APPARENT AUTHORITY - Black's Law Dictionary

What is APPARENT AUTHORITY? Definition of APPARENT AUTHORITY in Black's Law Dictionary

In the law of agency, such authority as the principal knowingly permits the agent to assume, or which he holds the agent out as possessing; such authority as he appears to have by reason of the actual authority which he has; such authority as a reasonably prudent man, using diligence and discretion, in view of the principal's conduct, would naturally suppose the agent to possess. Iowa Loan & Trust Co. v. Seaman, 203 Iowa 310, 210 N.W. 937, 940; Kissell v. Pittsburgh, Ft. W. & C. Ry. Co., 194 Mo.App. 346, 188 S.W. 1118, 1121; Brager v. Levy, 122 Md. 554, 90 A. 102, 104; Atto v. Saunders, 77 N.H. 527, 93 A. 1037, 1039; Campbell Paint & Varnish Co. v. Ladd Furniture & Carpet Co., Tex.Civ.App., 83 S.W.2d 1095, 1097; Humble Oil & Refining Co. v. Wood, Tex.Civ.App., 94 S.W.2d 573, 574.

It includes the power to do whatever is usually done and necessary to be done in order to carry into effect the principal power conferred. Oliver v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 176 N.C. 598, 97 S.E. 490, 491. Such authority as a principal intentionally or by want of ordinary care causes or allows third person to believe that agent possesses. Fireman's Fund Indemnity Co. v. Longshore Beach and Country Club, Inc., 127 Conn. 493, 18 A.2d 347, 349.

It is not actual authority and may often be authority not actually possessed by agent, but is such as principal holds agent out as possessing. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Steckel, 216 Iowa 1189, 250 N.W. 476; Herbert v. Langhoff, La.App., 164 So. 262, 266.

"Apparent authority" of an agent must be determined by what the principal does, rather than by acts of the agent. Grismore v. Consolidated Products Co., 232 Iowa 328, 5 N.W.2d 646, 651.

It must be traceable to the principal and cannot be established solely by acts and conduct of agent, and principal is only liable for the appearance of authority caused by him. Storms v. United Grain & Millworkers' Union, 64 Ohio App. 19, 27 N.E.2d 781, 783.

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