G.R. No. 111190 – 245 SCRA 374 – Mercantile Law – Negotiable Instruments Law – Delivery of Negotiable Instruments – Paychecks of Public Officers
Raul Sebreño filed a complaint for damages against Fiscal Bienvenido Mabanto Jr. of Cebu City. Sebreño won and he was awarded the payment of damages. Judge Burgos ordered De La Victoria, custodian of the paychecks of Mabanto, to hold the checks and convey them to Sebreño instead. De La Victoria assailed the order as he said that the paychecks and the amount thereon are not yet the property of Mabanto because they are not yet delivered to him; that since there is no delivery of the checks to Mabanto, the checks are still part of the public funds; and the checks, due to the foregoing, cannot be the proper subject of garnishment.
ISSUE: Whether or not De La Victoria is correct.
HELD: Yes. Under Section 16 of the Negotiable Instruments Law, every contract on a negotiable instrument is incomplete and revocable until deliveryof the instrument for the purpose of giving effect thereto. As ordinarily understood, delivery means the transfer of the possession of the instrument by the maker or drawer with intent to transfer title to the payee and recognize him as the holder thereof.