Riverside Bank v. Maxa

Decision Date11 April 1950
PartiesRIVERSIDE BANK v. MAXA et al.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

O. B. Simmons, Jr., and Evans, Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston & Simmons, Miami, for appellant.

Jack Moore, Miami, for appellee.

SEBRING, Justice.

The appeal is brought by Riverside Bank, a defendant below, to review a decree of the Circuit Court of Dade County holding the bank liable for payment of certain moneys to the plaintiff.

As shown by the record, Ruth Rusciano, on October 16, 1947, purchased a cashier's check from Riverside Bank, Miami, Florida, in the sum of $3815, payable to the order of one Hazel Rutherford. On October 17, 1947, the payee endorsed the check in blank and cashed the same at the Miami Industrial Bank, Miami, Florida; the Bank paying the sum of $3800 for the check and thereby becoming the owner and holder of the instrument for value.

On October 20, 1947, Frank Maxa, Sr. instituted suit in the Circuit Court of Dade County, Florida, naming Hazel Rutherford, J. Rusciano and the Riverside Bank of Miami as parties defendant. The sworn bill of complaint filed by the plaintiff alleged that in August 1947 the defendant Hazel Rutherford had induced the plaintiff to purchase for $7500 a business in Miami known as Sunrise Bar and Restaurant; that in the consummation of the purchase she had fraudulently procured the transfer of the title to her; that thereafter she had fraudulently persuaded the plaintiff to enter into a marriage contract with her and that subsequent to the marriage ceremony she had sold the Sunrise Bar and Restaurant to one J. Rusciano who had paid a portion of the purchase price by means of the cashier's check purchased by Ruth Rusciano on October 16, 1947 from the defendant Riverside Bank of Miami; that the check had not been presented to the Riverside Bank for payment and that unless Hazel Rutherford Maxa was enjoined and restrained from cashing the check she would obtain the proceeds thereof and abscond.

The prayer of the bill sought to have a trust declared for the plaintiff in the Sunrise Bar and Restaurant or the proceeds from the sale thereof; an annulment of the marriage between the plaintiff and the defendant Hazel Rutherford Maxa; an injunction against the defendant, J. Rusciano, restraining further payment by him of any part of the purchase price for the Sunrise Bar and Restaurant; and an injunction that the defendant, Riverside Bank, be 'enjoined and restrained from honoring or cashing the said cashier's check, payable to the order of Hazel Rutherford.'

Based on the allegations of the bill of complaint one of the chancellors of the circuit court of Dade County, on October 20, 1947, entered a temporary restraining order without notice to any defendant and without requiring bond, enjoining the defendant, Hazel Rutherford Maxa, from cashing the cashier's check of the defendant Riverside Bank and enjoining the defendant, J. Rusciano, from paying to Hazel Ruthorford Maxa any further part of the purchase price of the Sunrise Bar and Restaurant, as prayed for by the plaintiff. As to the defendant, Riverside Bank, the chancellor did not follow the prayer of the bill that the Bank be 'enjoined and restrained from honoring or cashing the said cashier's check, payable to the order of Hazel Rutherford', but entered a restraining order more limited in scope, which in express language enjoined the Bank 'from paying to the said Hazel Rutherford Maxa, alias Hazel Rutherford, that certain cashier's check purchased from the said Bank by J. Rusciano and payable to the order of Hazel Rutherford.'

The restraining order against the Riverside Bank was served on the morning of October 21, 1947. Subsequently, the cashier's check bearing the endorsement of the defendant, Hazel Rutherford, and the endorsement of Miami Industrial Bank showing that the check had been paid by the latter on October 17, 1947, was presented for payment in due course of business by Florida National Bank and Trust Company at Miami. Before paying the check to the holder for value, the Riverside Bank, out of an abundance of caution, inquired through its counsel of the chancellor who had entered the temporary restraining order, whether the order served on the bank was intended as an injunction against the payment of the cashier's check by whomever held, as prayed in the bill of complaint, or only as an injunction against the payment of the check to the payee, Hazel Rutherford, as expressly stated in the order. In response to this inquiry the chancellor informed counsel that the restraining order should be construed strictly in accordance with its terms and that it was the intent of the chancellor in framing the order as it read to enjoin the bank from paying the cashier's check to the defendant, Hazel Rutherford...

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4 cases
  • Warren Finance, Inc. v. Barnett Bank of Jacksonville, N.A.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • November 16, 1989
    ...unconditional, and primary obligation of the bank. Pennsylvania v. Curtiss National Bank, 427 F.2d 395 (5th Cir.1970); Riverside Bank v. Maxa, 45 So.2d 678 (Fla.1950); Crosby v. Lewis, 523 So.2d 1154 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988). People accept a cashier's check as a substitute for cash because the b......
  • State of Pa. v. Curtiss Nat. Bank of Miami Springs, Fla.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • July 8, 1970
    ...Ark. 929, 1 S.W.2d 1008, 56 A.L.R. 529, 532 (1928); Drinkall v. Movius State Bank, 11 N.D. 10, 88 N.W. 724 (1901). See Riverside Bank v. Maxa, Fla.1950, 45 So.2d 678; Bank of Bay Biscayne v. Ball, 99 Fla. 745, 128 So. 491 (1930). As such, the Bank's liability on the check is governed by the......
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Florida
    • April 15, 1994
    ...primary obligation of the bank." Id. at 196 (citing Pennsylvania v. Curtiss National Bank, 427 F.2d 395 (5th Cir.1970);3 Riverside Bank v. Maxa, 45 So.2d 678 (Fla.1950); Crosby v. Lewis, 523 So.2d 1154 (Fla. 5th Dist.Ct.App.1988)). "People accept a cashier's check as a substitute for cash b......
  • Sani-Serv Division of Burger Chef Systems, Inc. v. Southern Bank of West Palm Beach
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 18, 1970
    ...a cashier's check is a promise to pay and must be supported by a legal consideration. 10 Am.Jur.2d, Banks § 643; Riverside Bank v. Maxa, Fla.1950, 45 So.2d 678. Consideration, however, can rest in a detriment to the promissee--in this case the plaintiff--as well as a benefit to the promisso......

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