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ing the day of receipt in which to forward the check to the bank on which it is drawn for presentment. The time consumed in the process of forwarding the check from the place of the holder to the bank may be a week or more, and any loss occurring by reason of failure of bank during this period would not fall on the holder." The payee of a check has the alternative right to present it to the bank, or start the forwarding of it within twenty-four hours, or he may transfer it by indorsement or delivery within twenty-four hours from the time of receipt to another holder, who in turn has the same right. But it may be said, generally, that a check is not intended for general circulation like a note or bill; it is meant for immediate presentment. It may be said, generally, that those things that will excuse a failure to present a bill or note and to protest and give notice on the same will likewise operate an excuse for presentment of a check. The insolvency of the bank will, of course, excuse presentment. u Smith vs. Jones, 20 Wend., 192. 19 Mohawk Bank V8. Broderick,
10 Wend., 304.
THE UNIFORM NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT
SECTION 55. HISTORY OF THE ACT. The following history of the Uniform Negotiable Instrument Law is taken from Street's Foundation of Legal Liability: 1
"Judge M. D. Chalmers published his Digest of the English Law of Bills, Notes and Cheques in 1878. In form it was modeled after the Indian Codes. In substance it was a statement, in succinct and orderly paragraphs, of the results of the decided cases. The general propositions were framed by the author and illustrated, so far as practicable, by reference to actual decisions. The writer, however, in order to complete the symmetry of his work did not confine himself to the binding decisions of the English courts, but, where there was no expression from that source on a particular point, consulted the decisions of foreign tribunals and the works of foreign jurists, as well as usages of merchants and bankers.
“The skill with which Judge Chalmers performed his task attracted much favorable notice, and accordingly soon afterwards the Institute of Bankers and Associated Chambers of Commerce procured his services in framing a bill. In doing this, he strove to reproduce, as exactly as possible, the existing law, whether it seemed good, bad, or indifferent in its effect. The bill was then introduced in Parliament, and was passed after certain amendments had been 1 Vol. II, pages 495-6.
incorporated, on the advice of a select committee of merchants, bankers, and lawyers, to whom the bill was referred.
“The English Bills of Exchange Act (1882), is, therefore, substantially, a codification of existing law. It has given great satisfaction in England and in her self-governing colonies, in all of which it has been adopted. The very small number of cases involving bills and notes, which have reached the higher courts since its passage, show that the act has contributed much to the removal of doubt and controversy.
“The favor with which this piece of parliamentary legislation was received in England stimulated efforts to the same end in America, and in 1895 the American Commissioners on the Uniformity of Legislation, instructed their Committee on Commercial Law to have the American Laws of Bills and Notes put into the form of a code. The matter was referred to a subcommittee composed of Messrs. Lyman D. Brewster, Henry C. Wilcox, and Frank Bergen. These gentlemen procured Mr. J. J. Crawford of New York City to draft the law. The result of his labor was submitted to the commissioners at Saratoga in 1896. They carefully went over the bill and made a few changes, chiefly such as the draftsman had not felt at liberty, on his own authority, to make. As thus amended, the draft was approved by the conference and submitted to the legislatures of a number of the states. New York first enacted it into law, and more than twenty of the American states have since followed this example."
The law has been adopted literally in some of the states, but in others, as in Illinois, some provisions have been materially changed. In the following articles the text of the original act is given in full, the changes in the Illinois statutes, in addition, being inserted in brackets.
UNIFORM NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT.
ARTICLE I.-FORM AND INTERPRETATION.
(NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT MUST CONFORM TO WHAT REQUIREMENTS.] § 1. An instrument payable in money, to be negotiated,
to be negotiated, must conform to the following requirements:
1. It must be in writing and signed by the maker or drawer.
2. Must contain an unconditional promise or order to pay a sum certain in money.
3. Must be payable on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time.
4. Must be payable to order or to bearer, and,
(4. Must be payable to the order of a specified person or to bearer; and,)
5. Where the instrument is addressed to a drawee, he must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.
[SUM PAYABLE WITHIN THE ACT.) 82. The sum payable is a sum certain within the meaning of this act, although it is to be paid:
1. With interest; or
3. By stated installments, with a provision that upon default in payment of any installment, or of interest, the whole shall become due; or
4. With exchange, whether at a fixed rate or at the current rate; or
5. With costs of collection or an attorney's fee, in case payment shall not be made at maturity.
(PROMISE TO PAY— UNCONDITIONAL—WHAT CONSTITUTES.] $ 3. An unqualified order or promise to pay is unconditional within the meaning of this act, though coupled with:
1. An indication of a particular fund out of which reimbursement is to be made, or a particular account to be debited with the amount; or
2. A statement of the transaction which gives rise to the instrument.
But an order or promise to pay out of a particular fund is not unconditional.
[TIME PAYABLE.] § 4. An instrument is payable at a determinable future time, within the meaning of this act, which is expressed to be payable:
1. At a fixed period after date or sight; or
2. On or before a fixed or determinable future time specified therein; or
3. On or at a fixed period after the occurrence of a specified event, which is certain to happen, though the time of happening be uncertain.
An instrument payable upon a contingency is not negotiable, and the happening of the event does not cure the defect.
(NEGOTIABILITY— AFFECTED BY INCLUDING ACT ADDITIONAL TO PAYMENT.] $ 5. An instrument which contains an order or promise to do an act in addition to the payment of money is not negotiable under this act. But the negotiable character of an instrument otherwise negotiable is not affected by a provision which:
1. Authorizes the sale of collateral securities in case the instrument be not paid at maturity; or