189 F.2d 818 (8th Cir. 1951), 14231, Bradley v. St. Louis Terminal Warehouse Co.

Docket Nº:14231.
Citation:189 F.2d 818
Case Date:May 29, 1951
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 818

189 F.2d 818 (8th Cir. 1951)




No. 14231.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

May 29, 1951

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D. D. Panich, Little Rock, Ark. (H. M. Cooley, Jonesboro, Ark., on the brief), for appellant.

John C. Vogel, St. Louis, Mo. (Charles Frierson, Jr., Jonesboro, Ark., on the brief), for appellee.

Before GARDNER, Chief Judge, and THOMAS and RIDDICK, Circuit Judges.

RIDDICK, Circuit Judge.

On December 7, 1946, Bruce W. Holt, then engaged in business as the Banner Wholesale Grocery Company, Jonesboro, Arkansas, employed the St. Louis Terminal Warehouse Co., a Missouri corporation engaged in business as a public warehouseman and authorized to do business in Arkansas, to furnish Holt with field warehousing service. Pursuant to this contract Holt leased to the warehouse company all the premises occupied by him in his grocery business except the office space preserved by Holt for the conduct of his business.

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The leases were in writing and were recorded. Following these transactions the warehouse company established its field warehouse in the leased premises and placed its own locks on the doors leading to the warehouse space. The keys to the locks were at all times in the possession of the bonded agent of the warehouse company. Signs were posted and maintained on the outside and inside of the leased premises in an adequate number of places to warn all persons coming to the bankrupt's place of business of the existence of the warehouse.

On December 18, 1946, the warehouse company, the Citizens Bank of Jonesboro, and Holt entered into a contract called 'Agreement of Bailment' under which Holt agreed to store merchandise in the warehouse company's warehouse and the warehouse company issued to the bank its non-negotiable warehouse receipts therefor. This arrangement was made for the purpose of enabling Bruce W. Holt to borrow money from the bank upon the security of the merchandise deposited in the warehouse and to enable Holt to finance his business operations.

The Agreement of Bailment contained the following provisions with reference to the duties of the warehouse company as bailee:

'3. Bailee shall receive, hold and possess any and all said commodities so delivered to it by Company solely as the agent and for the account and for the sole use and benefit of Bank, and subject to the full order and control of Bank, and that possession of Bailee hereunder shall be deemed and construed to be possession of Bank * * *.

'4. Bailee agrees that during the period of this agreement it will have and maintain open, notorious, continuous, active, and exclusive possession, dominion and control over said demised premises, and of all said commodities delivered by Company to Bailee, subject only to the right, title and interest of Bank hereunder and under said pledge agreement, that Bailee will not permit or suffer Company, or any of its agents, officers or employees, to have access to or ingress or egress to and from the demised premises, except as hereinafter provided, and that Bailee will not permit or suffer Company, or any of its agents, officers, or employees, to have possession of, either actual or constructive, or to exercise any dominion or control over said commodities, or any of them, without the written consent and permission of Bank; and that Bailee will not permit or suffer said commodities, or any thereof, to be removed from the demised premises except as hereinafter provided.

'8. The Bank authorizes the Bailee to release and deliver to Company, and Bailee is hereby authorized, until notice in writing from the bank revoking or cancelling this authority, to release and deliver to Company upon written request, any inventories of said commodities in the possession of Bailee, in excess of the amount of inventory which Bank shall or may have previously certified to Bailee as the minimum amount of inventory of said commodities required to be on deposit with Bailee, such release to be effective only upon actual delivery of such commodities; Provided, However, that there shall remain at all times in the possession of Bailee not less than the required amount of inventory of said commodities as instructed by Bank in writing; provided, in the event the Bank shall notify Bailee of any change, either increase or decrease, in the amount of inventory of commodities required by the Bank of Company to be kept on deposit with the Bailee as herein provided, (such notice to be in writing from the Bank to Bailee specifying the minimum amount of inventory of commodities which at such time Company is required to deposit and maintain on deposit with the Bailee hereunder; then and in such event Bailee shall not permit withdrawals of any inventory which would reduce the remaining inventory then on deposit below the amount of inventory so required to be on deposit with the Bank * * * .'

Merchandise deposited by Holt in the warehouse was delivered to the warehouse

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company's bonded agent who made a record of the quantity and description...

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