Banking, Mercantile Law

TIBAJIA v. CA G.R. No. 100290 June 4, 1993 Legal Tender, Cashier’s Check

 

FACTS:

A suit for collection of a sum of money filed by Eden Tan against petitioners, Tibajia spouses. A writ of attachment was issued, and the Deputy Sheriff filed a return stating that a deposit made by the Tibajia spouses in the RTC of Kalookan City in the amount of P442,750.00 in another case, had been garnished by him.

A decision was rendered in favor of the plaintiff, ordering the Tibajia spouses to pay her an amount in excess of P300,000.00.

Eden Tan thereafter filed the corresponding motion for execution and the garnished funds were levied upon.

The Tibajia spouses delivered the total money judgment in the following form:

Cashier’s Check P262,750.00

Cash 135,733.70

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Total P398,483.70

 

Eden Tan, refused to accept the payment made by the Tibajia spouses and instead insisted that the garnished funds deposited with the cashier of the RTC Pasig be withdrawn to satisfy the judgment obligation.

Petitioners filed a motion to lift the writ of execution on the ground that the judgment debt had already been paid.

The motion was denied on the ground that payment in cashier’s check is not payment in legal tender and that payment was made by a third party other than the defendant.

The appellate court dismissed the petition of the spouses, holding that payment by cashier’s check is not payment in legal tender as required by Republic Act No. 529.

 

ISSUE:

Whether or not  a CASHIER’S CHECK is considered payment “LEGAL TENDER”.

 

RULING:

The provisions of law applicable to the case at bar are the following:chanrobles virtual law library

 

Article 1249 of the Civil Code which provides:

Art. 1249. The payment of debts in money shall be made in the currency stipulated, and if it is not possible to deliver such currency, then in the currency which is legal tender in the Philippines.

The delivery of promissory notes payable to order, or bills of exchange or other mercantile documents shall produce the effect of payment only when they have been cashed, or when through the fault of the creditor they have been impaired.

In the meantime, the action derived from the original obligation shall be held in abeyance.;

 

Section 1 of Republic Act No. 529, as amended, which provides:

Sec. 1. Every provision contained in, or made with respect to, any obligation which purports to give the obligee the right to require payment in gold or in any particular kind of coin or currency other than Philippine currency or in an amount of money of the Philippines measured thereby, shall be as it is hereby declared against public policy null and void, and of no effect, and no such provision shall be contained in, or made with respect to, any obligation thereafter incurred. Every obligation heretofore and hereafter incurred, whether or not any such provision as to payment is contained therein or made with respect thereto, shall be discharged upon payment in any coin or currency which at the time of payment is legal tender for public and private debts.

 

Section 63 of Republic Act No. 265, as amended (Central Bank Act) which provides:

Sec. 63. Legal character – Checks representing deposit money do not have legal tender power and their acceptance in the payment of debts, both public and private, is at the option of the creditor: Provided, however, that a check which has been cleared and credited to the account of the creditor shall be equivalent to a delivery to the creditor of cash in an amount equal to the amount credited to his account.

 

From the aforequoted provisions of law, it is clear that this petition must fail.

In two recent cases this Court held that –

A check, whether a manager’s check or ordinary check, is not legal tender, and an offer of a check in payment of a debt is not a valid tender of payment and may be refused receipt by the obligee or creditor.

The ruling in these two cases merely applies the statutory provisions which lay down the rule that a check is not legal tender and that a creditor may validly refuse payment by check, whether it be a manager’s, cashier’s or personal check.

 

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