American Bank of Tulsa v. Watson, No. 73-C-16.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Northern District of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtDickson M. Saunders, William C. Anderson, and John A. Gaberino, Jr., Tulsa, Okl., for intervenors
Citation391 F. Supp. 573
PartiesAMERICAN BANK OF TULSA, Plaintiff, v. Justin T. WATSON, acting Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, Defendant, Floyd A. Calvert, Jr., et al., Intervenors.
Docket NumberNo. 73-C-16.
Decision Date19 December 1973

391 F. Supp. 573

AMERICAN BANK OF TULSA, Plaintiff,
v.
Justin T. WATSON, acting Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, Defendant,
Floyd A. Calvert, Jr., et al., Intervenors.

No. 73-C-16.

United States District Court, N. D. Oklahoma, Civil Division.

December 19, 1973.


391 F. Supp. 574

Jack R. Givens, Tulsa, Okl., for plaintiff.

Robert P. Santee, Nathan G. Graham, Tulsa, Okl., for defendant.

Dickson M. Saunders, William C. Anderson, and John A. Gaberino, Jr., Tulsa, Okl., for intervenors.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DAUGHERTY, Chief Judge.

This is an action brought by Plaintiff, American Bank of Tulsa, a State bank, seeking judicial review of an administrative action and decision of the Defendant, Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, approving an application for a certificate authorizing the organization of a new national bank to be known as Union National Bank (Union) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The applicants and organizers of Union have been allowed to intervene herein. Their position is the same as that of the Defendant.

391 F. Supp. 575

Plaintiff asserts that the Defendant (1) is prohibited by law from approving said application and from issuing said certificate, (2) that in approving the application the Defendant acted arbitrarily, capriciously and abused his discretion and (3) that the Defendant acted unlawfully in failing to issue findings of fact and conclusions of law in connection with his decision. Plaintiff requests that by reason of the above, Defendant be enjoined from issuing a certificate or charter for Union, Defendant and Intervenors deny the validity of any of Plaintiff's assertions.

The action and decision of the Defendant regarding Union is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 5 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. Camp v. Pitts, 411 U.S. 138, 93 S.Ct. 1241, 36 L.Ed.2d 106 (1973). Defendant and Intervenors have filed Motions For Summary Judgment supported by briefs and a certified copy of the administrative file or record of Defendant involving Union. This is an appropriate procedure in connection with the judicial review of an administrative action. Bank of Commerce of Laredo v. City National Bank of Laredo et al., 484 F.2d 284 (Fifth Cir. 1973). Plaintiff opposes the Motions by a Response with supporting brief and certain documents.

Plaintiff's ground (3), supra, is without merit and should be denied. The recent decision of Camp v. Pitts, supra, settled this issue adversely to Plaintiff.1

Camp v. Pitts, supra, also holds that a reviewing court is not free to hold a de novo hearing unless there are inadequate factfinding procedures in an adjudicatory proceeding or where judicial proceedings are brought to enforce certain administrative actions.

This proceeding is not brought to enforce an administrative action. Rather, it is brought to enjoin one. The factfinding procedures employed by the Defendant, as revealed by said administrative record on file herein, and as hereinafter outlined by the Court, are found by the Court to be adequate. Thus, there is no warrant for a de novo hearing.2

Plaintiff's ground (1), supra, is based on the proposition that Union will be a branch bank, that a branch bank is not authorized by Oklahoma law (6 Oklahoma Statutes § 501) and that the Defendant may not authorize or approve a branch bank when State law does not authorize the same. 12 U.S.C. § 36. It appears that Plaintiff also includes under ground (1), supra, the Complaint that the certificate to Union would violate Oklahoma law regarding bank holding companies, (6 Oklahoma Statutes § 502) and in citing 12 U.S.C. § 1841 et seq. and Federal Reserve Board Regulations (12 C.F.R. 225.2(a) and (b) (1973)) presumably would violate Federal laws with reference to subsidiaries and bank holding companies. In Whitney National Bank v. Bank of New Orleans, 379 U.S. 411, 85 S.Ct. 551, 13 L.Ed. 2d 386 (1965) it was held that the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) has exclusive jurisdiction over such holding company matters, both State and Federal, by congressional mandate with appeal from such FRB decisions direct to an appropriate Court of Appeals. Therefore, this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain these holding company complaints.3

391 F. Supp. 576

As to the Defendant's certificate violating Oklahoma law prohibiting branch banking, the administrative record does not reveal such a violation nor do Plaintiff's allegations show that Union would be a branch bank. 6 Oklahoma Statutes § 501 provides:

"Branch banking is prohibited in this state. The term `Branch' used in this section shall be held to include any branch bank, branch office, branch agency, additional office or any branch place of business located within this state at which deposits are received, or checks paid or money lent. . . ."

6 Oklahoma Statutes § 2061 is to the same effect and the Federal definition of a branch bank is the same. See 12 U.S.C. § 36(f). Union would not be the branch bank of another bank within the proscription of said...

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1 practice notes
  • Central Bank v. Smith, No. 75-1924
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • April 23, 1976
    ...Trust is in line with more recent cases which have also rejected branch-bank attacks on affiliates. American Bank of Tulsa v. Watson, 391 F.Supp. 573, 576 (N.D.Okl.1973), aff'd, 503 F.2d 784, 785, 786, 789 (10th Cir. 1974); 1 Pineland State Bank v. Proposed First National Bank of Bricktown,......
1 cases
  • Central Bank v. Smith, No. 75-1924
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • April 23, 1976
    ...Trust is in line with more recent cases which have also rejected branch-bank attacks on affiliates. American Bank of Tulsa v. Watson, 391 F.Supp. 573, 576 (N.D.Okl.1973), aff'd, 503 F.2d 784, 785, 786, 789 (10th Cir. 1974); 1 Pineland State Bank v. Proposed First National Bank of Bricktown,......

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