National Bank v. Burkhardt
100 U.S. 686 (1879)

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U.S. Supreme Court

National Bank v. Burkhardt, 100 U.S. 686 (1879)

National Bank v. Burkhardt

100 U.S. 686

Syllabus

1. When the priority of one legal right over another, depending upon the order of events occurring on the same day, is involved, the rule that for most purposes the law regards the entire day as an indivisible unit is necessarily departed from.

2. On the afternoon of Feb. 23, 1875, A. executed to a national bank in Cincinnati, Ohio, an instrument whereby he stipulated to guarantee and make good to said bank any sum or sums which might thereafter be held against B. to an amount not exceeding $50,000, and waived notice from time to time of the amount and extent of such indebtedness. On the morning of that day, C. had presented for deposit therein a check to his order drawn on said bank by B. The bank, claiming that said check was within the terms of the guaranty, brought suit against A. to recover the amount thereof. The evidence of the plaintiff tending to show that pursuant to a general and notorious usage among the banks in Cincinnati, by which checks left in the morning by depositors were held until after business hours for the purpose of examining the accounts of the drawers, B.'s check was placed aside by the teller for such examination, and C. informed that it would not be placed to his credit unless found good, and that, on the part of the defendant, no such usage existed, and that C. had no knowledge or understanding in regard to said check except that it was received as a deposit by the bank when left there by him, the court charged the jury that it was for them to determine whether at the time said check was left at the bank by C. it was offered as a deposit and so received. The jury so found.

Held:

1. That the charge was not erroneous.

2. That the jury having found that said check was so offered and received, it was not a debt due by B. within the meaning of A.'s undertaking.

3. That in view of such finding the question of usage was immaterial.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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