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not by those relating to bills of exchange, and therefore not to require days of grace or notice of dishonour. Mohawk Bank v. Rudwick (10 Windell's Reports. Re Brown, 2 Storey, 502).
This is a material part of the cheque, but it is unnecessary to consider it at any length. The drawer ought to sign his name in such a manner as to avoid giving rise to any difficulty on that
1. On the mode of drawing or filling up cheques.
THE first duty of the drawer of a cheque "is to draw it in a business-like manner." Thus, the drawer of a cheque ought to fill it up so carefully as to prevent a fraudulent alteration in the amount. In Whitmore v. Wilks (see Moody and Malkin's Report, 216), this subject was discussed, involving an important point to bankers. The defendant, Wilks, was clerk to the trustees for lighting and paving Saint Luke's, and had not attended personally to the execution of his office, but employed a clerk named Milne as his deputy, who was guilty
of malversation; and the trustees brought the present action against Wilks to recover the amount they had lost by Milne's fraud. The following are the facts:-Several cheques had been paid by the trustees' bankers, which, when paid, purported to be for larger sums than those really due from them. These cheques were made out by Milne. It did not distinctly appear whether they were originally made out by him for the larger sums actually paid, or whether they were made out for the true sums, but in such a manner that they might easily be altered afterwards by the insertion of other words : for instance, a cheque drawn for fifty pounds by the insertion of "one hundred" before the fifty, and so in other cases. It rather appeared, however, that this latter was the case; that the cheques, the body of which was engraved, were presented to the trustees for signature with the correct sums inserted, but with blank spaces left before the sums, and then that the trustees merely signed the cheque without drawing their pens over the blank spaces, or in any way preventing the subsequent insertion of other words there; and that Milne afterwards filled up the blanks so as to increase the sum apparently ordered to be paid, and the bankers actually paid such larger sum. Lord Tenderden, who tried the case, said, "The defendant, when he employs a clerk to transact the business of the office for him, has a right to suppose the trustees will do their duty; there are two ways in which the loss may have happened. Milne may
have originally made out the cheques for the sums finally appearing upon them; and then, independently of any difficulty in charging Wilks for such an act, the trustees are in fault for having signed cheques for demands which they knew, or ought to have known, not to be due from them. If this was not the case, the cheques must have been brought to them for the right amount, but in such a form, and with blank spaces so left, that words might easily be interpolated into them. In this case the trustees, as men of business, ought, when they signed, to have filled up the blanks in some manner so as to prevent this danger. This, if the cheques were originally right, they have not done; and it is in consequence that the alteration was feasible. On either suppositions, therefore, the loss is occasioned by their own fault; and I think they cannot charge the defendant with the consequences.' These observations are remarkably clear and decisive, and we earnestly recommend them to the attention of men of business.
A similar point arose in the case of Young v. Grote (4 Bingham's Reports, 253), in which a customer endeavoured to recover from his banker the amount of his cheque which had been paid by the banker after it had been fraudulently altered. We will take our statement of this decision from " Bayley on Bills," in order that we may correct a strange omission which is there made in the abridgment of the case :-"Young left a blank cheque with his wife, duly signed by him, that she might fill in
sum and date according to what she might want. She wanted £50. 2s. 3d. for wages; and, by her orders, Worcester, one of Young's clerks, filled it up accordingly, and showed it her, and she directed him to get it cashed by defendant's (her husband's) bankers. In filling up the cheque, Worcester wrote the word fifty with a small initial, and left sufficient space on the left side for introducing any additional word, and he wrote the figures so as to leave space on the left side for any additional figure; and, before presenting it, Worcester put 'three hundred and' before the word fifty, and 3 before the 5, so as to make it a cheque for £350. 2s. 3d. Defendants paid it as such. Plaintiff would not allow that payment, and sued for his balance. The cause was referred, and the arbitrator found that there was gross negligence in suffering Worcester to have possession of the draft, drawn as that draft was, in his hand-writing, and with such spaces not filled up, so as to exclude all chance of detecting the forgery; and that, as plaintiff, or those with whom he was identified, by such negligence were the cause of the defendants paying the cheque according to its altered state, plaintiff ought to bear the loss. A rule nisi was obtained that the award should be corrected, and the defendants pay the money drawn." Here the abridgment of the case ends. The result is entirely omitted; for it is not stated whether the rule nisi was discharged or made absolute; and, consequently, it is left in doubt whether the Court