White v. Peterson, 43333.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtDONEGAN, Justice.
Citation269 N.W. 878,222 Iowa 720
PartiesWHITE v. PETERSON, Clerk of Court, et al.
Docket Number43333.
Decision Date24 November 1936

Appeal from District Court, Clay County; George A. Heald, Judge.

Action in interpleader brought by tenant of premises, on which a mortgage had been foreclosed, against the assignee of the mortgagor, claiming the rents under an assignment made before the institution of the foreclosure action, and the receiver appointed by the court in the foreclosure decree. By stipulation of the parties, the rents involved were paid into court, the plaintiff was released from further liability, and the action proceeded between the defendant-assignee and the defendant-receiver. From a decree and judgment in favor of the receiver, the assignee appeals.


Miller & Claussen, of Clinton, for appellant.

Lovrien & Wilson, of Spencer, for appellee.

DONEGAN, Justice.

On the 18th day of December, 1933, W. E. Thompson was the owner of the title to a farm of approximately 204 acres of land in Clay county, Iowa, subject to a mortgage thereon in the principal sum of $5,000, which was then owned by the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. On that date Thompson rented the farm to L. A. White by written lease for a period from March 1, 1934, to March 1, 1935, for a rental of $600, $300 payable December 15, 1934, and $300 payable February 1, 1935. The rent payments were evidenced by two separate promissory notes which were referred to in the lease. The granting clause of the mortgage conveyed the rents, issues, and profits, and the mortgage further provided for the appointment of a receiver to collect the rents, issues, and profits during the pendency of a suit for foreclosure and up to the time the purchaser at foreclosure would be entitled to possession. The mortgage was indexed and recorded as a real estate mortgage, but was not indexed or filed as a chattel mortgage.

On January 23, 1934, approximately five weeks after the execution of the lease from Thompson to White, the two rent notes, indorsed by Thompson without recourse, were purchased for value by the City National Bank of Clinton, Iowa, from Flambeau River Lumber Company, the holder thereof, and both notes and the lease were delivered to said bank.

On or about April 1, 1934, an action was commenced to foreclose the mortgage, and Thompson and White were made defendants. The City National Bank of Clinton was not made a party defendant and no notice of the foreclosure action was served upon it. Thompson appeared and filed an admission that he had no claim in the land superior to that of the plaintiff, and White made no appearance.

On the 10th day of August, 1934, a decree was entered in that action foreclosing the mortgage and appointing J. H. Peterson, clerk of the district court, receiver. Shortly thereafter, the receiver told White that the rents would be the same as in the lease with Thompson, but that they would have to be paid to the receiver. On the 15th day of December, 1934, the day upon which the first of the notes became due, the lessee White instituted the instant action in which J. H. Peterson clerk of the district court of Clay county, Iowa, as receiver in the foreclosure action, and the City National Bank of Clinton, Iowa, were made defendants.

In his petition said White alleged the execution of the lease and notes, the foreclosure of the mortgage, the appointment of the receiver, the conflicting claims for the rent made by the receiver and by the bank. He offered to pay the $600 into court, and asked that he be released from further liability for rent, and that the receiver and the bank be required to settle between themselves the dispute as to which of them was entitled thereto.

To this petition the defendant City National Bank of Clinton filed an answer and an amendment thereto. The defendant receiver also filed an answer to the petition and a reply to the answer of the bank. The Brotherhood of American Yeomen, although not a party to the action, also filed a separate answer to the petition and a separate reply to the answer of the bank. Upon the trial of the case some of the facts were stipulated and evidence was received as to others. It was also stipulated that the petition of interpleader filed by White should be sustained, that the parties would have the right to file further pleadings and briefs, and that the court could take the case under advisement and render judgment in vacation. Additional pleadings were thereafter filed by both parties, the material allegations of which will be hereafter referred to. Briefs were filed, and on the 31st day of August, 1935, the court filed his opinion and decree holding that the $600 rent fund belonged to the receiver. From this decree the defendant City National Bank appeals.

In his opinion the trial judge based his decision upon three separate grounds. We shall confine ourselves to a consideration of one of the grounds relied upon by the trial court. It is the contention of the receiver and of the Brotherhood that the bank is not entitled to the rent comprising the fund now in court, because such fund does not consist of the rentals payable by the tenant White under the lease made by him with the owner and mortgagor Thompson, but that such fund represents the rentals payable to the receiver under a new lease made by him with White. Thompson, the owner and landlord in the lease given by him to White, and White, the tenant, were both parties to the foreclosure action. The petition in the foreclosure action alleged " that by the terms of said real estate mortgage, the plaintiff was granted upon the commencement of a suit of foreclosure thereon the rights to have a receiver appointed by the court for the land and to collect the rents, issues and profits thereof, during the pendency of such suit, and up to the time the purchaser of such sale shall be entitled to possession thereof and to apply the rentals upon interest, taxes and upon the principal of this mortgage." The petition also alleged that the defendants L. A. White and Mrs. L. A. White were tenants in possession of the premises under a lease from the title holder. The prayer of the petition asked that a receiver be appointed immediately upon the filing of the petition; that he take possession of the premises and of the rentals thereof, and rent the premises and apply the rentals upon the taxes, interest, and mortgage; that any and all rights of the defendants be decreed to be junior and inferior to the lien of plaintiff's mortgage; that the mortgage be foreclosed and special execution issue for the sale thereof; that the purchaser be placed in possession; " and that the receiver be given possession during the pendency of this suit and the redemption period." The decree of foreclosure found " that the plaintiff is entitled to foreclosure of the mortgage and to a receiver for the collection of the rentals and for renting the premises and that the plaintiff has a lien upon said rentals and income of the property, by the terms of their mortgage." It adjudged and decreed that " the Clerk of this Court, J. H. Peterson, is hereby appointed receiver to collect the rentals from the defendants, L. A. White and Mrs. L. A. White and to rent the premises and collect the rentals after the expiration of their lease and from the beginning of this suit to the end of the period of redemption." It further adjudged and decreed that " the lien of said mortgage is from the 7th day of December, 1923, and the rights of W. E. Thompson and Mrs. W. E. Thompson are hereby foreclosed and cut off including their rights of redemption of said premises, and the rights of L. A. White and Mrs. L. A. White are hereby foreclosed and cut off, save their right of occupancy until March 1, 1935, upon payment to the receiver of the rentals and they are decreed to have no other rights in the premises."

It is the claim of the Brotherhood and of the receiver that the decree of foreclosure, in appointing the receiver and authorizing him to take possession and collect the rents, in limiting the rights of the tenant White to occupy the premises by the condition that he pay the rents to the receiver, and in cutting off all other rights of Thompson and White, fixed and adjudicated the receiver's right to the rentals comprising the fund now in court. As far as...

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  • White v. Peterson, 43333.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • 24 Noviembre 1936
    ...222 Iowa 720269 N.W. 878WHITEv.PETERSON, Clerk of Court, et al.No. 43333.Supreme Court of Iowa.Nov. 24, Appeal from District Court, Clay County; George A. Heald, Judge. Action in interpleader brought by tenant of premises, on which a mortgage had been foreclosed, against the assignee of the......

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