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SCHMIDT V. BANK OF COMMERCE, 234 U. S. 64 (1914)

U.S. Supreme Court

Schmidt v. Bank of Commerce, 234 U.S. 64 (1914)

Schmidt v. Bank of Commerce

No. 281

Argued March 19, 1914

Decided May 25, 1914

234 U.S. 64


This Court accepts the rulings of the territorial courts on local questions of pleading and practice. Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. Friday, 232 U. S. 694. Where some of the signatures of defendant makers had been obtained by means of fraudulent representations by the plaintiff holder of the paper, the whole transaction is vitiated even as to those makers

Page 234 U. S. 65

who were liable on former existing paper of which that in suit was a renewal.

Where a renewal note constitute a new promise with distinct legal consequences, it cannot be enforced if fraudulently induced, even if there were no defense to the older note in renewal of which it is given.

Under the Negotiable Instrument Act of 1907 of New Mexico, the title of a person negotiating commercial paper is defective if any signature thereto has been obtained by fraud, and if any one person is relieved from liability by proof of fraudulent inducement, all other persons who signed the paper are likewise relieved, although they did not participate in and were ignorant of such fraud.

Where the court, on plaintiffs' motion, has denied the right of defendants to show that the note sued on was void as to them because of subsequent alteration by addition of signatures of other co-makers, the plaintiff cannot defeat defendants' defense of fraud in obtaining the later signature on the ground that the notes were completed instrument and binding upon the makers before the others had signed.

16 N.M. 414 reversed.

The facts, which involve the effect of fraudulent inducement to make commercial paper and the rights of co-makers to be relieved of liability in such case, are stated in the opinion.

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