Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903)

Contents:
Author: Justice White

Show Summary

Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903)

MR. JUSTICE WHITE, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the Court.

1st. The illegality of the check for $15,012.50 and the wrong resulting from charging it to the account of the Elmira bank is not open to controversy. The ruling to that effect on the first trial seems to have been acquiesced in by the Chase bank, since it prosecuted no writ of error, and this is also true of the case now before us. Besides, no exception was saved by the Chase bank at the trial now under review to the instruction of the court concerning the illegality of the check and its insufficiency as a charge against the funds of the Elmira bank on deposit with the Chase bank. That question may be therefore put out of view.

2d. The errors assigned by the receiver of the Elmira bank concerning the right of the Chase bank to retain the $8,000 paid it in cash are also, in substance, not open to inquiry because of the verdict of the jury. Whether the $8,000 in currency was actually received by the Chase bank from Bush in good faith in part payment of his note was left by the court to the jury under adequate instructions, and these issues of fact are therefore foreclosed by the verdict in favor of the Chase bank. It follows that the $8,000, when deposited, was the money of the Chase bank, received by it in part payment of a debt. This leaves open only the question whether one who has in good faith received currency in payment of an existing debt can be compelled to repay such currency because it subsequently develops that the currency paid had been embezzled by the one who made the payment. That under such conditions repayment cannot be exacted is elementary, and is not disputed. It is equally clear, we think, that the court correctly charged the jury that the burden of showing fraud on the part of the Chase bank was on the receiver.

3d. Conceding, without so deciding, the correctness of the ruling of the court below as to the right to imply authority on the part of the cashier to draw a draft in his official capacity in his individual favor from the course of previous business, we fail to perceive its relevancy to the case before us. The draft for $7,000, which was collected by the Chase bank, was not drawn by the cashier to his individual order, but was drawn by him as cashier to his order as cashier, and was indorsed for deposit to his credit as cashier. It was therefore but an order transferring the funds of the Elmira bank, which were on deposit in the Philadelphia bank, to the deposit account of the Elmira bank with the Chase bank. True it is that Bush, from one view of the testimony, first tendered a draft signed by himself as cashier to his individual order, but such draft was not taken by the Chase bank. It may be, if the principles of authority implied from a course of business as announced by the lower court be sound, and if the facts brought this case within such a rule, if the Chase bank had taken the cashier’s draft to his individual order, it could have retained the money. We are not, however, called upon to pass upon the rights of the parties upon the basis of what might have been done, but alone upon what was done. We may not indulge in conjecture, but must dispose of the case as depending upon the real, not the imaginary, transaction. Measuring the rights of the parties by this rule, we see no escape from the conclusion that the money collected by the Chase bank for account of the Elmira bank was obviously the property of the latter. The draft on Philadelphia was refused because of the delay which it was feared would attend its collection. The certified check was taken. It was for the entire debt, principal and interest. It was at once charged. The sum to the credit of the account of the Elmira bank when the check was charged was more than sufficient to pay it. Upon the theory of the good faith of the transaction on the part of the Chase bank, its debt was paid, and it could have no possible interest in the proceeds of the collection of the draft. Of course, on the theory that the Chase bank was suspicious of the legality of the certified check and of its right to debit the Elmira bark with it, the purpose to retain a right in the proceeds of the draft would be in reason conceivable. But to indulge in this hypothesis would be to assume the existence of bad faith, and hence to defeat the right to the proceeds of the draft and of the money as well.

It follows that there was error committed in the instructions as to the right of the Chase bank to retain the $7,000 collected by it from the proceeds of the draft in favor of the Elmira bank, and

The judgment of the circuit court of appeals is therefore reversed, and the case remanded to the circuit court, with directions to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903)

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903)

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: White, "White, J., Lead Opinion," Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903) in 188 U.S. 557 188 U.S. 565–188 U.S. 566. Original Sources, accessed September 29, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4LPME11JTHC2VBB.

MLA: White. "White, J., Lead Opinion." Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903), in 188 U.S. 557, pp. 188 U.S. 565–188 U.S. 566. Original Sources. 29 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4LPME11JTHC2VBB.

Harvard: White, 'White, J., Lead Opinion' in Rankin v. Chase National Bank, 188 U.S. 557 (1903). cited in 1903, 188 U.S. 557, pp.188 U.S. 565–188 U.S. 566. Original Sources, retrieved 29 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4LPME11JTHC2VBB.