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A Grand Jury statement that a crime was committed; a written notice, initiated by a grand jury, that states that a crime occurred and that an indictment should be drawn.

In relation to Commercial Paper ,presentment is a demand for the payment or acceptance of a negotiable instrument, such as a check. The holder of a negotiable instrument generally makes a presentment to the maker, acceptor, drawer, or drawee.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) making a demand for payment of a promissory note when it is due. 2) a report to a court by a grand jury, made on its own initiative without a request or presentation of evidence by the local prosecutor, that a "public" crime (illegal act by public officials or affecting the public good) has been committed. (See: promissory note, grand jury)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


1 a BILL OF EXCHANGE must be duly presented for payment; if it is not so presented, the drawer and indorsers will be discharged. Where a bill is not payable on demand, presentment must be made on the day it falls due; if it is payable on demand, it must be presented within a reasonable time. In the case of a bill payable after sight, presentment for acceptance (as opposed to payment) is necessary in order to fix its maturity date.
2 (US) a statement on oath by a grand jury of something within their own knowledge or observation.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PRESENTMENT, crim. law, practice. The written notice taken by a grand jury of any offence, from their own knowledge or observation, without any bill of indictment laid before them at the suit of the government; 4 Bl. Com. 301; upon such presentment, when 'proper, the officer employed to prosecute, afterwards frames a till of indictment, which is then sent to the grand jury, and they find it to be a true bill. In an extended sense presentments include not only what is properly so called, but also inquisitions of office, and indictments found by a grand jury. 2 Hawk. c. 25, s. 1.
     2. The difference between a presentment and an inquisition, (q.v.) is this, that the former is found by a grand jury authorized to inquire of offences generally, whereas the latter is an accusation found by a jury specially returned to inquire concerning the particular offence. 2 Hawk. c. 25, s. 6. Vide, generally, Com. Dig. Indictment, B Bac. Ab. Indictment, A 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 163; 7 East, R. 387 1 Meigs. 112; 11 Humph. 12.
     3. The writing which contains the accusation so presented by a grand jury, is also called a presentment. Vide 1 Brock. C. C. R. 156; Grand Jury.

