The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEDERLE
1. Complaint was filed herein on December 1, 1947 for the recovery of the sum of $ 279.94, plus interest at 6 per cent per annum from May 7, 1936 upon a negotiable promissory note made in New Jersey, dated October 15, 1935, payable in twenty-four monthly installments of $ 13.54 each to the order of Equitable Service Corporation. Joseph Perpignano, a resident of this District, was named as the sole defendant. The note in question was prepared on a printed form and read, in part, 'I/We, jointly and severally, promise to pay', and was signed in the handwriting of defendant, as follows:
The note was unconditionally endorsed by Joseph Perpignano, and contained a statement waiving presentment, demand, protest, and notice of protest and non-payment.
3. Defendant claims the equipment installed by the payee, payment for which was evidenced by the note, did not operate properly. When the Orange First National Bank acquired said note, it did so in good faith and for value, without any notice of infirmity in it or any defect in the title of the payee and without notice or knowledge of any facts regarding a breach or contemplated breach of the contract for which the note was given which would have put it upon inquiry.
4. There is no evidence of any bad faith on the part of any officer, agent or employee of the Orange First National Bank.
5. The first installment of the note became due on November 15, 1935, and was paid on November 16, 1935 to the Orange First National Bank. The second payment, due December 15, 1935, was paid December 17, 1935 to said Bank. No further payments were made upon the note.
6. A report of the purchase of this note was made to the Federal Housing Administration by the Orange First National Bank on October 17, 1935. The purpose of this report was to qualify the loan for which the note was given for insurance under the provisions of Title 1 of the National Housing Act, 12 U.S.C.A. § 1701 et seq., and it became so insured.
7. The note being in default, it was assigned to the plaintiff on April 21, 1936, by the Orange First National Bank for a valuable consideration in accordance with the aforesaid National Housing Act insurance provisions.
8. There is now due upon said note the sum of $ 279.94, together with interest thereon at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from May 7, 1936.
9. A number of defenses were raised by defendant; namely, (1) that the note in question was made by and for Cedar View Lodge, Inc., without intention upon the part of defendant or the payee of the note that defendant should be regarded as a maker of the note. This position of defendant was substantiated by his own testimony that he signed solely as an officer for the named corporation, and the testimony of an official of the Orange First National Bank that the note was transferred to such bank by the payee and reported to the United States Government by the bank as a note made solely by said corporation and endorsed by said defendant; (2) that the Statute of Limitations barred this action; (3) that there had been no presentment, demand, protest, notice of protest or non-payment; and (4) that the note was secured by a chattel mortgage upon one Model 'A' Sodator installed by the original payee of said note in the premises of Cedar View Lodge, Inc., for the payment of which this note was given, and that the equipment had been seized by the original payee of the note, Equitable Service Corporation, from the defendant as officer of the Cedar View Lodge, Inc., subsequent to the time that defendant knew the note had been transferred to the Orange First National Bank. Such seizure was without the knowledge or consent of either plaintiff or said bank. Plaintiff claims there were technical defects in the mortgage instrument. However, the conclusion here reached renders a decision of this point unnecessary.
1. This is a civil suit brought by the United States Government against a resident of this District, over which this court has ...