| BILL OF ADVENTURE, com. law, contracts.
A writing signed by a merchant, to testify that the goods shipped
on board a certain vessel belong to another person who is to take
the hazard, the subscriber signing only to oblige himself to account
to him, for the proceeds.
BILL OP ATTAINDER, legislation, punishment. An act of the legislature
by which one or more persons are declared to be attainted, and their property
2. The Constitution of the United States declares that no state shall pass
any bill of attainder.
3. During the revolutionary war, bills of attainder, and ox post facto acts
of confiscation, were passed to a wide extent. The evils resulting from them, in
times of more cool reflection, were discovered to have far outweighed any
imagined good. Story on Const. §1367. Vide Attainder; Bill of Pains and
BILL-BOOK, commerce, accounts. One in in which an account is kept of
promissory notes, bills of exchange, and other bills payable or receivable: it
ought to contain all that a man issues or receives. The book should show the
date of the bill, the term it has to run before it becomes due, the names of all
the parties to it, and the time of its becoming due, together with the amount
for which it was given.
BILL OF CONFORITY. The name of a bill filed by an executor or
administrator, who finds the affairs of the deceased so much involved that he
cannot safely administer the estate, except under the direction of a court of
chancery. This bill is filed against the creditors generally, for the purpose of
having all their claims adjusted, and procuring a final decree settling the
order of payment of the assets. 1 Story, Eq. Jur. 440.
BILL 0F COST, practice. A statement of the items which form the total
amount of the costs of a suit or action. This is demandable as a matter of right
before the payment of the costs.
BILL OF CREDIT. It is provided by the Constitution of the United
States, art. 1, s. 10, that no state shall " emit bills of credit, or make
anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment or debts." Such bills of
credit are declared to mean promissory notes or bills issued exclusively on the
credit of the. state, and for the payment of which the faith of the state only
is pledged. The prohibition, therefore, does not apply to the notes of a state
bank, drawn on the credit of a particular fund set apart for the purpose. 2
M'Cord's R. 12; 2 Pet. R. 818; 11 Pet. R. 257. Bills of credit may be defined to
be paper issued and intended to circulate through the community for its ordinary
purposes, as money redeemable at a future day. 4 Pet. U. S. R. 410; 1 Kent, Com.
407 4 Dall. R. xxiii.; Story, Const. §§ 1362 to 1364 1 Scam. R. 87, 526.
2. This phrase is used in another sense among merchants it is a letter sent
by an agent or other person to a merchant, desiring him to give credit to the
bearer for goods or money. Com. Dig. Merchant, F 3; 5 Sm. & Marsh. 491; R.
M. Charlt. 151; 4 Pike, R. 44; 3 Burr. Rep. 1667.
BILL OP DEBT, BILL OBLIGATORY, contracts. When a merchant by his
writing acknowledges himself in debt to another, in a certain sum to be paid on
a certain day and subscribes it at a day and place certain. It may be under seal
or not. Com. Dig. Merchant, F 2.
BILL OF EXCEPTION, practice. The statement in writing, of the
objection made by a party in a cause, to the decision of the court on a point of
law, which, in confirmation of its accuracy, is signed and sealed by the judge,
or court who made the decision. The object of the bill of exceptions is to put
the question of law on record, for the information of the court of error having
cognizance of such cause.
