Brown v. State

In Brown v. State, 97 Tex. Crim. 452, 262 S.W. 479 (1924) the 1924 case on which the court of appeals relied, we held that the value of that particular stolen, uncashed check depended "upon the solvency of the maker and the ability of such holder to compel payment." In Brown, the complainant wrote a check for $ 87 to pay a debt owed by his Pythian Lodge to the grand lodge. The grand lodge recipient, however, told the complainant that the debt was really $ 89.05, so the complainant put the first check into his pocket and wrote out a new one. He metaphorically, but not literally, tore up the check and replaced it with another which he gave to the grand lodge recipient. Somehow the "pocket voided" check was lost, but "later it turned up" in the defendant's possession. The complainant testified that, when he wrote the original check "we had that money in the bank," but this Court stated that "we seriously doubt if this evidence shows that when the check was found by appellant it had any value, or that its value was $ 87." There was an indication that this Pythian Lodge might not have been entirely solvent and its bank account could not have covered both the original, "pocket-voided" check and the replacement check. So, while there was evidence that the check had been made out, there was also evidence that the check was never intended to be a negotiable instrument, nor was it ever transferred to another person as a negotiable instrument. Thus, in Brown, there was "other evidence" which rebutted the prima facie value of the check as being its face amount.