• Current through October 23, 2012

(1) Subject to the following section and to the provisions of section 28:7- 205 on fungible goods, a holder to whom a negotiable document of title has been duly negotiated acquires thereby:

(a) Title to the document;

(b) Title to the goods;

(c) All rights accruing under the law of agency or estoppel, including rights to goods delivered to the bailee after the document was issued; and

(d) The direct obligation of the issuer to hold or deliver the goods according to the terms of the document free of any defense or claim by him except those arising under the terms of the document or under this article. In the case of a delivery order the bailee's obligation accrues only upon acceptance and the obligation acquired by the holder is that the issuer and any indorser will procure the acceptance of the bailee.

(2) Subject to the following section, title and rights so acquired are not defeated by any stoppage of the goods represented by the document or by surrender of such goods by the bailee, and are not impaired even though the negotiation or any prior negotiation constituted a breach of duty or even though any person has been deprived of possession of the document by misrepresentation, fraud, accident, mistake, duress, loss, theft or conversion, or even though a previous sale or other transfer of the goods or document has been made to a third person.

(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 728, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)



Prior Uniform Statutory Provision

Sections 20(4), 25, 33, 38 and 62, Uniform Sales Act; Sections 41, 47, 48 and 49, Uniform Warehouse Receipts Act; Sections 32, 38, 39, 40 and 42, Uniform Bills of Lading Act.



Purposes of Changes

1. The several necessary qualifications of the broad principle that the holder of a document acquired in a due negotiation is the owner of the document and the goods have been brought together in the next section.

2. Subsection (1)(c) covers the case of "feeding" of a duly negotiated document by subsequent delivery to the bailee of such goods as the document falsely purported to cover; the bailee in such case is estopped as against the holder of the document.

3. The explicit statement in subsection (1)(d) of the bailee's direct obligation to the holder precludes the defense, sometimes successfully asserted under the old acts, that the document in question was "spent" after the carrier had delivered the goods to a previous holder. But the holder is subject to such defenses as non-negligent destruction even though not apparent on the face of the document, and the bailee's obligation is of course subject to lawful provisions in filed classifications and tariffs. See Sections 7-103, 7- 403. The sentence on delivery orders applies only to delivery orders in negotiable form which have been duly negotiated. On delivery orders, see also Section 7-503(2) and Comment.

4. Subsection (2) condenses and continues the law of a number of sections of the prior acts which gave full effect to the issuance or due negotiation of a negotiable document. The subsection adds nothing to the effect of the rules stated in subsection (1), but it has been included since such explicit references were relied upon under the prior acts to preserve the rights of a purchaser by due negotiation unimpaired. The listing is not exhaustive. Only those matters have been repeated in this subsection which were explicitly reserved in the prior acts except in the case of stoppage in transit. Here, the language has been broadened to include "any stoppage" lest an inference be drawn that a stoppage of the goods before or after transit might cut off or otherwise impair the purchaser's rights.

Cross References

Sections 7-103, 7-205, 7-403 and 7-503.

Definitional Cross References

"Bailee". Section 7-102.

"Delivery". Section 1-201.

"Delivery order". Section 7-102.

"Document". Section 7-102.

"Document of title". Section 1-201.

"Duly negotiate". Section 7-501.

"Fungible". Section 1-201.

"Goods". Section 7-102.

"Holder". Section 1-201.

"Issuer". Section 7-102.

"Person". Section 1-201.

"Rights". Section 1-201.

"Term". Section 1-201.

"Warehouse receipt". Section 1-201.

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:7-502.

1973 Ed., § 28:7-502.