2. The bill of exception is authorized by the statute of Westminster 2, 13
Ed. I. c. 31, the principles of which have, been adopted in all the states of
the Union. It is thereby enacted, "when one impleaded before any of the
justices, alleges an exception praying they will allow it, and if they will not,
if he that alleges the exception writes the same, and requires 'that the
justices will put their seals, the justices shall do so, and if one will not,
another ,shall; and if, upon complaint made of the justice, the king cause the
record to come before him, and the exception be not found in the roll, and the
plaintiff show the written exception, with the seal of the justices thereto put,
the justice shall be commande to appear at a certain day, either to confess or
deny his seal, and if he cannot deny his seal, they shall proceed to judgment
according to the exception, as it ought to be allowed or disallowed." The
statute extends to both plaintiff and defendant. Vide the, form of confessing a
bill of exceptions, Burr. 1692. And for precedents see Bull. N. P. 317;
Brownlow's Entries; Latine Redivio, 129; Trials per pais, 222, 3; 4 Yeates, 317,
18; 2 Yeates, 295, 6. 485, 6; 1 Morgan's Vade Mecum, 471-5. Bills of exception
differ materially from special verdicts; 2 Bin. 92; and from the opinions of the
court filed in the cause. 10 S. & R. 114, 15.
3. Here will be considered, 1 the cases in which a bill of exceptions may be
had; 2. the time of making the exception; 3. the form of the bill; 4. the effect
of the bill.
4. - 1. In general a bill of exception can be had only in a civil case. When
in the course of the trial of a cause, the judge, either in his charge to the
jury, or in deciding an interlocutory question, mistakes the law, or is supposed
by the counsel on either. side, to have mistaken the law, the counsel against
whom the decision is made may tender an exception to his opinion, and require
him to seal a bill of exceptions. 3 Bl. Com. 372. See Salk. 284, pl. 16 7 Serg.
& Rawle, 178; 10 Id. 114, 115 Whart. Dig. Error, D, E 1 Cowen, 622; 2
Caines, 168; 2 Cowen, 479 5, Cowen, 243 3 Cranch, 298 4 Cranch, 62; 6 Cranch,
226; 17 Johns. R. 218; 3 Wend. 418 9 Wend. 674. In criminal cases, the judges,
it seems, are not required to seal a bill of exceptions. 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 622;
13 John. R. 90; 1 Virg. Cas. 264; 2 Watts, R. 285; 2 Sumn. R. 19. In New York,
it is provided by statute, that on the trial of any indictment, exceptions to
any decision of the court may be made by the defendant, in the same cases and
manner provided by law in civil cases and a bill thereof shall be settled,
signed and sealed, and filed with the clerk of the court. But such bill of
exception shall not stay or delay the rendering of judgment, except in some
specified cases. Grah. Pr. 768, note.. Statutory provisions have been made in
several other states authorizing the taking of exceptions in criminal cases. 2
Virg. Cas. 60 and note 14 Pick. R. 370; 4 Ham. R. 348; 6 Ham. R. 16 7 Ham. R.
214; 1 Leigh, R. 598; 14 Wend. 546. See also 1 Halst. R. 405; 2 Penn. R.
5. - 2. The bill of exceptions must be tendered at the time the decision
complained of is made or if the exception be to the charge of the court, it must
be made before the jury have given their verdict. 8 S. & R. 216 4 Dall. 249;
S. C. 1 Binn. 38; 6 John. 279; 1 John. 312; 5 Watts, R. 69; 10 John. R. 312; 5
Monr. R. 177; 7 Wend. R. 34; 7 S. & R. 219; 11 S. & R. 267 4 Pet. R.
102; Ala. R. 66; 1 Monr. 215 11 Pet. R. 185; 6 Cowen, R. 189. In practice,
however, the, point is merely noted, at the time, and the bill is afterwards
settled. 8 S. & R. 216; 11 S. & R. 270; Trials per pais, 467; Salk. 288;
Sir T. Ray. 405 Bull. N. P. 315-16; Jacob's Law Dict. They may be sealed by the
judge after the record has been removed by a writ of error, and after the
expiration of his office. Fitz. N. B. 21 N, note.
6. - 3. The bill of exception must be signed by the judge who tried the
cause; which is to be done upon notice of the time and place, when and where it
is to be done. 3 Cowen, 32; 8 Cowen, 766; Bull. N. P. 316 3 Bl. Com. 372. When
the bill of exception is sealed, both parties are concluded by lit. 3 Dall. 38;
Bull. N. P. 316.
