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COLLINGS v. GUARANTEE TRUST CO.

July 12, 1934

COLLINGS et al.
v.
GUARANTEE TRUST CO.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: AVIS

This action was instituted by plaintiffs, who are alleged to be residents of the state of Pennsylvania, against defendant, a New Jersey corporation, to recover the amount due on certain coupons formerly annexed to bonds issued by the Linwood Country Club of Atlantic county, N.J.

The complaint alleges that on May 1, 1925, Linwood Country Club issued certain mortgage bonds in the amount of $300,000, which bonds were afterward, some time in May, 1925, sold by Atlantic Safe Deposit & Trust Company (hereinafter called trust company) to Brooke, Stokes & Company of Philadelphia, Pa. This sale was consummated at a price of $930 for each $1,000 bond, upon the guarantee by said trust company, in writing, indorsed on each bond in the following language:

 "Atlantic Safe Deposit and Trust Company.

 "For Value Received, and in consideration of the purchase of the within bond by the Holder assumes and guarantees the payment of principal and interest thereof when the same become due respectively.

 "Atlantic Safe Deposit and Trust Co.

 "By Joseph Thompson [signed]

 "President."

 The bonds were subsequently sold by Brooke, Stokes & Company to sundry purchasers, and, in December, 1931, said trust company merged with some other banking institutions in Atlantic City in this district, under the name of Guarantee Trust Company. The complaint further alleges that the plaintiffs are the holders of 193 of said bonds and the coupons for interest due on November 1, 1932, which interest has not been paid, and the plaintiffs claim damages for interest due on these coupons, a total of $5,790.

 An answer was filed containing certain defense which will hereinafter be noted.

 Plaintiff move to strike the answer and defenses, and to enter summary judgment, on the ground that they are sham.

 The first defense in the answer is a denial that the plaintiffs are resident in the state of Pennsylvania. It appears conclusively by the affidavits presented, and in no way rebutted, that all of the plaintiffs are residents of the state of Pennsylvania. This denial relates to the jurisdiction of the court, and, while it is a question of fact, the decision as to jurisdiction is for the court and not a jury to determine.

 The denials contained in the answer, based upon a want of knowledge, are either on immaterial matters or have by affidavits been demonstrated as true, and are not denied by any counter affidavits.

 Paragraph 6 of the complaint, which alleges the responsibility of the defendant by reason of the merger of the sundry banking institutions, is denied as a matter of law only. The court is satisfied that the institutions merged in the trust company, under the name of Guarantee Trust Company, and, while the defendant might still be responsible if it had not been the parent corporation in the merger, the fact that it was the parent corporation ...


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