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Forbes v. First Camden National Bank and Trust Co.

Decided: February 26, 1953.

ELIZABETH C. FORBES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
FIRST CAMDEN NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Eastwood, Bigelow and Jayne. The opinion of the court was delivered by Bigelow, J.A.D. Jayne, J.A.D. (concurring).

Bigelow

The plaintiff and her husband had a savings account in the defendant bank. The signature card shows:

"We hereby agree to the rules and regulations of First Camden National Bank and Trust Company.

This account and all money to be credited to it belong to us as joint tenants, and will be the absolute property of the survivor of us; either, and the survivor to draw."

Among the rules printed in the passbook was,

"Withdrawal of all or any part of a Savings deposit may be made upon presentation of the pass book and the signing of a withdrawal receipt."

Below the rules was printed in boldface:

"IMPORTANT NOTICE

No payments will be made unless the check or order thereof is accompanied by the passbook of the withdrawing depositor."

Between December 23, 1946 and September 18, 1947 plaintiff's husband withdrew from the account $1,600 without presenting the passbook. On November 7, 1947 the plaintiff appeared at the bank with the passbook and had entered therein the several payments that had been made to her husband. She then drew out the balance remaining, $400, besides a little interest.

Four years later, October 24, 1951, plaintiff began her action against the bank, alleging the foregoing facts, and also that the passbook had always been in her possession. She obtained judgment for $1,600, the amount of her codepositor's withdrawals.

She does not allege that she owned any part of the money that was paid to her husband. But as between joint owners of a savings account, there is a presumption that each owns a half interest therein. Steinmetz v. Steinmetz , 130 N.J. Eq. 176 (Ch. 1941); Stout v. Sutphen , 132 N.J. Eq. 583 (Ch. 1943). On that basis, plaintiff owned $1,000 of the deposit, received $400, and would be entitled to judgment against her husband for $600, with an interest ...


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