7.- 4. The bill of exceptions, being part of the record, is evidence between
the parties, as to the facts therein stated. 3 Burr. 1765. No notice can be
taken of objections or exceptions not appearing on the bill. 8 East, 280; 3
Dall. 38, 422, n.; 2 Binn. 168. Vide, generally, Dunlap's Pr.; Grah. Pr.; Tidd's
Pr.; Chit. Pr.; Penna. Pr.; Archibold's Pr. Sellon's Pr.; in their several
indexes, h. t.; Steph. Pl. 111; Bac. Ab. h. t.; 1 Phil. Ev. 214; 12 Vin. Ab.
262; Code of Pract. of Louisiana, art. 487, 8, 9; 6 Watts & Serg, 386, 397;
3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3228-32.
BILL OF EXCHANGE, contracts. A bill of exchange is defined to be an
open letter of request from, and order by, one person on another, to pay a sum
of money therein mentioned to a third person, on demand, or at a future time
therein specified. 2 Bl. Com. 466; Bayl. on Bills, 1; Chit. Bills, 1; 1 H. Bl.
586; 1 B. & P. 291, 654; Selw. N. P. 285. Leigh's N. P. 335; Byles on Bills,
1; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 895.
2. The subject will be considered with reference, 1 . to the parties to a
bill; 2. the form; 3. their different kinds 4. the indorsement and transfer; 5.
the acceptance 6. the protest.
3. - §1. The parties to a bill of exchange are the drawer, (q. v.) or he who
makes the order; the drawee, (q. v.) or the person to whom it is addressed; the
acceptor, (q. v.) or he who accepts -the bill; the payee, (q. v.) or the party
to whom, or in whose favor the bill is made. The indorser, (q. v.) is he who
writes his name on the back of a bill; the indorsee, (q. v.) is one to whom a
bill is transferred by indorsement; and the holder, (q. v.) is in general any
one of the parties who is in possession of the bill, and entitled to receive the
money therein mentioned.
4. Some of the parties are sometimes fictitious persons. When a bill is made
payable to a fictitious person, and indorsed in the name of the fictitious
payee, it is in effect a bill to bearer, and a bona fide holder, ignorant of
that fact, may recover on it, against all prior parties, who were privy to the
transaction. 2 H. Bl. 178, 288; 3 T. R. 174, 182, 481; 1 Camp. 130; 19 Ves. 311.
In a case where the drawer and payee were fictitious persons, the acceptor was
held liable to a bona fide holder. 10 B. & C. 468; S. C. 11 E. C. L. R. 116.
Vide, as to parties to a bill, Chit. Bills, 15 to 76, (ed. of 1836.)
5. - §2. The form of the bill. 1. The general requisites of a bill of
exchange, are, 1st. that it be in writing. R. T. Hardw. 2; 2 Stra. 955; 1
6.- 2d. That it be for the payment of money, and not for the payment of
merchandise. 5 T. R. 485; 3 Wils. 213; 2 Bla. Rep. 782; 1 Burr. 325; 1 Dowl.
& Ry. N. P. C. 33; 1 Bibb's R. 502; 3 Marsh. (Kty.) R. 184; 6 Cowen, 108; 1
Caines, R. 381; 4 Mass. 245; 10 S. & R. 64; 14 Pet. R. 293; 1, M'Cord, 115;
2 Nott & M'Cord, 519; 9 Watts, R. 102. But see 9 John. R. 120; and 19 John.
R. 144, where it was held that a note payable in bank bills was a good
7. - 3d. That the money be payable at all events, not depending on any
contingency, either with regard to the fund out of which payment is to be made,
or the parties by or to whom payment is to be made. 8 Mod. 363; 4 Vin. Ab. 240,
pl. 16; 1 Burr. 323; 4 Dougl. 9; 4 Ves. 372; Russ. & Ry. C. C. 193; 4 Wend.
