This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If B converts A's money to his own use, A may sue B therefor in an action for money had and received.1 This is true, even if B's conversion amounted to larceny.2 If B has converted A's chattels, other than money, to his own use, and B has sold them and received the money therefor, A may maintain an action against him for money had and received.3 Thus, where X delivers to A, as his agent, to sell upon commission, certain tobacco which really belongs to B, and A sells this tobacco at auction, delivers it to the purchaser, collects the money, and pays it to X, with full knowledge of B's rights in such tobacco, B may maintain an action against A for money had and received.4 So, if A, a treasurer of a corporation, B, fraudulently issues certificates of B's stock in excess of his authority, and such certificates are so intermingled with the genuine stock that they cannot be distinguished from it, and A appropriates the money thus received for his own use, B may recover from A in an action for money had and received.5 So, if B cuts timber from A's land and sells it, B may recover from A for money had and received, if the question of the title to the realty is not involved.6 B, a creditor of Y, secured an attachment and seized certain property as Y's. X, claiming as vendee from Y, maintained an action against B in trespass for the value of the property, and recovered a judgment against him, which B satisfied. A, a subsequent attaching creditor, had the property sold under the attachments, and received the money therefor. B may recover such amount from A.7 If A sells B's property on credit, it has been held that B may recover from him for money had and received after the term of credit has expired.8 If one who has received the property of another and has held it for so long a time that a presumption may arise that he has sold it, he may be liable in an action for money had and received; but within a shorter period of time the action will not lie.0
4 Terry v. Munger, 121 N. Y. 161; 18 Am. St. Rep. 803; 8 L. R. A. 216: 24 N. E. 272.
5Ward v. Hood. 124 Ala. 570; 82 Am. St. Rep. 205: 27 So. 245; Bates-Farley Saw Bank v. Dismukes, 107 Ga. 212; 33 S. E. 175.
6Merriwether v. Bell (Ky.). 58 S. W. 987. The measure of damages will not be the injury done to the property; but the value of the sand taken.
1 See Sec. 789.
2 Guernsey v. Davis. 67 Kan. 378; 73 Pac. 101; Howe v. Clancey, 53 Me. 130. Contra, Drury v. Douglas, 35 Vt. 474. In this case B delivered money to A to carry to X. A appropriated it. It was held that assumpsit would not lie.
3Griel v. Pollak, 105 Ala. 249; 16 So. 704; Halleck v. Mixer, 16 Cal. 574; Cushman v. Hayes, 46 111. 145; Moses v. Arnold, 43 la. 187; 22 Am. Rep. 239; Robinson v. Bird, 158 Mass. 357; 35 Am. St. Rep. 495; 33 N. E. 391; Nelson v. Kilbride, 113 Mich. 637; 71 N. W. 1089; Tolan v. Hodgeboom, 38 Mich. 625; Koch v. Branch, 44 Mo. 542; 100 Am. Dec. 324; White v. Boyd, 124 N. C. 177; 32 S. E. 499; Scottish, etc., Co. v. Brooks. 109 N. C. 698; 14 S. E. 315; Huffman v.
Hughlett, 11 Lea (Tenn.) 549; Hutchinson v. Ford, 62 Vt. 97; 18 Atl. 1044.
4 White v. Boyd, 124 N. C. 177; 32 S. E. 495.
5 Rutland Ry. Co. v. Haven, 62 Vt. 39; 19 Atl. 769.
6 Guarantee, etc., Co. v. Investment Co., 107 La. 251; 31 So. 736. Nelson v. Kilbride, 113 Mich. 637; 71 N. W. 1089.
7Griel v. Pollak, 105 Ala. 249; 16 So. 704.