This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
After rights have become fixed by the delivery of a written contract, the subsequent fate of the written instrument is, apart from questions of commercial paper, immaterial. Hence, the fact that the obligee ultimately regains possession of such written instrument, does not destroy the effect of a prior valid delivery.1 Thus, where an insured returned his policy to the insurance agent and requested that it be cancelled, but the agent induced him not to insist upon so doing, it was held that the policy was in force.2 Thus, after a deed has been delivered unconditionally to the duly authorized agent of the grantee, a subsequent retention thereof, either by another agent of the grantee3 or by the agent to whom the deed is delivered4 at the grantee's request to hold till some designated future event, is not a delivery in escrow. If the re-delivery is intended by the parties as a release by each to the other, of their respective rights under the contract, a different question is, of course, presented, and the original contract between the parties will be discharged, not by the mere fact of re-delivery, but by the new contract.5
4 Rodmeier v. Brown, 169 Ill. 347 ; 61 Am. St. Rep. 176; 48 N. E. 468.
1 Deed, Tabor v. Tabor, - Mich. -; 99 N. W. 4; Schuffert v. Grote, 88 Mich. 650; 26 Am. St. Rep. 316; 50 N. W. 657; mortgage, Bradtfeldt v. Cooke, 27 Or. 194; 50 Am. St. Rep. 701; 40 Pac. 1; insurance policy. Shields v. Assurance Society, 121 Mich. 690;' 80 N. W. 793; certificate given by architect to contractor, Arnold v. Bournique, 144 Ill. 132; 36 Am. St. Rep. 419; 20 L. R. A. 493; 33 N. E. 530.
2 Shields v. Assurance Society,
121 Mich. 690; 80 N. W. 793. (In this case the note given by the insured became due after the insured was suffering from his last illness and incapable of doing business. It was not paid by him, but the agent insisted on the payment. The policy, on the death of the insured, was held to be in full force and effect.)
3 Von Schmidt v. Widber, 105 Cal. 151; 38 Pac. 682.
4 Parrish v. Steadham, 102 Ala. 615; 15 So. 354.
5 See Ch. LXII.