R. 576; 2 Barn. & Ald. 417.
8. - 2. The particular requisites of a bill of exchange. It is proper here to
remark that no particular form or set of words is necessary to be adopted. An
order " to deliver money," or a promise that " A B shall receive money," or a
promise " to be accountable" or " responsible" for it, have been severally held
to be sufficient for a bill or note. 2 Ld. Raym. 1396; 8 Mod, 364.
9. The several parts of a bill of exchange are, 1st. that it be properly
dated as to place
10.- 2d. That it be properly dated as to the time of making. As the time a
bill, becomes due is generally regulated by the time when it was made, the date
of the instrument ought to be clearly expressed. Beawes, pl. 3 1 B . & C.
398; 2 Pardess. n. 333.
11. - 3d. The superscription of the sum for which the bill is payable is not
indispensable, but if it be not mentioned in the bill, the superscription will
aid. the omission. 2 East, P. C. 951.
12. - 4th. The time of payment ought to be expressed in the bill; if no time
be mentioned, it is considered as payable on demand. 7 T. R. 427; 2 Barn. &
13. - 5th. Although it is proper for the drawer to name the place of payment,
either in the body or subscription of the bill, it is not essential; and it is
the common practice for the drawer merely to write the address of the drawee,
without pointing out any, place of payment; in such case the bill is considered
payable, and to be presented at the residence of the drawee, where the bill was
made, or to him personally any where. 2 Pardess. n. 337 10 B. & C. 4; Moody
& M. 381; 4 Car. & Paine, 35. It is at the option of the drawer whether
or not to prescribe a particular place of payment, and make the payment there
part of the contract. Beawes, pl. 8. The drawee, unless restricted by the
drawer, may also fix a place of payment by his acceptance. Chit. Bills, 172.
14. - 6th. There must be an order or request to pay and that must be a matter
of right, and not of favor. Mood. & M. 171. But it seems that civility in
the terms of request cannot alter the legal effect of the instrument. "il vous
plair a de payer," is, in France, the proper language of a bill. Pailliet,
Manuel de Droit Francais, 841. The word pay is not indispensable, tor the word
deliver is equally operative. Ld. Raym. 1397.
15. - 7th. Foreign bills of exchange consist, generally, of several parts; a
party who has engaged to deliver a foreign bill, is bound to deliver as many
parts as may be requested. 2 Pardess. n. 342. The several parts of a bill of
exchange are called a set; each part should contain a condition that it shall be
paid, provided the others remain unpaid. Id. The whole set make but one
16. - 8th. The bill ought to specify to whom it is to be paid. 2 Pardess. n.
338; 1 H. Bl. 608; Russ. & Ry. C. C. 195. When the name of the payee is in
blank, and the bill has been negotiated by indorsement, the holder may fill the
blank with his own name. 2 M. & S. 90; 4 Camp. 97. It may, however, be drawn
payable to bearer, and then it is assignable by delivery. 3 Burr. 1526.
17. - 9th. To make a bill negotiable, it must be made payable to order, or
bearer, or there must be other operative and equivlent words of transfer.
Beawes, pl. 3; Selw. N. P. 303, n. 16; Salk. 133. if, however, it is not
intended to make the bill negotiable, these words need not be inserted, and the
instrument will, nevertheless, be valid as a bill of exchange. 6 T. R. 123; 6
Taunt. 328; Russ. & Ry. C. C. 300; 3 Caines' R. 137; 9 John. It. 217. In
France, a bill must be made payable to order. Code de Com. art. 110; 2 Pardess.
18. - 10th. The sum for which the bill is drawn, must be clearly expressed in
the body of it, in writing at length. The sum must be fixed and certain, and not
contingent. 2 Stark. R. 375. And it may be in the money of any country. Payment
of part of the bill, the residue being unpaid, cannot be indorsed. The, contract
is indivisible, and the acceptor would thereby be compelled to make two payments
instead of one. But when part of a bill has been paid the residue may be
assigned, since then it becomes a contract for the residue only. 12 Mod. 213; 1
Salk. 65; Ld. Ray. 360.
