The Supreme Court rendered the 104-Tai-Shang-2045 Civil Decision of October 28, 2015 (hereinafter, the “Decision”). According to the Decision, when a company asserts the issue date of a promissory note is not specified by its legal representative and requests examination, if the court fails to conduct such examination or check by its own and to indicate why such assertion is not acceptable, the court is certainly unlawful.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant entered into a sales agreement with Central Leasing Corporation (hereinafter, “CLC”) on October 7, 2003, and 48 original promissory notes were issued with CLC as the payee. CLC took a loan from the Intervenor and delivered 12 of the promissory notes to the Intervenor on August 27, 2003 with 8 of them rejected for insufficient deposit and valued at a total of NT$8,295,000. As a result, the Appellant separately issued the checks at issue for a total of NT$8,295,000 and issued the promissory notes at issue to guarantee the performance of the checks at issue. The promissory notes at issue so issued were delivered to the Hung-Chih Chen, the Interventor’s Credit Director. However, the Appellant asserted that since the issuing dates of the promissory notes at issue were not indicated, the issuance of the promissory notes was not completed, while the Appellee asserted that to guarantee the performance of the checks at issue, the Appellant had separately issued to the Intervenor the promissory notes at issue with the issuing dates specified, and therefore the issuance of the promissory notes was completed.
The original trial court upheld the first instance decision against the Appellant and rejected the Appellant’s appeal, holding that the appearances of the promissory notes at issue did indicate their issuing dates and the promissory notes were valid. In addition, the Appellant admitted that the promissory notes were stamped with the company chop and signed by Tsuo-Ta Wu, the legal representative of the company. Therefore, the Appellant should substantiate the assertion that no issuing dates were specified. The originals of the promissory notes at issues were examined on the spot during a court hearing. It was found that the Tsuo-Ta Wu’s signature was in black ink, while the issuing dates and face value of NT$8,295,000 were written in blue. The Appellant did not dispute the authenticity of Tsuo-Ta Wu’s signatures and did not substantiate that Tsuo-Ta Wu signed blank promissory notes. Therefore, the argument that since the color of Tsuo-ta Wu’s signature was different from that of the issuing date, the issuing dates were not written by Tsuo-Ta Wu is not acceptable.
According to the Decision, the Appellant’s asserted that the color of the issuing dates in the promissory notes at issue was different from that the signatures of Tsuo-Ta Wu, the company’s legal representative, and the issuing dates were not specified by Tsuo-Ta Wu. Therefore, the Appellant motioned to send the promissory notes to the Bureau of Investigation of the Ministry of Justice for examination. Since this motion pertained to whether the issuing dates were specified by Tsuo-Ta Wu, this was an important method of offensive. The original trial court was rash and jumped to conclusion that the issuing dates were specified by the legal representative of the Appellant’s company without referring the checks for examination or checking the handwriting on its own and without indicating the reasons. Therefore, since the portion of the original decision which rejected the Appellant’s assertion that the claim over the promissory notes did not exist was deemed in violation of laws and regulations by this Decision, the original decision was reversed and remanded to the Taiwan High Court.