PRESENTMENT, contracts. The production of a bill of exchange or promissory note to the party on whom the former is drawn, for his acceptance, or to the person bound to pay either, for payment.
     2. The holder of a bill is bound, in order to hold the parties to it responsible to him, to present it in due time for acceptance, and to give notice, if it be dishonored, to all tho parties he intends to hold liable. And when a bill or note becomes payable, it must be presented for payment.
     3. The principal circumstances concerning presentment, are the person to whom, the place where, and the time when, it is to be made.
     4.-1. In general the presentment for payment should be made to the maker of a note, or the drawee of a bill for acceptance, or to the acceptor, for payment; but a presentment made at a particular place, when payable there, is in general sufficient. A personal demand on the drawee or acceptor is not necessary; a demand at his usual place of residence of his wife or other agent is sufficient. 2 Esp. Cas. 509; 5 Esp. Cas. 265 Holt's N. P. Cas. 313.
     5.-2. When a bill or note is made payable at a particular place, a presentment, as we have seen, may be made there; but when the acceptance is general, it must be presented at the house or place of business of the acceptor. 3 Kent, Com. 64, 65.
     6.-3. In treating of the time for presentment, it must be considered with reference, 1st. To a presentment for acceptance. 2d. To one for payment. 1st. When the bill is payable at sight, or after sight, the presentment must be made in reasonable time; and what this reasonable time is depends upon the circumstances of each case. 7 Taunt. 397; 1 Dall. 255; 2 Dall. 192; Ibid. 232; 4 Dall. 165; Ibid. 129; 1 Yeates, 531; 7 Serg. & Rawle, 324; 1 Yeates 147. 2d. The presentment of a note or bill for payment ought to be made on the day it becomes due, and notice of non-payment given, otherwise the holder will lose the security of the drawer and endorsers of a bill and the endorsers of a promissory note, and in case the note or bill be payable at a particular place and the money lodged there for its payment, the holder would probably have no recourse against the maker or acceptor, if he did not present them on the day, and the money should be lost. 5 Barn. & Ald. 244. Vide 5 Com. Dig. 134; 2 John. Cas. 75; 3 John. R. 230; 2 Caines' Rep. 343; 18 John. R. 230; 2 John. R. 146, 168, 176; 2 Wheat. 373; Chit. on Bills, Index, h.t.; Smith on Mer. Law, 138; Byles on Bills, 102.
     7. The excuses for not making a presentment are general or applicable to all persons, who are endorsers; or they are special and applicable to the particular' endorser only.
     8.-1. Among the former are, 1. Inevitable accident or overwhelming calamity; Story on Bills, Sec. 308; 3 Wend. 488; 2 Smith's R. 224. 2. The prevalence of a malignant disease, by which the ordinary operations of business are suspended. 2 John. Cas. 1; 3 M. & S. 267; Anth. N. P. Cas. 35. 3. The breaking out of war between the country of the maker and that of the holder. 4. The occupation of the country where the note is payable or where the parties live, by a public enemy, which suspends commercial operations and intercourse. 8 Cranch, 155 15 John. 57; 16 John. 438 7 Pet. 586 2 Brock. 20; 2 Smith's R. 224. 51. The obstruction of the ordinary negotiations of trade by the vi's maj or. 6. Positive interdictions and public regulations of the state which suspend commerce and intercourse. 7. The utter impracticability of finding the maker, or ascertaining his place of residence. Story on Pr. N. 205, 236, 238, 241, 264.
     9.-2. Among the latter or special excuses for not making a presentment may be enumerated the following: 1. The receiving the note by the holder from the payee, or other antecedent party, too late to make a due presentment; this will be an excuse as to such party. 16 East, 248; 7 Mass. 483; Story, P. N. Sec. 201, 265; 11 Wheat. 431 2 Wheat. 373. 2. The note being an accommodation note of the maker for the benefit of the endorser. Story on Bills, Sec. 370; see 2 Brock. 20; 7 Harr. & J. 381; 7 Mass. 452; 1 Wash. C. C. R. 461; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 514; 1 Raym. 271; 4 Mason, 113; 1 Har. & G. 468; 1 Caines, 157; 1 Stew. 175; 5 Pick. 88; 21 Pick. 327. 3. A special agreement by which the endorser waives the presentment. 8 Greenl. 213; 11 Wheat. 629; Story on Bills, Sec. 371, 373; 6 Wheat. 572. 4. The receiving security or money by an endorser to secure himself from loss, or to pay the note at maturity. In this case, when the indemnity or money is a full security for the amount of the note or bill, no presentment is requisite. Story on Bills, Sec. 374; Story on P. N. Sec. 281; 4 Watts, 328.; 9 Gill & John. 47; 7 Wend. 165; 2 Greenl. 207; 5 Mass. l70; 5 Conn. 175. 5. The receiving the note by the holder from the endorser, as a collateral security for another debt. Story on Pr. Notes, Sec. 284; Story on Bills, Sec. 372; 2 How. S. C. R. 427, 457.
    10. A want of presentment may be waived by the party to be affected, after a full knowledge of the fact. 8 S. & R. 438; see 6 Wend. 658; 3 Bibb, 102; 5 John. 385; 4 Mass. 347; 7 Mass. 452; Wash. C. C. R. 506; Bac. Ab. Merchant, &c. M. Vide, generally, 1 Hare & Wall. Sel. Dec. 214, 224. See Notice of dishonor.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
If the President of the Chamber of Advocates considers a concrete complaint or presentment to be an acceptable ground, he/she initiates disciplinary proceedings.
The Qualifications Commission reviews the case within the limits of the claims and on the grounds indicated in the relevant complaint or presentment. A subject matter and the grounds for the complaint cannot be changed.
4) Disciplinary proceedings must be terminated due to the withdrawal of the complaint or presentment, or due to the reconciliation of the claimant and the advocate.
The narrative part must include a subject matter of complaint or presentment, together with the advocate's explanations.
Instead, positive pay, including payee matching, counts more than presentment times.
Basic check processing and presentment services are very mature and highly commoditized, says Sayantan Chakraborty, North America payments head for Citigroup's global transaction services, but that is not what most treasuries care about.
These costs, together with the presentment fee charged by some paying banks (1/8 of 1 percent on average), added roughly another 3/4 of 1 percent to the costs incurred by collecting banks (Spahr 1926, p.
They were still free to charge presentment fees as well, but the Board's Circular prevented them from charging presentment fees to the Reserve Banks.
Representatives of the American Bankers Association took the opportunity to lobby for a bank's right to charge presentment fees, even against the Reserve Banks.
Although historians typically portray early federal grand juries as mere tools of the central government,(18) an examination of actual charges and presentments reveals a different picture.(19) After the Constitution's ratification, grand jurors continued to take initiative in making presentments.
Without fail, judges and justices reminded grand jurors of their oaths to make diligent inquiries and true presentments.(21) Indeed, judges mentioned presentments more often than indictments.
Marshall declared that "[t]he usage of this country has been, to pass over, unnoticed, presentments on which the attorney does not think it proper to institute proceedings."(29) He went on to discuss the advantages of this custom in a system in which jurisdiction was not clearly established: "This usage is convenient, because it avoids the waste of time, which would often be consumed in the inquiry, whether the court could take jurisdiction of the offence presented.