19. - 11th. It is usual to insert the words, value received, but it is.
implied that every bill and indorsement has been made for value received, as
much as if it had been expressed in totidem verbis. 3 M. & S. 352; Bayl. 40,
20. - 12th. It is usual, when the drawer of the bill is debtor to the drawee,
to insert in the bill these words: " and put it to my account but when the
drawee, or the person to whom it is directed, is debtor to the drawer, then he
inserts these words : "and put it to your account;" and, sometimes, where a
third person is debtor to the drawee, it may be expressed thus: "and put it to
the account of A B;" Marius, 27;. C, om. Dig. Merchant, F 5; R. T. Hardw. 1, 2,
3; but it is altogether unnecessary to insert any of these words. 1 B. & C.
398; S. C. 8 E. C. L. R. 108.
21. - 13th. When the drawer is desirous to inform the drawee that he has
drawn a bill, he inserts in it the words, "as per advice;" but when he wishes
the bill paid without any advice from him, he writes, "without further advice."
In the former case the drawee is not authorized to pay the bill till he has
received the advice; in the latter he may pay before he has received advice.
22. - 14th. The drawee must either subscribe the bill, or, it seems, his name
may be simply inserted in the body of the instrument. Beawes, pl. 3; Ld. Raym.
1376 1 Stra. 609.
23. - 15th. The bill being a letter of request from the maker to a third
person, should be addressed to that person by the Christian name and surname, or
by the full style of their firm. 2 Pardess. n. 335 Beawes, pl. 3; Chit. Bills,
24. - 16th. The place of payment should be stated in the bill.
25. - 17th. As a matter of precaution, the drawer of a foreign bin may, in
order to prevent expenses, require the holder to apply to a third person, named
in the bill for that purpose, when the drawee refuses to accept the bill. This
requisition is usually in these words, placed in a corner, under the drawee's
address: " Au besoin chez Messrs. - at -," in other words, ((In case of need
apply to Messrs. at -. "
26. - 18th. The drawer may also add a request or direction, that in case the
bill should not be honored by the drawee, it shall be returned without protest
or without expense, by subscribing the words, " retour sans protet," or " sans
frais;" in. this case the omission of the holder to protest, having been induced
by the drawer, he, and perhaps the indorsers, cannot resist the payment on that
account, and thus the expense is avoided. Chit. Bills, 188.
27. - 19th. The drawer may also limit the amount of damages, by making a
memorandum on the bill, that they shall be a definite sum; as, for example: "In
case of non-acceptance or uon-payment, re-exchange and expenses not to, exceed
28. - §3. Bills of, exchange are either foreign or inland. Foreign, when
drawn by a person out of, on another in, the United States, or vice versa; or by
a person in a foreign country, on another person in another foreign country; or
by a person in one state, on another in another of the United States. , 2 Pet.
R. 589 .; 10 Pet. R. 572; 12 Pick. 483 15 Wend. 527; 3 Marsh. (Kty.) R. 488 1.
Rep. Const.; Ct. 100 4 Leigh's R. 37 4 Wash. C. C. Rep. 148; 1 Whart. Dig. tit.
Bills of Exchange, pl. 78. But see 5 John. R. 384, where it is said by Van Ness,
Justice, that a bill drawn in the United States, upon any place within the
United States, is an inland bill.
29. An inland bill is one drawn by a person in a state, on another in the
same state. The principal difference between foreign and inland bills is, that
the former must be protested, and the latter need not. 6 Mod. 29; 2 B. & A.
656; Chit Bills, (ed. of 1836,) p. 14. The English rule requiring protest and
notice of non-acceptance of foreign bills, has been adopted and followed as the
true rule of mercantile law, in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut) New
York, Maryland, and South Carolina. 3 Mass. Rep. 557; 1 Day's R. 11; 3 John.
