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First National Bank of Ocean City v. Zelley

Decided: May 19, 1930.

THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY, A CORPORATION, ETC., APPELLANT,
v.
SAMUEL T. ZELLEY AND EASTERN MOTOR COMPANY, RESPONDENTS



On appeal from the Atlantic County Circuit Court.

For the appellant, William Elmer Brown, Jr.

For the respondents, Cole & Cole.

Bodine

The opinion of the court was delivered by

BODINE, J. The First National Bank of Ocean City brought replevin for the recovery of possession of six Dodge automobiles taken from it by the Eastern Motor Company.

The bank claims under bills of sale executed by Reid & Denight, a partnership, duly recorded in the Cape May county clerk's office. The partnership held a dealer's permit from the commissioner of motor vehicles of this state issued pursuant to Pamph. L. 1919, p. 357, as amended Pamph. L. 1925, p. 287.

The partners composing the firm of Reid & Denight had intended forming a corporation. The papers were drawn but never executed. In entering into an agreement to become the associate dealer of the Eastern Motor Company, who held an agency contract with the manufacturer, Dodge Brothers, Incorporated, the intended corporation was treated as in existence and was described in the contract as Reid & Denight, Incorporated. The relation between the Eastern Motor Company and Reid & Denight, Incorporated, is fixed in the agreement as that of vendor and vendee. It appears that pursuant to the agreement the cars in question, and others, were bought. Cars purchased were shipped by freight, and documents with draft attached were secured from an Atlantic City bank by Reid & Denight before delivery.

The Circuit Court nonsuited the plaintiff, because it did not appear that Reid & Denight were ever incorporated, and further that the dealings of the parties were such that there was no evidence upon which an estoppel could be predicated against the Eastern Motor Company.

There was error in this ruling. The bills of sale issued to the bank follow the requirements of the statute and were executed by the partnership of Reid & Denight.

The statute is entitled "An act relating to and regulating the sale of motor vehicles * * *," and so far as pertinent provides: "1. * * * The term 'manufacturer's bill of sale' as used in this act shall mean the original bill of sale issued by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle or his agent or his authorized dealer."

"4. In all sales or purchases of a motor vehicle directly from the manufacturer or through an agent or agency or authorized dealer of such manufacturer there shall be issued to the purchaser ...


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