On appeal from the Essex County Circuit Court.
For the plaintiff-appellant, Robert J. McCurrie.
For the respondent Loretta C. Duffy, Harry Kay.
For the respondent Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of Newark, New Jersey, Local No. 3, Merrey & Merry (Edward F. Merrey, Jr., of counsel).
The opinion of the court was delivered by
McLEAN, J. This is an appeal from the Essex County Circuit Court from a judgment for defendants-respondents. The action was brought to recover the sum of $1,110.93 balance
of principal and interest due on a loan made by plaintiff-appellant, Martin H. Duffy, to his brother Cornelius C. Duffy. Cornelius and his wife Loretta were purchasing a home from the Lincoln National Bank. Payment was to be made by a purchase-money mortgage of $5,000 and $1,000 cash to cover improvements to be made to the premises. The $1,000 was to be paid to the seller and held in escrow pending completion of the improvements which were to be made under the supervision of the seller, and paid for out of the escrow account. The money to provide the $1,000 payment was advanced to Cornelius by plaintiff-appellant by two checks dated October 11th, 1941, for $200 and October 17th, 1941, for $800. The checks were drawn to the order of Cornelius and were endorsed and deposited by him with the seller on October 15th and 17th, respectively. The property was conveyed to Cornelius and his wife. The improvements were completed and paid for.
Cornelius was a member of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of Newark, New Jersey, Local No. 3, which paid benefits on the death of its members to persons designated in the manner provided in the by-laws.
In 1926 Cornelius had designated his wife to receive the benefits. On March 6th, 1943, he designated plaintiff appellant and a new certificate was issued and delivered to him, which, appellant contends, pledged the death benefits to him as collateral security for the loan made to Cornelius in 1941.
A short time before the death of Cornelius in October, 1944, appellant was requested to surrender to the association, the certificate he held and in which he was named as beneficiary, because Cornelius wanted to change the beneficiary back to his wife. Appellant refused to surrender the certificate, contending it had been pledged to him as security for his loan. The beneficiary was nevertheless changed in the records of the association and Loretta C. Duffy, Cornelius' wife, was designated as the beneficiary. A new certificate was issued in her favor and the benefits were paid to her when her husband died.
The complaint consists of four counts. The first count demands payment of the amount by ...