The act of agreeing to (accepting) the terms of an offer. For example, an employee accepts an offer of employment by agreeing to work for the employer for the wages offered. 2) A draft, payable at a determinable future, date upon the face of which the drawee acknowledges his obligation to pay it at maturity.
An agreement to receive something which has been offered.
To complete the contract, the acceptance must be absolute and past recall and communicated to the party making the offer at the time and place appointed.
In many cases acceptance of a thing waives the right which the party receiving before had; as, for example, the acceptance of rent after notice to quit, in general waives. the notice.
The acceptance may be express, as when it is openly declared by the party to be bound by it; or implied, as where the party acts as if he had accepted. The offer, and acceptance must be in some medium understood by, both parties; it may be language, symbolical, oral or written. For example, persons deaf and dumb may contract by symbolical or written language. At auction sales, the contract, generally symbolical; a nod, a wink, or some other sign by one party, imports that he makes an offer, and knocking down a hammer by the other, that he agrees to it.
Acceptance of a bill of exchange the act by which the drawee or other person evinces his assent or intention to comply with and be bound by, the request contained in a bill of exchange to pay the same; or in other words, it is an engagement to pay the bill when due. It will be proper to consider, 1, by whom the acceptance ought to be made; 2, the time when it is to be made; 3, the form of the acceptance; 4, its extent or effect.
The acceptance must be made by the drawee himself, or by one authorized by him. On the presentment of a bill, the holder has a right to insist upon such an acceptance by the drawee as will subject him at all events to the payment of the bill, according to its tenor; consequently such drawee must have capacity to contract, and to bind himself to pay the amount of the bill, or it, may be treated as dishonored.
As to the time when, a bill ought to be accepted, it may be before the bill is drawn; in this case it must be in writing or it may be after it is drawn; when the bill is presented, the drawee must accept the bill within twenty-four hours after presentment, or it should be treated as dishonored. On the refusal to accept, even within the twenty-four hours, it should be protested. The acceptance may be made after the bill is drawn, and before it becomes due or after the time appointed for payment and even after refusal to accept so as to bind the acceptor.
The acceptance may also be made supra protest, which is the acceptance of the bill, after protest for non-acceptance by the drawee, for the honor of the drawer, or a particular endorser. When a bill has been accepted supra protest for the honor of one party to the bill, it may be accepted supra protest, by another individual, for the honor of another.
As to the form of the acceptance, it is clearly established it may be in writing on the bill itself, or on another paper, or it may be verbal; or it may be expressed or implied.
An express acceptance is an agreement in direct and express terms to pay a bill of exchange, either by the party on whom it is drawn, or by some other person, for the honor of some of the parties. It is Usually in the words accepted or accepts, but other express words showing an engagement to pay the bill will be equally binding.
An implied acceptance is an agreement to pay a bill, not by direct and express terms, but by any acts of the party from which an express agreement may be fairly inferred. For example, if the drawee writes 'seen,' 'presented,' or any, other thing upon it, (as the day on which it becomes due,) this, unless explained by other circumstances, will constitute an acceptance.
An acceptance in regard to its extent and effect, may be either absolute, conditional, or partial.
An absolute acceptance is a positive engagement to pay the bill according to its tenor, and is usually made by writing on the bill ' accepted,' and subscribing the drawee's name; or by merely writing his name either at the bottom or across the bill. But in order to bind another than the drawee, it is requisite his name should appear.
A conditional acceptance is one which will subject the drawee or acceptor to the payment of the money on a contingency. The holder is not bound to receive such an acceptance, but if he do receive it he must observe its terms.
A partial acceptance varies from the tenor of the bill, as where it is made to pay part of the sum for which the bill is drawn, or to pay at a different time.
This entry contains material from Bouvier's Legal Dictionary, a work published in the 1850's.
Courtesy of the 'Lectric Law Library