Citizens National Bank v. Davisson - 229 U.S. 212 (1913)
U.S. Supreme Court
Citizens National Bank v. Davisson, 229 U.S. 212 (1913)
Citizens National Bank v. Davisson
Argued December 4, 1912
Decided May 26, 1913
229 U.S. 212
Under the Act of April 7, 1874, c. 80, § 2, the review by this Court of judgments of the Supreme Court of a Territory is confined to determining whether the facts found by the court below sustain the judgment.
The facts found are certified to this Court by the territorial Supreme Court either by adopting the finding of the trial court or by making separate finding of it own.
One holding in escrow an agreement and money to be paid to one of two parties according to the term of the agreement acts at his peril in dealing with either party without the consent of the other, and if the party to whom he pays the amount deposited is not entitled thereto, he is liable to the other party.
An endorsement on the outside of the envelope containing the escrow, made by an officer of the bank acting as escrow holder, does not protect the bank if it is not in accordance with the escrow agreement itself.
One cannot plead ignorance of a fact of which he has notice as an excuse for violating rights of parties whom he is bound to protect.
The fact that no officer of the bank has read an escrow agreement does not relieve the bank of responsibility for its action based on a separate memorandum made by one of its officers and which does not express the terms of the agreement.
An extension verbally agreed to for completing the record title to the property where the contract to convey expressly provides for such an extension without specifying its length in case defects are developed is not a parol variation or modification of a written contract.
In this case, a bank acting a escrow holder with notice of the contract, having, by paying over to one party, failed in its duty to act impartially, it is liable to the other party who was entitled to the money under the contract.
16 N.M. 689 affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.