Bunt v. Fairbanks

Decision Date26 March 1965
Docket NumberNo. 10198,10198
Citation134 N.W.2d 1,81 S.D. 255
PartiesRachel H. BUNT, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Marlys Bunt FAIRBANKS, Defendant and Respondent. (Theodore G. Bunt, as Executor of the Will of Richard H. Bunt, deceased, Defendant and Respondent.)
CourtSouth Dakota Supreme Court

T. R. Johnson, Danforth, Danforth & Johnson, Sioux Falls, for plaintiff and appellant.

Miller, Kaye & Hanson, Mitchell, for executor.

Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith, Sioux Falls, for defendant and respondent, Marlys Bunt Fairbanks.

FOSHEIM, Circuit Judge.

Rachel H. Bunt, the widow of Richard H. Bunt, deceased, and the mother of the defendant Marlys G. Fairbanks, seeks in this action to quiet title in herself to one thousand shares of National Securities Series stock and the dividends issued thereon. The defendant Fairbanks denies plaintiff has any interest in such personal property, and by counterclaim demands judgment for possession of the securities, and for the amount of dividends and distributions received by plaintiff from such stock. After the action was commenced Theodore G. Bunt, as executor of the will of Richard H. Bunt, was made a party defendant. The court decided the issues in favor of the daughter. Plaintiff appeals.

Before and during 1960 plaintiff and her husband Richard H. Bunt had a joint checking account in the Northwestern National Bank at Sioux Falls. Plaintiff claims to have contributed upwards of $3,500 of her separate funds to this account. On October 28, 1960 the deceased, without plaintiff's knowledge, withdrew $8,000 for the purchase of the stock involved. Immediately before this withdrawal the balance in the account was $11,699.46. The stock certificate was issued to 'Richard H Bunt & Marlys Fairbanks as Jt Wr of Surv & not as Tenants in Common', and was never physically delivered to defendant. Until his death Mr. Bunt received and retained the dividends therefrom. Appellant questions the right of her late husband to withdraw the $8,000.

The joint bank account apparently with the bank. Barbour v. First Mr. and Mrs. Bunt. Their deposits therein established a creditor debtor contract relationship with the bank. Barbur v. First Citizens National Bank of Watertown, 77 S.D. 106, 86 N.W.2d 526. The bank could by statute, SDC 1960 Supp. 6.0414, and had the duty by contract, to honor such checks as were drawn upon the account by either co-owner so long as the balance was sufficient and not subject to a prior lien or claim. Flaherty v. Bank of Kimball, 75 S.D. 468, 68 N.W.2d 105. At the time the $8,000 check was issued Mr. Bunt was the real owner of the account in at least that amount, and as between the joint owners had the legal right to make the withdrawal without liability to the other. 161 A.L.R. 71.

Appellant next contends the stock purchase was not a valid gift inter vivos. The essential elements of a gift inter vivos include intention, delivery and acceptance. 24 Am.Jur., Gifts, Sec. 21 to Sec. 42.

Counsel for appellant stressed in argument that the evidence and findings are wanting as to donative intent. The second finding of fact adopted by the trial court reads: 'By such purchase, issuance and delivery, the said Richard H. Bunt intended to and did make a gift of such interest as a joint tenant to the said Marlys G. Fairbanks'. In our opinion the finding is adequate and is supported by evidence.

A gift is without consideration, SDC 51.1506, and for that reason fails as a contract until executed. Delivery is the adrenaline that makes it a contract executed. O'Gorman v. Jolley, 34 S.D. 26, 147 N.W. 78. In re Lower's Estate, 48 S.D. 173, 203 N.W. 312.

That this stock certificate was issued to joint tenants is a distinguishing fact. Our joint tenancy statute, as amended, SDC 1960 Supp. 51.0212, reads in part: 'A joint tenancy interest is one owned by several persons in equal shares, by a title created by a single * * * transfer, when expressly declared in the * * * transfer to be a joint tenancy, * * *. Any * * * transfer * * * of * * * personal property to two or more grantees, * * * which, by the method of describing such grantees or by the language of the granting habendum clause therein evinces an intent to create a joint tenancy in grantees shall be held and construed to create such joint tenancy.' In South Dakota survivorship is an established incident of a joint tenancy. Armstrong v. Hellwig, 70 S.D. 406, 18 N.W.2d 284. In re Hanson's Estate, 77 S.D. 474, 93 N.W.2d 606.

Although donor retained possession of the certificate, he surrendered his exclusive dominion and control thereof when he had ownership placed in defendant and himself. Nothing more remained to be done to make the gift complete and absolute. It was irrevocable. Each co-owner had an equal right to possession of the certificate and since they could not both have manual possession at the same time, possession by one cotenant is, in contemplation of law, possession for both. Frey v. Wubbena, 26 Ill.2d 62, 185 N.E.2d 850...

To continue reading

Request your trial
11 cases
  • Holloway v. Wachovia Bank & Trust Co., N.A.
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • December 18, 1992
    ...219 N.W.2d 132, 136 (N.D.1974) (applying a presumption of acceptance by a minor donee of a beneficial gift); Bunt v. Fairbanks, 81 S.D. 255, 259, 134 N.W.2d 1, 3 (1965) (same); 7 Am.Jur. Proof of Facts 2d, Gift of Fund on Deposit § 16 (1975) (same); cf. Patricia Cramer Jenkins, Survey of De......
  • Winsor v. Powell
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court
    • May 6, 1972
    ...that the possession of one was the possession of the others as well, i. e., that Wilbur's possession was Leslie's also. (Bunt v. Fairbanks, 81 S.D. 255, 134 N.W.2d 1; Frey v. Wubbena, 26 Ill.2d 62, 185 N.E.2d We are inclined to the view that Wilbur, in having his banker make out the certifi......
  • Robison v. Fickle, 2--1273A278
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • January 26, 1976
    ...during the donor's lifetime will not defeat a survivor's interest in joint-tenancy property. Hayes v. Lewis, supra; Bunt v. Fairbanks (1967), 81 S.D. 255, 134 N.W.2d 1; Allender v. Allender (1952), 199 Md. 541, 87 A.2d 608. See Daws v. Drusilla Home (1948), 118 Ind.App. 639, 79 N.E.2d 420; ......
  • Albrecht v. Albrecht, 21018.
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • April 26, 2000
    ...and acceptance. Estate of Fiksdal, 388 N.W.2d 133, 135 (S.D.1986) (citing Owen v. Owen, 351 N.W.2d 139 (S.D.1984); Bunt v. Fairbanks, 81 S.D. 255, 258, 134 N.W.2d 1, 2 (1965)). Further, "[t]he donor's intent must be shown in order to determine that a gift has been made." Id. The record does......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT