Delegation, * contracts. The transfer of authority from one or more persons to one or more others.

2. In general, all persons sui juris may delegate to another authority to act for them, but to this rule there are exceptions; 1st. On account of the thing to be done; and 2d. Because the act is of a personal nature, and incapable of being delegated. 1. The thing to be done must be lawful; for an authority to do a thing unlawful, is absolutely void. 5 Co. 80. 2. Sometimes, when the thing to be done is lawful, it must be performed by the person obligated himself. Com. Dig. Attorney, C 3; Story, on Ag. §12.

3. When a bare power or authority has been given to another, the latter cannot in general delegate that authority or any part of it to a third person, for the obvious reason that the principal relied upon the intelligence, skill and ability of his agent, and he cannot have the same confidence in a stranger. Bac. Ab. Authority, D; Com. Dig. Authority, C 3; 12. Mass. 241; 4 Mass. 597; 1 Roll. Ab. Authority, C 1, 15; 4 Camp. 183; 2 M. & Selw. 298, 301; 6 Taunt. 146; 2 Inst. 507.

4. To this general rule that one appointed as agent, trustee, and the like, cannot delegate his authority, there are exceptions: 1. When the agent is expressly authorized to make a substitution. 1 Liverm. on Ag. 54. 2. When the authority is implied, as in the following: cases: 1st. When by the laws such power is indispensable in order to accomplish the end proposed, as, for example, when goods are directed to be sold at auction, and the laws forbid such sales except by licensed auctioneers. 6 S. & R. 386. 2d. When the employment of such substitute is in the ordinary course of trade, as where it is the custom of trade to employ a ship broker or other agent for the purpose of procuring freight and the like . 2 M. & S. 301; 3 John. Ch. R. 167, 178; 6 S. & R. 386. 3d. When it is understood by the parties to be the mode in which the particular thing would be done. 9 Ves. 234; 3 Chit. Com Law, 206. 4th. When the powers thus delegated are merely mechanical in their nature. 1 Hill, (N. Y.) R. 501 Bunb. 166; Sugd. on Pow. 176.

5. As to the form of the delegation, it may be for general purposes, by a verbal or by a written declaration not under seal, or by acts and implications. 3 Chit. Com. Law, 5, 194, 195; 7 T. R. 350. But when the act to be done must be under seal, the delegation must also be under seal. Co. Litt. 48 b; 5 Binn. 613; 14 S. & R. 331 See Authority.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

« Definitions Deh to Dep

« Legal Dictionary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H
I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P
Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y