102 A. 569 (Pa. 1917), 3, Commonwealth v. Dollar Savings Bank

Docket Nº:3
Citation:102 A. 569, 259 Pa. 138
Party Name:Commonwealth v. Dollar Savings Bank, Appellant
Attorney:George C. Burgwin, of H. & G. C. Burgwin, with him James A. Stranahan, for appellant. John R. Geyer, of Fox & Geyer, with him W. I. Swoope and J. B. Eichenauer, for appellee.
Case Date:June 30, 1917
Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Page 569

102 A. 569 (Pa. 1917)

259 Pa. 138



Dollar Savings Bank, Appellant

No. 3

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

June 30, 1917

Argued: May 21, 1917

Appeal, No. 3, May T., 1917, by defendant, from judgment of C.P. Dauphin Co., Sept. T., 1914, No. 296, for plaintiff for want of a sufficient affidavit of defense in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. The Dollar Savings Bank. Affirmed.

Assumpsit against savings bank to recover unclaimed deposits under Act of April 17, 1872, P.L. 62.

From the record it appeared that the Act of April 17, 1872, P.L. 62, construed in the following opinion of the Supreme Court, is entitled, "An act, relating to unclaimed deposits in savings banks, and transfer of stock." Section 1 refers to management and is not material to this case. Section 2 reads as follows: "That where any depositor with any savings fund, savings institution or savings bank whatsoever, or his legal representatives, shall omit to make any demand for the amount deposited by him, or for any part thereof, for the space of thirty years after the last deposit or payment was made by or to him, or his said representatives, no action or suit shall thereafter be brought or maintained by him or them, for the amount of such deposit, against such corporation, but the same shall be paid over instead to the State treasurer for the use of the State: Provided, That no one now having any such right of action shall be so barred, until the expiration of one year from the passage of this act: And Provided, That it shall be lawful for such depositor or his legal representatives, at any time after the amount of his deposit shall have been paid over into the treasury of the Commonwealth as aforesaid, to institute and prosecute an action of debt therefor, against the State treasurer for the time being, in the Court of Common Pleas for Dauphin County; and on the recovery of judgment in such action, it shall be lawful for the court to issue thereon a writ, commanding such State treasurer, or his successor in office, to cause the amount thereof, with costs, but without interest, to be paid to the party entitled in the judgment, out of any unappropriated moneys in the hands of the State treasurer, or if there be no such moneys unappropriated, then out of the first moneys that shall be received by him, and to enforce obedience to such writ by attachment, as is provided by law, in respect to actions against counties and townships." Section 3: "It shall be the duty of the treasurer or cashier of every incorporated savings fund institution or bank in this Commonwealth, on or before the first day of November, in each year after the present, to make returns to the auditor general, of the amount of all such unclaimed deposits as referred to in the previous section of this act, with the names and residences of the depositors, so far as known, and before the first day of January, then next ensuing, pay over the amounts so returned to the State treasurer, whose receipt therefor shall be a full and sufficient discharge to such saving fund institution or bank, from any further liability to any such depositor." Section 4 provides for the issuing of certificates of stock by savings banks having a capital stock, and is not material to this case.

The lower court entered judgment against the defendant for want of a sufficient affidavit of defense. Defendant appealed.

Error assigned was in entering judgment for plaintiff.

The assignments of error are overruled, and the judgment is affirmed.

George C. Burgwin, of H. & G. C. Burgwin, with him James A. Stranahan, for appellant. -- The Act of April 17, 1872, P.L. 62, violates Article III, Section 21 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and is void: Bank of U.S. v. Biddle & Andrews, 2 Parsons Eq. Cases 31; Second Nat. Bank of Titusville v. Thompson, 44 Pa.Super. 200; Girard Bank v. Bank of Penn Township, 39 Pa. 92; Baker et ux. v. Kelley, 11 Minn. 480; Keyser v. Lowell, 117 Fed. Repr. 400; Kulp v. Brant, 162 Pa. 222; Sproul v. Standard Plate Glass Co., 201 Pa. 103; In re Grape Street, 103 Pa. 121; Cole v. Economy Township, 13 Pa. C.C. 549.

The Act of 1872 is violative of Article III, Section 16 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, in that it authorizes the payment of money out of the State treasury but makes no appropriation to meet such expenditure: Commonwealth ex rel. Bell v. Powell, 249 Pa. 144.

The Act of 1872 violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and the 10th Section of Article I of the Constitution of Pennsylvania in that it deprives a person of property without due process of law: Provident Institution for Savings in Town of Boston v. Malone, 221 U.S. 660; City of Philadelphia v. Miller, 49 Pa. 440; Cunnius v. Reading School Dist., 198 U.S. 458.


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