LOCATION: Quality Photo Shop
DOCKET NO.: 21
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1956-1957)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
CITATION: 352 US 29 (1956)
ARGUED: Oct 18, 1956
DECIDED: Nov 13, 1956
Facts of the case
Media for Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association v. Parnell
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 18, 1956 in Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association v. Parnell
Numbers 21 and 22, Bank Of America National Trust & Savings Association, Petitioner, versus Gilbert S. Parnell and Bank Of America National Trust & Savings Association versus First National Bank In Indiana.
Erwin N. Griswold:
May it please the Court.
Now, this is an action for tort, the tort of conversion of property.
The plaintiff is a national bank located in California.
In May, 1944, it was the owner of a large number of bonds of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, which it had acquired from its customers.
These bonds had been called for redemption on May 1st, 1944.
And while they were in the plaintiff's premises, a few days after that, they -- they were stolen or at least they mysteriously disappeared.
There's now, an interval of four years, more than four years.
We next hear of the bonds in early September, 1948, when one Rocco, began a series of transactions with Parnell, who was a lawyer in the town of Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Now, although this town of Indiana, all of the events in this case, subsequent to the theft, occurred in the State of Pennsylvania.
Early in September, 1948, Rocco took some west Penn power bonds and some treasury bonds not directly involved in this case to Parnell.
Parnell took the bonds to the first National Bank in Indiana of which he was a director.
At the bank, Parnell dealt with one (Inaudible) the cashier of the bank.
And the latter cost this first lot of bonds to be sold.
Now, when the bank received credit, Parnell was notified by telephone.
He went down to the bank and was handed a cashier's check for the proceeds plus a small service charge.
He immediately endorsed the check and took the proceeds and bills of $100 each and a few smaller bills though the amount was nearly $25,000.
Eighteen days later, Rocco brought to Parnell, $19,600 in Home Owners' Loan Corporation bonds which where the petitioner's property.
Parnell took these to the bank which transmitted them to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Pittsburgh branch.
Again, when the credit came through, Parnell was notified by telephone.
He went down to the bank, received the cashier's check this time, for $19,590, which he then endorsed and received the proceeds in cash, in bills of a hundred dollars and less.
And twenty seven days later, in October 1948, Rocco gave to Parnell and Parnell brought to the bank $38,000 in Home Owners' Loan Corporation bonds and the same procedure was followed and Parnell eventually cashing the check for $37,980, and taking it in one hundred dollar bills and smaller denominations.
Now, it's these two latter lots of bonds of $57,600 in face amount for which this suit is brought.
There were, at first, four defendants Rocco, Parnell, the lawyer, the First National Bank in Indiana, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
The trial court dismissed the suit as to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and that is no longer involved in the case.
After a trial before a jury, verdicts and judgement were rendered against Rocco, Parnell, and the First National Bank in Indiana.
Rocco did not appeal.
So, he, is no longer before this Court.
I may say that he is now in prison having been convicted of the crime of transporting stolen bonds in interstate commerce.