York v. Am. Nat. Bank of Silver City, 4082.

Citation40 N.M. 123, 55 P.2d 737
Case DateJanuary 09, 1936
CourtSupreme Court of New Mexico


Appeal from District Court, Grant County; George W. Hay, Judge.

Action by George York and others against the American National Bank of Silver City, N. M., and another. Judgment for plaintiffs, and defendants appeal.

Reversed, with directions.

Title to moneys of decedent allegedly on deposit in bank at decedent's death passed to administrator, and heirs had no right thereto until close of administration.

Wilson & Woodbury, of Silver City, for appellants.

H. B. Hamilton, of El Paso, Tex., for appellees.

ZINN, Justice.

On August 28, 1914, appellant issued and delivered to W. N. York its certificate of deposit in the sum of $1,000, payable six months after date, with interest at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum. W. N. York died on July 7, 1915, intestate. W. J. Malcolm, a son-in-law, was appointed administrator of the estate of W. N. York. As such administrator he presented his letters of administration to the appellant, and inquired whether there was any money on deposit with appellant to the credit of his decedent. He was informed that there was $410.15 on open account, and received that amount.

On November 14, 1931, George York, a son of the deceased W. N. York, having been informed by one Decker that there was an additional $1,000 on deposit to the credit of his father, applied for appointment as administrator de bonis non of the estate of W. N. York, and letters of administration were issued to him. As such administrator, George York received from the appellant the sum of $1,020, being the face value of the certificate plus interest for six months at the rate of 4 per cent. per annum. George York is still such administrator.

On May 16, 1932, this action was brought by appellees, one of whom is the aforesaid George York, as heirs of W. N. York, seeking to recover from appellant the interest on the $1,000 deposit from August 28, 1914, down to November 14, 1931. Appellees claimed exemplary damages on the theory of fraud and collusion. This the lower court denied, finding that there was no conspiracy, collusion, or fraud attributable to the appellant. Judgment was entered on September 15, 1934, in favor of appellees as prayed, without the exemplary damages.

The court ruled that the inquiries made of the appellant by W. J. Malcolm constituted a demand upon the appellant to deliver to Malcolm as administrator all moneys of W. N. York on deposit to the said Malcolm, which the bank failed to do, and was therefore liable to the appellees as heirs and distributees of W. N. York, deceased. Appellant is here on appeal from said judgment.

Six errors are assigned. Only one need be considered. It is the appellant's contention that no cause of action existed in the plaintiffs or any of them as heirs of W. N. York, deceased, against appellant, for the reason that such cause of action must be instituted by George York as administrator de bonis non of the estate of W. N. York, deceased, and not by the plaintiffs as heirs and distributees of the estate.

The court found that George York was appointed administrator de bonis non of the estate of W. N. York, deceased, and that at the time of the institution of the suit and at the trial was the duly qualified and acting administrator, and that the estate had not been closed.

[1][2] As such administrator, the title to any personal property passed direct to George York as administrator, and the appellees had no right therein until the close of the administration. See Smith v. Steen, 20 N.M. 436, 150 P. 927; Sheley v. Shafer, 35 N.M. 358, 298 P. 942. Having the legal title to any amount which the appellant might legally owe the estate, the administrator was the necessary party plaintiff. Here the action was brought by a number of people claiming to be the heirs.

In this jurisdiction on the granting of letters testamentary or of administration or on the appointment of an administrator, all personal property belonging to the decedent passes immediately to the administrator or executor as the case may be. Such administrator having the legal title thereto may demand the payment of any sum of money belonging to the estate of W. N. York, deceased. If such administrator shall fail or refuse to institute any action at law or suit for the benefit of the estate which he represents, or for the benefit of any person or persons claiming to be interested therein, the person or persons interested in...

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8 cases
  • Clovis Nat. Bank v. Callaway
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • 30 Agosto 1961
    ...by a determination of heirship and an order of distribution. Parker v. Beasley, 40 N.M. 68, 54 P.2d 687; York v. American Nat. Bank of Silver City, 40 N.M. 123, 55 P.2d 737. That there must be reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard before ownership can be transferred to the state and......
  • Mahoney v. City of Payette
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • 3 Febrero 1943
    ... ... 398; In re Smith's ... Estate, 60 Mont. 276, 199 P. 696; York v. American ... Nat. Bank of Silver City, 40 N.M. 123, 55 P.2d 737; ... ...
  • Patterson v. Globe American Cas. Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • 10 Julio 1984
    ...that such right has been invaded and such duty violated by some wrongful act or omission of defendant. York v. American Nat. Bank of Silver City, N.M., 40 N.M. 123, 55 P.2d 737 (1936). Defendant does not dispute that the Act creates a right-duty relationship, but contends that the Act does ......
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • 29 Diciembre 1947
    ...($1000) dollars in cash standing to the credit of her account in Albuquerque Trust and Savings Bank when she died. See York v. American Nat. Bank, 40 N.M. 123, 55 P.2d 737; 34 C.J.S., Executors and Administrators, § 740b, p. 766, and 21 Am.Jur. 904, §§ 939 and 940, Id. The author of the tex......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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