Pacific Coast Cheese v. Security First National Bank ofLos Angeles

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtGIBSON; EDMONDS
Citation45 Cal.2d 75,286 P.2d 353
PartiesPACIFIC COAST CHEESE, Inc., Plaintiff and Appellant, v. SECURITY FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF LOS ANGELES, a Banking Corporation, Defendant and Respondent. L. A. 23400.
Decision Date12 August 1955

Page 353

286 P.2d 353
45 Cal.2d 75
PACIFIC COAST CHEESE, Inc., Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
SECURITY FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF LOS ANGELES, a Banking Corporation, Defendant and Respondent.
L. A. 23400.
Supreme Court of California, In Bank.
Aug. 12, 1955.

Page 354

[45 Cal.2d 76] Jesse A. Hamilton, Lakewood, for appellant.

Iverson & Hogoboom and Paul E. Iverson, Los Angeles, for respondent.

[45 Cal.2d 77] GIBSON, Chief Justice.

Certain checks drawn against plaintiff's commercial account were altered so as to raise the amounts for which they had been written. Defendant bank honored the checks as altered, and the raised amounts were deducted from plaintiff's account. Subsequently the bank dishonored other checks of plaintiff on the ground that insufficient funds remained in the account after the deductions had been made. This action was brought to recover the amounts which plaintiff asserted had been wrongfully deducted from its account by reason of the bank's payment of the raised checks. Plaintiff also sought damages for asserted injury to credit resulting from the dishonoring of checks for lack of funds. The trial court directed a verdict for defendant, and plaintiff has appealed.

From January 25, 1952, through the month of February, plaintiff's bookkeeper drafted a series of checks for salaries and advances on salaries, filling in either by handwriting or by typewriter the date, the name of the payee, and the amount in figures, but leaving blank the space for the written amount. Plaintiff's manager signed the checks while they were in this condition and returned them to the bookkeeper, who put them through a protectograph machine, which is a device for perforating the amount in words on a check. The manager did not see what amounts were entered by use of the machine. There is evidence from

Page 355

which it may be inferred that, except in one instance, the bookkeeper inserted the number '1' in front of the figures which were on the checks when they were signed and that he perforated corresponding sums on the checks when he put them through the protectograph, in effect raising each check by $100. It also may be inferred that he raised one check for $52.05 by altering the first '5' to an '8' and writing in the larger sum with the protectograph.

The first altered check was charged to plaintiff's account on January 25 and was indicated by an entry of $130 an the January bank statement. Shortly after the statement arrived in the mail, the manager found it on his desk, placed it in his drawer and, upon examining it several days later, noticed that there was no canceled check or voucher for the $130 deduction. He did not mention the missing item to anyone since he expected that it would arrive in the following month's statement, and he soon forgot about it.

On March 5, 1952, John Bell, an employee who occasionally made deposits for plaintiff, called at the bank and obtained [45 Cal.2d 78] the February statement, although the bank had not been authorized to deliver statements to him. Plaintiff's manager first suspected something was wrong when, on March 8, he learned that a check which was not one of the altered series had been dishonored for lack of sufficient funds. He discovered that plaintiff's account had been charged by the bank with amounts which did not correspond with plaintiff's records, and, although he made a serch, he could not find the canceled checks representing the charges made by the bank. The...

To continue reading

Request your trial
24 practice notes
  • Fassberg Const. Co. v. Housing Authority, No. B181989.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 24 Mayo 2007
    ...Cal.Rptr.3d 409 The election of remedies doctrine is based on equitable estoppel. (Pac. Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Sec-First Nat. Bank (1955) 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d 353.) The doctrine generally holds that if a plaintiff elects a particular remedy in lieu of an alternative and inconsistent re......
  • Glendale Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn. v. Marina View Heights Dev. Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 20 Enero 1977
    ...pursuit of alternative and inconsistent remedies substantially prejudices the defendant. (Pac. Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Sec.-First Nat. Bk., 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d 353; Commercial Centre R. Co. v. Superior Ct., supra, 7 Cal.2d 121, 129, 59 P.2d 978; Felix v. Workmen's Comp. Appeals Bd., 41......
  • Yosemite Park & Curry Co. v. Department of Motor Vehicles, No. 18476
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 27 Enero 1960
    ...Cal.App.2d 458] any showing of injury to appellants by reason of any supposed election. Pacific Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Sec.-First Nat. Bk., 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d 353. Nor did respondent have an election. It paid under the claimed compulsion Page 438 of law. Schumm, by Whyner v. Berg, 37......
  • City Bank of San Diego v. Ramage
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 16 Octubre 1968
    ...129, 131, 215 P. 389; Crittenden v. St. Hill, 34 Cal.App. 107, 110, 166 P. 1016; Pacific Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Security-First Nat. Bank, 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d The doctrine of election of remedies, being a form of estoppel, is an affirmative defense that ordinarily must be specially ple......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Fassberg Const. Co. v. Housing Authority, No. B181989.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 24 Mayo 2007
    ...Cal.Rptr.3d 409 The election of remedies doctrine is based on equitable estoppel. (Pac. Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Sec-First Nat. Bank (1955) 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d 353.) The doctrine generally holds that if a plaintiff elects a particular remedy in lieu of an alternative and inconsistent re......
  • Glendale Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn. v. Marina View Heights Dev. Co.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 20 Enero 1977
    ...pursuit of alternative and inconsistent remedies substantially prejudices the defendant. (Pac. Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Sec.-First Nat. Bk., 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d 353; Commercial Centre R. Co. v. Superior Ct., supra, 7 Cal.2d 121, 129, 59 P.2d 978; Felix v. Workmen's Comp. Appeals Bd., 41......
  • Yosemite Park & Curry Co. v. Department of Motor Vehicles, No. 18476
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 27 Enero 1960
    ...Cal.App.2d 458] any showing of injury to appellants by reason of any supposed election. Pacific Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Sec.-First Nat. Bk., 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d 353. Nor did respondent have an election. It paid under the claimed compulsion Page 438 of law. Schumm, by Whyner v. Berg, 37......
  • City Bank of San Diego v. Ramage
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 16 Octubre 1968
    ...129, 131, 215 P. 389; Crittenden v. St. Hill, 34 Cal.App. 107, 110, 166 P. 1016; Pacific Coast Cheese, Inc. v. Security-First Nat. Bank, 45 Cal.2d 75, 80, 286 P.2d The doctrine of election of remedies, being a form of estoppel, is an affirmative defense that ordinarily must be specially ple......
  • 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