Rep. 202; 4 John. R. 144; 1 Bay's Rep. 468; 1 Harr. & John. 187. But the
supreme court of the United States, in Brown v. Berry, 3 Dall. R. 365, and in
Clark v. Russel, cited in 6 Serg. & Rawle, 358, held, that in an action on a
foreign bill of exchange, after a protest for non-payment, protest for
non-acceptance, or notice of non-acceptance need not be shown, inasmuch as they
were not required by the custom of merchants in this country; and those
decisions have been followed in Pennsylvania. 6 Serg. & Rawle, 356. It
becomes a little difficult, therefore, to know what is the true rule of the
law-merchant in the United States, on this point, after such contrary
decisions." 3 Kent's Com. 95. As to what will be considered a foreign or an
inland bill, when part of the bill is made in one place and part in another, see
1 M. & S. 87; Gow. R. 56; S. c. 5 E. C. L. R. 460; 8 Taunt., 679; 4 E. C. L.
R. 245; 5 Taunt. 529; 1 E. C. L. R. 179.
30. - §4. The indorsement. Vide articles Indorsement; Indorser; Indorsee.
31. - §5. The acceptance. Vide article, Acceptance.
32. - §6. The protest. Vide article, Protest. Vide, generally, Chitty on
Bills; Bayley on Bills; Byles on Bills; Marius on Bills; Kyd on Bills;
Cunningham on Bills; Pothier, h. t.; Pardess. Index, Lettre de Change; 4 Vin.
Ab. 238; Bac. Ab. Merchant and Merchandise, M.; Com. Digest, Merchant; Dane's
Ab. Index, h. t.; 1 Sup: to Ves. Jr. 86, 514; Smith on Mer. Law, Book 3, c. 1;
Bouv. Inst. Index,.h. t.
BILL OF GROSS ADVENTURE. A phrase used in French maritime law; it
comprehends every instrument of writing which contains a contract of bottomry,
respondentia, and every species of maritime loan. We have no word of similar
import. Hall on Mar. Loans, 182, n. See Bottomry; Gross adventure;
BILL OF HEALTH; commercial law. A certificate, properly authenticated,
that a certain ship or vessel therein named, comes from a place where no
contagious distempers prevail, and that none of the crew at the time of her
departure were infected with any such distemper.
2. It is generally found on board of ships coming from the Levant, or from
the coast of Barbary, where the plague so frequently prevails. 1 Marsh. on Ins.
408. The bill of health is necessary whenever a ship sails from a suspected
port; or when it is required at the port of destination. Holt's R. 167; 1 Bell's
Com. 553, 5th ed.
3. In Scotland the name of bill of health, has been given to an
application.made by an imprisoned debtor for relief under the Act of Sederunt.
When the want of health of the prisoner requires it, the prisoner is indulged,
under proper regulations, with such a degree of liberty as may be necessary to
restore him. 2 Bell's Com. 549, 5th ed.
BILL OF INDICTMENT. A written accusation of one or more persons, of a
crime or misdemeanor, lawfully presented to a grand jury, convoked, to consider
whether there is sufficient evidence of the charge contained therein to put the
accused on trial. It is returned to the court with an indorsement of true bill
(q. v.) when the grand jury are satisfied that the accused ought to be tried; or
ignoramus, when they are ignorant of any just cause to put the accused upon hi.%
BILL, contracts. A bill or obligation, (which are the same thing,
except that in English it iis commonly called bill, but in Latin obligatio,
obligation,) is a deed whereby the obligor acknowledges himself to owe unto the
obligee a certain sum of money or some other thing, in which, besides the names
of the parties, are to be considered the sum or thing due, the time, place, and
manner of payment or delivery thereof. It may be indented, or poll, and with or
without a penalty. West's Symboleography s. 100, 101, and the various forms
BILL OF LADING, contracts and commercial law. A memorandum or
acknowledgment in writing, signed by the captain or master of a ship or other
vessel, that he has received in good order, on board of his ship or vessel,
therein named, at the place therein mentioned, certain goods therein specified,
which he promises to deliver in like good order, (the dangers of the seas
excepted,) at the place therein appointed for the delivery of the same, to the
consignee therein named or to his assigns, he or they paying freight for the
same. 1 T. R. 745; Bac. Abr. Merchant L Com. Dig. Merchant E 8. b; Abbott on
Ship. 216 1 Marsh. on Ins. 407; Code de Com. art. 281. Or it is the written
evidence of a contract for the carriage and delivery of goods sent by sea for a
certain freight. Per Lord Loughborougb, 1 H. Bl. 359.
