Justia Mississippi Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Banking

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Previous opinions in this case were withdrawn. John and Cindy Henderson sued Copper Ridge Homes and First Bank regarding the construction of their new home in Magnolia, Mississippi. The case spiraled into foreclosure proceedings; the trial court granted First Bank’s motion for judicial foreclosure. On appeal, the Hendersons argued the trial court erred in granting First Bank a judicial foreclosure, by granting Copper Ridge’s and First Bank’s motions for summary judgment, and by denying their motions for leave to amend and add wrongful disclosure to their complaint. The Mississippi Supreme Court agreed the trial court erred in granting Copper Ridge’s and First Bank’s post-foreclosure motions for dismissal of the Hendersons’ claims. The Court affirmed the grant of judicial foreclosure, but reversed the grant of summary judgment to both parties, and remanded the case back to the trial court for a determination of the Hendersons’ claims. View "Henderson v. Copper Ridge Homes, LLC" on Justia Law

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This case involved three consolidated interlocutory appeals; each arose from litigation filed by Franklin Collection Service, Inc. (Franklin), against BancorpSouth Bank. Franklin and BancorpSouth had been in litigation for approximately forty months. After Franklin determined that BancorpSouth had failed to file a responsive pleading to the second amended complaint, Franklin applied for and obtained an entry of default by the clerk. Franklin also filed a motion to deem admitted the allegations of the second amended complaint. BancorpSouth filed a motion to set aside the entry of default and a motion for leave to file a responsive pleading to the second amended complaint. The trial court heard each motion and decided to deny Franklin’s motion to deem admitted the allegations of the second amended complaint; to grant BancorpSouth’s motion for leave to file a responsive pleading to the second amended complaint; and to deny BancorpSouth’s motion to set aside the entry of default. Franklin appealed and BancorpSouth cross-appealed. The Mississippi Supreme Court concluded that in light of the colorable defenses presented by BancorpSouth and the lack of prejudice to Franklin, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing BancorpSouth to file an answer to Franklin’s second amended complaint. Therefore, the Court concluded the trial court properly denied Franklin's motion to deem admitted the allegations in the second amended complaint. The Court affirmed two interlocutory orders at issue in Franklin's appeal reversed the order at issue in BancorpSouth's cross-appeal, and remanded this case for further proceedings. View "Franklin Collection Service, Inc. v. BancorpSouth Bank" on Justia Law

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The issue this case presented for the Mississippi Supreme Court's review centered on whether Appellant Marilyn Newsome's claims could survive summary judgment against Appellees, People’s Bank and Chris Dunn. The claims addressed the issuance of cashier’s checks by People’s Bank and Chris Dunn without Newsome's signature or approval, the conservatorship account holder. Victoria Newsome had settled a medical malpractice case, but she was unable to manage her affairs. The trial court appointed Newsome, Victoria's mother, as conservator. A trial court denied a request to purchase a home for Victoria, and instead, ordered that a house be built for her. In the interim, the trial court ordered a mobile home to be purchased. With the help of Dunn, a Bank employee, Newsome opened a checking account for the conservatorship with the Bank. When Newsome opened the conservatorship account, she signed a Deposit Agreement as the sole authorized signor on the account. Newsome testified that she did not have any discussions with the Bank about who would be authorized to sign on the account. The Deposit Agreement also provided that Newsome had thirty days to review her statements for errors or unauthorized activity. The estate attorneys prepared court orders for release of funds to pay for construction of the house; the trial court would in turn approve the orders, and the attorney would deliver the orders to the Bank for release of funds. The Orders did not provide any guidance, particularly whether cashier's checks could be issued to disburse the money. Despite frequent visits to the bank herself, Newsome allegedly never sought monthly accounting of the conservator account. Newsome filed suit, alleging the Bank and Dunn were liable for failing to require Newsome's signature on any checks negotiated on the conservatorship account. The Mississippi Supreme Court determined Newsome's case could indeed survive summary judgment, reversed the trial court in part, affirmed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Newsome v. Peoples Bancshares" on Justia Law

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A property owner defaulted on his obligations, and the construction lender foreclosed the property at issue in this appeal. The general contractor had a materialman’s lien on the property. At the foreclosure sale, the purchase price for the property was significantly lower than the total amounts owed. The sole issue before the chancery court was which lien had priority – that of the construction lender, or that of the contractor. The chancery court found that the contractor’s lien had priority. Because the chancery court did not abuse its discretion in arriving at that conclusion, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed. View "Whitney Bank v. Triangle Construction Company, Inc." on Justia Law

