In order to fix the liability of parties secondarily liable on a negotiable Instrument it Is necessary to take certain steps provided by law for the benefit of such parties; except where owing to peculiar circumstances they are excused, and also except where they are waived.
Parties primarily liable on a negotiable instrument know that they should pay it, and pay it when due, and therefore there is no reason why any certain procedure should be taken to fasten the liability upon them. If the instrument is not paid at maturity such parties primarily liable may be immediately sued or sued any time thereafter until the statute of limitations runs, and it is simply necessary to show the maturity of the instrument and that it is unpaid. But parties secondarily liable do not know that they will ever be called upon to pay the instrument, and their liability does not accrue until the party primarily liable has made default in his engagement. Such secondary parties have, therefore, for their protection, the right to demand that all due diligence be made to charge the primary party and that upon his default, they receive immediate notice thereof. To this end custom required, and the law now provides, that where the holder of an instrument desires to charge the parties secondarily liable thereon he must go through a certain procedure, otherwise such secondary parties are discharged. What steps are necessary to charge various parties will now be considered.