2. A bill of lading ought to contain the name of the consignor; the name of
the consignee the name of the master of the vessel; the name of the vessel; the
place of departure and destination; the price of the freight; and in the margin,
the marks and numbers of the things shipped. Code de Com. art. 281; Jacobsen's
3. It is usually made in three original's, or parts. One of them is commonly
sent to the consignee on board with the goods; another is sent to him by mail or
some other conveyance; and the third is retained by the merch ant or shipper.
The master should also take care to have another part for his own use. Abbotton
4. The bill of lading is assignable, and the assignee is entitled to the
goods, subject, however, to the shipper's right, in some cases, of stoppage in
transitu. See In transitu; Stoppage in transitu. Abbott on Shipping. 331; Bac.
Ab. Merchant, L; 1 Bell's Com. 542, 5th ed.
BILLS OF MORTALITY. Accounts of births and deaths which have occurred
in a certain district, during a definite space of time.
BILL OBLIGATORY. An instrument in common use and too well known to be
misunderstood. It is a bond without condition, sometimes called a single bill,
and differs in nothing from a promissory note, but the seal which is affixed to
it. 2 Serg. & Rawle, 115. See Read's Pleaders' Assistant, 256, for a
declaration setting forth such a bill. Also West's Symboleography, s. 100, 101,
for the forms both with and without a penalty.
BILL OF PAINS AND PENALTIES. A special act of the legislature which
inflicts a punishment, less than death, upon persons supposed to be guilty of
high offences, Such as; treason and felony, without any conviction in the
ordinary course of judicial proceedings. 2 Wood. Law Lect. 625. It differs from
a bill of attainder in this, that the punishment inflicted by the latter is
2. The Constitution of the United States Provides that "no bill of attainder
shall be passed." It has been judicially said by the supreme court of the United
States, that " a bill of attainder may affect the life of an individual, or
i-nay confiscate his property, or both." 6 Cranch, R. 138. in the sense of the
constitution, then, it seems that bills of attainder include bills of pains and
penalties. Story, Const. §1338. Vide Attainder; Bills of Attainder.
BILL OP PARCELS, merc. law. An account containing in detail the names
of the items which compose a parcel or package of goods; it is usually
transmitted with the goods to the purchaser, in order that if any mistake have
been made, it may be corrected.
BILL OF PARTICULARS, practice. A detailed informal statement of a
plaintiff is cause of action, or of the defendants's set-off.
2. In all actions in which the plaintiff declares generally, without
specifying his cause of action, a judge upon application will order him to give
the defendant a bill of the particulars, and in the meantime stay, proceedings.
3 John. R. 248. And when the defendant gives notice or pleads a set-off, he will
be required to give a bill of the particulars of his set-off, on failure of
which he will be precluded from giving any evidence in support of it at the
trial. The object in both cases is to prevent surprise and procure a fair trial.
1 Phil. Ev. 152; 3 Stark Ev. 1055. The bill of particulars is an account of the
items of the demand, and states in what manner they arose. Mete. & Perk.
Dig. h. t. For forms, see Lee's Dict. of Pr., Particulars of demand.
BILL PENAL, contracts. A written obligation, by which a debtor
acknowledges himself indebted in a certain sum, may one hundred dollars, and for
the payment of the debt binds himself in a larger sum, say two hundred dollars.
