Stephens v. Monongahela Nat Bank of Brownsville, Pennsylvania

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation111 U.S. 197,28 L.Ed. 399,4 S.Ct. 336
Decision Date31 March 1884

111 U.S. 197
4 S.Ct. 336
28 L.Ed. 399
March 31, 1884.

P. A. Knox and C. E. Boyle, for plaintiff in error.

Geo. Shiras, Jr., for defendant in error.


This suit was brought by the Monongahela National Bank of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and judgment was given against Barzilla Stephens, the defendant, for want of a sufficient affidavit of defense. The grounds of defense, as set forth in the affidavit, were: (1) That another suit was pending in the court of common pleas of Green county, Pennsylvania, between the same parties, for the same identical cause of action. (2) That the original of the note in suit was discounted and taken by the bank on the twenty-seventh of June, 1871; that the money advanced thereon at the time was only $8,434.65; that the loan was renewed by six subsequent notes, the last being the note in suit; that upon such loan and each of the renewals the bank 'knowingly took, received, reserved, and charged' usurious interest amounting in the aggregate to $3,736.50; that the defendant is only surety for Israel Stephens, the maker of the note; and that the defendant is entitled to set off the amount of the 'interest so knowingly taken, received, reserved, and charged by the bank' 'against the money loaned on the original of the note in suit.' (3) That the bank had 'knowingly taken, received, reserved,

Page 198

and charged at various times discount and interest, in excess of the amount permitted by its fundamental law on other loans to the principal debtor, amounting in the aggregate to $6,773.10, which was a proper set-off against the claim in this suit. (4) That the paper on which the note sued on was written was signed in blank by the parties thereto when it was taken to the bank for the purposes of renewal; that no one had authority to fill the blanks for anything else than the exact amount due on the original note, after deducting all payments, and that it was filled by an officer of the bank for the sum of $9,500, when, in view of the usury taken, less than $6,000 was due.

As to the first of these defenses, it is sufficient to say that the plea of another action pending is a plea in abatement. Bac. Abr. 'Abatement,' M; Com. Dig. 'Abatement,' H, 24; 1 Chit. Pl. (10th Am. Ed.) 453; 3 Chit. Pl. 903, note y. And by section 1011 of the Revised Statutes, which is a re-enactment of a similar provision in the judiciary act of September 24, 1789, ...

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    ...258 (1903); Haseltine v. Central Bank of Springfield, 183 U.S. 130, 22 S.Ct. 49, 46 L.Ed. 118 (1901); Stephens v. Monongahela Bank, 111 U.S. 197, 4 S.Ct. 336, 28 L.Ed. 399 (1884); Driesbach v. National Bank, 104 U.S. 52, 26 L.Ed. 658 (1881); Barnet v. National Bank, 98 U.S. 555, 25 L.Ed. 21......
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    ...112 Ga. 232; 106 Ala. 364; 115 Mass. 539; 133 Mass. 248; 109 Ala. 157; 57 Barb. 429; 26 Oh. St. 75; 74 N.C. 514; 91 U.S. 35; 153 U.S. 318; 111 U.S. 197. Under Federal usury cannot be set up here. 83 F. 269; 72 Hun. 373; 60 Cal. 387; 184 U.S. 151; 165 Pa.St. 199; 36 P. 905; 40 S.W. 413; 96 P......
  • McCarthy v. First Nat. Bank of Rapid City
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    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • May 21, 1909
    ... ... Mayer, 111 U.S. 31, 4 S.Ct. 260, 28 L.Ed. 338; ... Stephens v. Monongahela Bank, 111 U.S. 197, 4 S.Ct ... 336, 28 L.Ed. 399. We ... ...
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    ...Bank v. Dearing, 91 U. S. 29, 23 L. Ed. 196;Walsh v. Mayer, 111 U. S. 31, 4 Sup. Ct. 260, 28 L. Ed. 338;Stephens v. Monongahela Bank, 111 U. S. 197, 4 Sup. Ct. 336, 28 L. Ed. 399. We call particular attention to the above propositions, as they seem to us very material upon the construction ......
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