Differences between Particular Lien and General Lien

Differences between Particular Lien and General Lien

These two kinds of liens are different from each other in the following ways.

1. Availability

A particular lien is available only against a property (goods) in respect of which the skill and labour have been exercised, while a general lien is available against any property of another and in the possession of the person trying to exercise the lien in respect of general balance of account.

2. When can the lien be exercised

A particular lien can be exercised when the labour or skill has been applied on the goods so as to improve their value and in accordance with the purpose of the bailment. and the terms of the contract. Thus, a bailee in respect of feeding an animal cannot detain the animal for non-payment of feeding expenses by the bailor, but a veterinary surgeon who has performed a surgery or otherwise treated the animal, is entitled to lien.

A general lien, on the other hand, can be exercised no matter whether any labour or skill has been expended in respect of the goods.

3. Who can exercise

As a general rule, particular lien can be exercised by a bailee only, whereas a right of general lien is expressly given to factors, bankers, wharfingers, policy-brokers and high court attorneys under the condition that there is no agreement to the contrary.

4. Right to sale of goods

Under a particular lien, the bailee can hold the goods but ordinarily has no right to sell the goods to realize his dues. A right to sell may, however, be conferred on him by a special agreement. Whereas under general lien, goods cannot be sold for the recovery of dues, their possession can be retained merely until the payment of the dues.