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Proof of Agents Authority


PROOF OF AGENT'S AUTHORITY. In proving the agent's authority, if it was conferred, by writing or deed, the writing being the best must be produced or accounted for. (Reese v. Medlock, 27 Tex. 12o.) But the written authority is not necessary where the existence of the agency is only incidentally brought in question. In general, the agent's authority cannot be proven by his own state ments or admissions (Howe Machine Co. v. Clark, 15 Kan. 492; North v. Metz, 57 Mich. 612), nor can it be proven by evidence that the agent was generally re puted to be so authorized. (Blevins v. Pope, 7 Ala. 371.) It is proof of some word or act from the princi pal conferring the authority that is required. To es tablish a parol authority by the principal, the agent may be called as a witness, and his testimony is as com petent as any other witness. "But it is not competent to prove the supposed authority of an agent for the purpose of binding his principal by proving what the supposed agent has said at some previous time." (Val entine J. in Home Machine Co. v. Clark, 15 Kans. 492.) If the authority is in writing, or the facts on which the agency is based are undisputed, it is a question of law for the court to determine the nature, extent and meaning of the authority conferred. (Gulick v. Gro ver, 33 N. J. L. 463; Savings Soc. v. Savings Bank, 36 Pa. St. 498.) In other cases it is for the jury, as in structed by the court, to ascertain whether or not the agency exists. (Roberts v. Pebble, 55 Mich. 367.) Proof of the ratification of the act of another by the principal will establish the authority of the agent. But a person cannot be Illy le to assume the authority of an agent against his will; there must be assent on the part of the agent, either actual, or implied from his assump tion of the authority.

agent, principal and writing