Bills penal do not frequently occur in modern practice; bonds, with conditions,
have superseded them. Steph. on Pl. 265, note. See 2 Vent. 198. Bills-penal are
sometimes called bills obligatory. Cro. Car. 515; 2 Vent. 106. But a bill
obligatory is not necessarily a bill penal. Com. Dig. Obligations, D.
BILL OF PRIVILEGE, Eng. law. A process issued out of the court against
an attorney, who is privileged from arrest, instead of process demanding bail. 3
Bl. Com. 289.
BILL OF PROOF. In the mayor's court, London, the claim made by a third
person to the subject-matter in dispute between two others in a suit there, is
called bill of Proof. It is somewhat similar to an intervention. (q. v.) 3 Chit.
Com. Law, 633; 2 Chit. Pr. 492; 1 Marsh, R. 233.
BILL OF SUFFRANCE, Eng. law. The name of a license granted at the
custom house to a merchant, authorizing him to trade from one English port to
another without paying custom. Cunn. L. D.
BILL OF RIGHTS. English law. A statute passed in the reign of William
and Mary, so called, because it declared the true rights of British subjects. W.
& M. stat. 2, c. 2.
BILL OF SALE, Contracts. An agreement in writing, under seal, by which
a man transfers the right or interest he has in goods and cbattels, to another.
As the law imports a consideration when an agreement is made by deed, a bill of
sale alters the property. Yelv. 196; Cro. Jac. 270 6 Co. 18.
2. The Act of Congress of January 14, 1793, 1 Story, L. U. S. 276, provides,
that when any ship or vessel which shall have been registered pursuant to that
act, or the act thereby partially repealed, shall in whole or in part be sold or
transferred to a citizen of the United States, in every such sale or transfer,
there shall be some instrument or writing in the nature of a bill of sale, which
shall recite at length the certificate of registry; otherwise the said ship or
vessel shall be incapable to be registered anew.
3. In England a distinction is made between a bill of sale for the transfer
of a ship at sea, and one for the conveyance of a ship in the country; the
former is called a grand bill of sale, the latter, simply, a bill of sale. In
this country there does not appear to be such a distinction. 4 Mass. 661.
4. In general, the maritime law requires that the transfer of a ship should
be evidenced by a bill of sale. 1 Mason, 306. But a contract to sell,
accompanied by delivery of possession, is sufficient. 8 Pick. 86 16 Pick. 401;
16 Mass. 336; 7 John. 308. See 4 Mason, 515; 4 John. 54 16 Pet. 215; 2 Hall, 1;
1 Wash. C. C. 226.
BILL OF SIGHT, English commercial law. When a merchant i's ignorant of
the real quantities or qualities of any goods consigned to him, so that he is
unable to make a perfect entry of them, he is required to acquaint the collector
or comptroller of the circumstances and such officer is authorized, upon the
importer or his agent making oath that he cannot, for want of full information,
make a perfect entry, to receive an entry by bill of sight, for the packages, by
the best description which can be given, and to grant a warrant that the same be
landed and examined by the importer in presence of the officer; and within three
days after the goods have been so landed, the importer is required to make a
perfect entry. See stat. 3 & 4 Will. IV. c . 52, §24.
BILL, SINGLE, contracts. A writing by which one person or more,
promises to another or others, to pay him or them a sum of money at a time
therein specified, without any condition. It is usually under seal; and when so,
it is sometimes, if not commonly, called a bill obligatory. (q. v.) 2 S. &
2. It differs from a promissory note in this, that the latter is always
payable to order; and from a bond, because that instrument has always a
condition attached to it, on the performance of which it is satisfied. 5 Com.
Dig. 194; 7 Com. 357.
BILL OF STORE, English commercial law. A license granted by custom
house officers to merchants, to carry such stores and provisions as are
necessary for a voyage, free of duty. See stat. 3 and 4 Will. IV., c. 5 2.
BILL, TRUE. A true bill is an indictment approved of by a grand jury.
Vide Billa Vera; True Bill.