ch. Pr. 104; Blake's Ch. Pr. 48; 2
Story, Eq. Jur. §852 to 860; Jeremy on Eq. Jurisd. 343 2 John. Ch. R. 281; 8
Cranch, R. 426.
44. There is another class of cases in which a bill of peace is now
ordinarily applied; namely, when the plaintiff, after repeated and satisfactory
trials, has established his right at law, and is still in danger of new attempts
to controvert it. In order to quiet the possession of the plaintiff, and to
suppress future litigation, courts of equity, under such circumstances, will
interfere, and grant a perpetual injunction. 3 John. R. 529; 8 Cranch, R. 462;
Mit. Pl. by Jeremy, 143; 2 John. Ch. R. 281; Ed. on Inj. 356.
45. - 7. Bill quia timet. A bill quia timet, is one which is filed
when a person is entitled to property of a personal nature after
another's death, and has reason to apprehend it may be destroyed
by the present possessor; or when he is apprehensive of being subjected
to a future inconvenience, probable or even possible to happen or
be occasioned by the neglect, inadvertance, or culpability of another.
Upon a proper case being made out, the court will, in one case,
secure the property for the use of the party (which is the object
of the bill) by compelling the person in possession of it, to give
a proper security against any subsequent disposition or wilful destruction
and in the other case, they will quiet the party's apprehension
of future inconvenience, by removing the causes which may lead to
it. 1 Harr. Ch. Pr. 107; 1 Madd. Ch. Pr. 218: Blake's Ch. Pr. 37,
47; 2 Story, Eq. Jur. §825 to 851. Vide, generally, Bouv. Inst.
Index, h. t.
BILL, merc. law. An account containing the items of goods
sold, or of work done by one person against another. It differs
from an account stated (q. v.) in this, that the latter is a bill
approved and sanctioned by the debtor, whereas a bill is made out
by the creditor alone.