Pease v. Dwight - 47 U.S. 190 (1848)
U.S. Supreme Court
Pease v. Dwight, 47 U.S. 6 How. 190 190 (1848)
Pease v. Dwight
47 U.S. (6 How.) 190
Where a promissory note was payable to the order of several persons, the name of one of whom was inserted by mistake, or inadvertently left on when the note was endorsed and delivered by the real payees, one of whom was also the maker of the note, the endorsee had a right to recover upon the note, although the names of all the payees were not upon the endorsement, and had a right also to prove the facts by evidence.
On 1 January, 1837, the following promissory note was executed.
"Detroit, January 1, 1837"
"Two years from date I promise to pay to the order of Walter Chester and Pease, Chester & Co. one thousand five hundred dollars, for value received, at the Farmers and Mechanics' Bank of Michigan, with interest."
"[Signed] JOHN CHESTER"
Endorsed by Pease, Chester & Co., but not by Walter Chester.
The firm of Pease, Chester & Co. was composed of William T. Pease (the plaintiff in error), John Chester, and Tarleton Jones.
The note having passed into the hands of William Dwight, a citizen of Massachusetts (the defendant in error), and not being paid at maturity, Dwight brought suit in the circuit court against Pease, Chester, and Jones. The course which Pease took will be stated presently. Chester pleaded bankruptcy, which was demurred to, but the demurrer overruled and the plea sustained. Jones was a citizen of Illinois, and could not be found.
There were several counts in the declaration, but the only one upon which judgment was rendered, and which it is material now to state, was the following:
"For that whereas one John Chester heretofore, to-wit, on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, at Detroit, in said district, made his certain promissory note in writing, bearing date the same day and year aforesaid, and thereby then and there promised, two years from the date thereof, to pay to the order of Walter Chester and the said defendants, under the co-partnership name and style of these said defendants, Pease, Chester & Co., one thousand five hundred dollars, for value received, at the Farmers and Mechanics' Bank of Michigan, with interest, and then and there delivered the said promissory note to the defendants, who then and there, using their co-partnership name and style of Pease, Chester & Co., endorsed said note, and delivered the same to the plaintiff, and the said plaintiff avers that the said John Chester was one of the said persons using the name and style of Pease, Chester & Co., and that the name of the said Walter Chester was inserted in the said promissory note as one of the persons to whose order the said sum of money should be payable by the said John Chester, for the purpose of, and with the intention on the part of the said John Chester, of procuring the said Walter to endorse the said note for the accommodation and benefit of the said John Chester, and for no other purpose; that the said note was never delivered to the said Walter Chester, and that the said Walter Chester never had at any time any interest or property, or any rights therein, or to the money specified and mentioned therein."
"That the said note was by the said John Chester delivered to the said Pease, Chester & Co. alone, who received the same and endorsed it solely, who waived the endorsement of the said Walter Chester, and having solely endorsed the same, delivered the said note, so endorsed as aforesaid, to the said plaintiff. And the said plaintiff avers that afterwards, and when the said promissory note became due and payable, according to the tenor and effect thereof, to-wit, on the fourth day of January,
in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, at the said Farmers and Mechanics' Bank of Michigan, the said note was presented and shown to and at the said bank for payment thereof, and payment thereof requested; but that neither the said John Chester, nor any other person, did or would pay the said sum of money therein specified, but then and there wholly neglected and refused to do so; of all which said several premises the said defendants then and there had due notice."
Pease demurred to this count, and filed the following causes of demurrer:
"1st. Because it is not averred in said first count, that Walter Chester, one of the joint payees of the said promissory note described in said counts, ever endorsed or delivered the same to the said plaintiff, or any other person whatever."
"2d. For that said first count is in other respects informal, insufficient, and defective."
Dwight put in a joinder in demurrer.
In November, 1845, the circuit court overruled the demurrer, entered up judgment for the plaintiff, and assessed his damages at $2,427 and costs. To review this judgment, a writ of error brought the case up to this Court.