PROTEST, mar. law. A writing, attested by a justice of the peace or a consul, drawn by the master of a vessel, stating the severity of a voyage by which a ship has suffered, and showing it was not owing to the neglect or misconduct of the master. Vide Marsh. Ins. 715, 716. See 1 Wash. C. R. 145; Id. 238; Id. 408, n.; 1 Pet. C. R. 119; 1 Dall. 6; Id. 10; Id. 317; 2 Dall. 195; 3 Watts & Serg. 144; 3 Binn. 228, n.; 1 Yeates, 261.
PROTEST, legislation. A declaration made by one or more members of a legis lative body that they do not agree with some act or resolution of the body; it is usual to add the reasons which the protestants have for such a dissent.
PROTEST, contracts. A notarial act, made for want of payment of a promissory note, or for want of acceptance or payment of a bill of exchange, by a notary public, in which it is declared that all parties to such instruments will be held responsible to the holder for all damages, exchanges, reexchanges, &c.;
2. There are two kinds of protest, namely, protest for non-acceptance, and protest for non-payment. When a protest is made and notice of the non-payment or non-acceptance given to the parties in proper time, they will be held responsible. 3 Kent, Com. 63; Chit. on Bills, 278; 3 Pardes. n. 418 to 441; Merl. Repert. h. t.; COID. Dig. Merchant, F 8, 9, 10; Bac. Ab. Merchant, &c. M 7.
3. There is also a species of protest, common in England, which is called protest for better security. It may be made when a merchant who has accepted a bill becomes insolvent, or is publicly reported to have failed in his credit, or absents himself from change, before the bill he has accepted becomes due, or when the holder has any just reason to suppose it will not be paid; and on demand the acceptor refuses to give it. Notice of such protest must, as in other cases, be sent by the first post. 1 Ld. Raym. 745; Mar. 27.
4. In making the protest, three things are to be done: the noting; demanding acceptance or payment or, as above, better security and drawing up the protest. 1. The noting, (q. v.) is unknown to the law as distinguished from the protest. 2. The demand, (q. v.) which must be made by a person having authority to receive the money. 3. The drawing up of the protest, which is a mere matter of form. Vide Acceptance; Bills of Exchange.