9 F. 581 (D.Colo. 1881), Simmons v. Spencer

Citation:9 F. 581
Party Name:SIMMONS v. SPENCER and others.
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 581

9 F. 581 (D.Colo. 1881)

SIMMONS

v.

SPENCER and others.

United States Circuit Court, D. Colorado.

1881

S. P. Rose, for plaintiff.

H. B. Johnson, for defendants.

HALLETT, D. J., (orally.)

The first and second counts of the complaint set forth, in substance, a sale of certain property, which the plaintiff alleges belonged to him, and conveyances from the plaintiff to McCartney, and from McCartney to the defendant Spencer, which conveyances were deposited with the Merchants' & Mechanics' Bank of Leadville, to be delivered upon payment of a sum of money, amounting to $20,000, for the use of the plaintiff. By instructions given upon the leaving of the deeds with the bank, the money was to be deposited to the credit of the plaintiff in this suit. Plaintiff received $7,000 of this sum, and $13,000, which was afterwards paid by the purchaser, whoever he may be, was not by the bank placed to the credit of the plaintiff, but was, in fact, turned over to the defendant Spencer. And upon this state of facts it is claimed that a liability has arisen upon the part of all the defendants to pay the plaintiff this sum of $13,000. The structure of these two counts

Page 582

is for money due upon a contract; for money had and received by the defendants to the plaintiff's use. Nothing is said about any conversion of the money by the defendants to their own use, and there is nothing in the counts to indicate that they are based upon the theory that a tort was committed by the defendants in receiving this money and appropriating it in the way in which it is alleged they disposed of it.

In order to maintain an action as for money had and received it must appear that the money was jointly received by all the defendants, and upon that the law may imply a promise on the part of all to pay it to the rightful owner; and although, upon the facts stated here, there may be a liability in that form of action against Spencer alone, or against the parties constituting the Merchants & Mechanics' Bank of Leadville alone, there cannot be a joint liability on the part of all these persons in that form of action, because they did not jointly receive this sum of money. The allegation is, in these counts, that the money was received by the Merchants' & Mechanics' Bank of Leadville, and by it wrongfully and fraudulently turned over to the defendant Spencer. That may make a liability as for money had and received on the part of these parties, severally,-- that is, upon the part of the persons constituting the bank and upon the part of Spencer, severally; but it cannot be a liability arising by contract on the part of all of them, because they did not jointly and collectively receive this money.

As to whether the action may be maintained against them jointly as for a tort,-- in substance, as an action of trover,-- there is some doubt. It is laid down in the case of Orton v. Butler, 5 B. & A. 652, that on a money demand merely to allege that the defendant received money and afterwards converted it to...

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