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Wack Wack Golf vs Won

Facts: Wack Wack Golf is a civic and athletic Philippine corporation. It filed a
complaint for interpleader against Won and Tan who both claim ownership over
membership fee certificate 201. Won's claim is by virtue of civil case 26044
instituted by Won against Wack and certificate 201 serial no. 1478 issued by the
clerk of court. Tan's claim is by virtue of certificate 201 serial no. 1199 issued to
him due to an assignment to him by the certificate's original owner. Wack alleged
that it has no means of knowing who is the lawful owner and that it claims no
interest in the certificate.
The trial court dismissed the complaint on the grounds of res judicata and failure
to state a cause of action.
Hence this appeal.
Issue: WON interpleader is proper?
Held: No. It was not timely filed by Wack under the circumstances.
An interpleader is a remedy available to a person who possesses property or has
an obligation to render wholly or partially, without claiming any right to either,
wherein the court will require the claimants to litigate among themselves who
really is entitled.
A stakeholder should, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, file an interpleader
within a reasonable time after a dispute has arisen without waiting to be sued by
either claimant. Otherwise, he may be barred by laches or undue delay.
In this case, Wack did not exercise diligence. It knew of the conflicting claims
long before the present suit was filed. It recognized Tan as lawful owner since it
alleged that serial no. 1478 was improper because the certificate should have
been surrendered first before a new one is issued. Wack was sued by Lee for the
certificate but did not ask for an interpleader. Consequently, final judgment was
rendered against Wack.
When judgment has been rendered against a stakeholder in favor of a claimant
and he has notice of the conflicting claims but neglected to implead the
claimants, said judgment would make the stakeholder independently liable to one
claimant. Hence, interpleader would be too late.
If a stakeholder defends a suit filed by one claimant and allows said suit to
proceed to final judgment without filing an interpleader, an interpleader would
now be too late.
One of the purpose of an interpleader is to diminish the number of suits. If Wack

were allowed to file an interpleader now, it would go against this purpose.

Besides, a successful litigant cannot later be impleaded by his defeated
adversary in an interpleader suit and compelled to prove his claim anew against
other adverse claimants, as that would in effect be a collateral attack upon the
judgment. The present interpleader sought by Wack would in effect be a
collateral attack upon the judgment in favor of Won.