Mechanics' Bank v. Woodward

Decision Date03 January 1901
Citation47 A. 762,73 Conn. 470
CourtConnecticut Supreme Court

Appeal from superior court, New Haven county; George W. Wheeler, Judge.

Action by the Mechanics' Bank against Charles E. Woodward for $1,100 borrowed by defendant on two occasions, in sums of $800 and $300, respectively, acting by his wife and agent, Flora H. Woodward. Heard, on a general denial, to the court. Judgment for defendant. Plaintiff appeals. Reversed.

The following facts, among others, appeared in the finding: The defendant early in 1898 constituted his wife his agent to invest $1,650 for him in the New York stock market. On September 28, 1898, she offered a note for $800, purporting to be signed by him, for discount at the plaintiff bank; and it was discounted, and the proceeds given to her in a check drawn to his order. She collected this cheek, his indorsement upon it having been first forged, and probably used most of the funds in paying another note, on which he had been sued, held by one Hoadley. That note purported to bear the defendant's signature, but was in fact a forgery. She told him, and he believed, that she paid it from funds received by her, as his agent, on stock investments. Before the note was thus paid he had retained counsel to defend the suit brought upon it, on the ground that it was a forgery. On December 23, 1898, Mrs. Woodward procured from the plaintiff the discount of another note, for $300. The proceeds she deposited to her credit in the plaintiff bank, and immediately checked out $200 in bills, which in all probability she gave to the defendant, telling him that it came from said stock investments, which statement he believed to be true. The defendant testified in his own behalf that about the last of September or first of October, 1898, he found among his wife's papers two notes dated in 1895, in her favor, each purporting to bear his signature, and having indorsements of payments of interest semiannually to April 1, 1898; that he had never signed them; and that he placed them at once in the hands of his attorneys in the Hoadley suit. This testimony was received, and the two notes also admitted in evidence, against the plaintiff's objection, to rebut the claim that he had not acted in good faith with reference to this matter, but was a confederate of his wife in putting out fraudulent paper, and to show that when he found these particularly suspicious notes he brought them directly to his counsel. Certain other parts of the finding, material to the case, are stated in the opinion.

William B. Stoddard and Robert C. Stoddard, for appellant.

James H. Webb, for appellee.

BALDWIN, J. (after stating the facts). The trial court erred in permitting the defendant to make evidence for himself by showing his communication with his own attorneys as to a collateral matter in the course of another suit, relating to a different transaction. Nor was his testimony admissible that the two notes found among his wife's papers, which were the subject of that communication, were forgeries. The plaintiff had endeavored to prove its case against the defendant by circumstantial evidence. It relied on his course of conduct with reference to certain pecuniary transactions with which his wife was connected, and in which she claimed to represent him. As to these transactions, he was entitled to show, if he could, that...

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4 cases
  • Hurlburt v. Bussemey
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • October 8, 1924
    ... ... Stirling v. Buckingham, 46 Conn. 461; Dubuque v ... Coman, 64 Conn. 475, 30 A. 777; Mechanics' Bank v ... Woodward, 73 Conn. 470, 47 A. 762; Id., 74 Conn ... 689, 51 A. 1084; McAllin v ... ...
  • Tappan v. Knox
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • August 9, 1932
    ... ... cannot say that that discretion was abused ... Mechanics' Bank v. Woodward, 73 Conn. 470, 47 A ... 762. We may add that it is difficult to see from this ... ...
  • Mechanics' Bank v. Woodward
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • May 9, 1902
    ...on the same transactions, for money borrowed by defendant, acting by his wife as agent, and a Judgment for defendant was reversed. 73 Conn. 470, 47 Atl. 762. William B. Stoddard and Robert C. Stoddard, for James H. Webb, for defendant. BALDWIN, J. This case was previously before us on a som......
  • Barry v. Miller
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • April 8, 1926
    ... ... See, also, Finken v. Elm City Brass. Co., 47 A. 670, ... 73 Conn. 423, 427; Mechanics' Bank v. Woodward, ... 47 A. 762, 73 Conn. 470, 474 ... There ... is no error ... ...

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