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The McMullans filed a complaint against U.S. Bancorp, U.S. Bank N.A. (collectively the Bank), and the Johnson Group. In answering the complaint, all defendants pled improper venue. The McMullans filed an amended complaint. The Johnson Group answered, again pleading improper venue, and filed a cross claim against the Bank. The Bank answered the McMullans’ amended complaint and the Johnson Group’s cross-claim, pleading improper venue in both. The Johnson Group filed a motion to change venue, joined by the Bank. The trial court denied the motion, holding that the defendants had waived venue because they had unduly delayed pursuit of the defense and had substantially participated in the litigation. The Bank sought and was granted permission to file this interlocutory appeal, which was joined by the Johnson Group. Upon review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found the trial court erred in denying the motion to transfer venue because the Bank consistently pled improper venue, joined the Johnson Group’s motion to transfer, and did not otherwise substantially participate in the litigation. View "U.S. Bancorp v. McMullan" on Justia Law

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Earnest Magee sued Covington County Bank (CCB) for conversion after it seized collateral for a promissory note and later sold the property at auction. CCB moved under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss, arguing: (1) that the statute of limitations had expired; (2) that it had a contractual right to the property; and (3) that Magee’s claim was barred by issue preclusion. The circuit judge denied CCB’s motion and finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Covington County Bank v. Magee" on Justia Law

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The residence of Brent and Amy Hubbard secured a note and deed of trust held by Trustmark National Bank. Additionally, the Hubbards obtained a second loan, which was secured by a note and second deed of trust held by BancorpSouth on the same residence. Trustmark foreclosed on the first deed of trust and sold the property. More than a year later, BancorpSouth sued the Hubbards for money due under the second note. The Hubbards admitted they were in default, but asserted as an affirmative defense that BancorpSouth’s claim was time barred under the one-year statute of limitations prescribed in Mississippi Code Section 15-1-23. After a hearing on the motion, the circuit court found Section 15-1-23 inapplicable and ruled instead that Mississippi Code Section 15-1-49 provides the proper limitations period (three years). The circuit court entered judgment in favor of BancorpSouth. On appeal, the Hubbards argued that the circuit court erred in granting BancorpSouth’s judgment on the pleadings because the action was barred by the one-year statute of limitations prescribed by Section 15-1-23. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings. However, the three-year statute of limitations provided under Section 15-1-49 was inapplicable in this case; the proper limitations period for suits on promissory notes for nonforeclosing lenders is Mississippi Code Section 75-3-118, which provided a six-year statute of limitations, rather than the three-year statute of limitations set forth in Section 15-1-49.View "Hubbard v. BancorpSouth Bank " on Justia Law

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BancorpSouth Bank filed a complaint for declaratory judgment, judicial foreclosure, and other relief against Van Buren Group, LLC, a corporation that organized the construction of thirty condominiums in Oxford. Four purchasers and two members moved for summary judgment, which the chancellor granted. The Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment as to the four purchasers; however, it reversed and remanded as to the two members. The Supreme Court granted BancorpSouth’s subsequent petition for writ of certiorari. After review of the matter, the Supreme Court held that that an issue of material fact existed with respect to the purchasers. Therefore, the Court reversed the chancery court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "BancorpSouth Bank v. Brantley, Jr." on Justia Law

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First National Bank of Clarksdale (FNB) secured a loan of more than $800,000 with a deed of trust on real property in Oxford with the understanding that the bank would become the primary lien holder on the realty. FNB acquired title insurance from Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company against the risk of an undiscovered superior lien holder. No formal title search on the property was performed, although Mississippi Valley’s agent did discover the existence of another deed of trust on the property held by Community Trust Bank (CTB). The agent never relayed this information to FNB or to Mississippi Valley and issued the policy without regard to this prior recorded lien. Years later, CTB’s loan went into default and CTB initiated foreclosure proceedings, which alerted FNB to the existence of CTB’s deed of trust on the property. FNB brought suit in Chancery Court to be subrogated to the primary lien holder position on the property in the amount that it had paid to satisfy the original primary deed of trust. After a bench trial, the chancellor found that the doctrine of equitable subrogation applied and granted primary status to FNB. CTB appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed: based upon the facts presented, subrogation was not equitable. View "Community Trust Bank of Mississippi v. First National Bank of Clarksdale" on Justia Law

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The Mississippi Department of Revenue (MDOR) issued a subpoena to Pikco Finance, Inc. (Pikco), requesting documentation pertaining to Pikco's nonpayment of finance company privilege taxes. Pikco filed a petition to quash the subpoena on the basis that MDOR's ability to audit and tax under Mississippi's Finance Company Privilege Tax law was preempted by the National Bank Act. The circuit court granted Pikco's petition to quash, and MDOR appealed. The issue on appeal was whether MDOR's use of its statutory subpoena power in administration of the Finance Company Privilege Tax was preempted by the National Bank Act. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded, finding that Pikco was subject to the subpoena. View "Mississippi Dept. of Revenue v. Pikco Finance, Inc." on Justia Law