Justia Mississippi Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Banking
Community Trust Bank of Mississippi v. First National Bank of Clarksdale
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
Mississippi Dept. of Revenue v. Pikco Finance, Inc.
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
Epperson v. SouthBank
Carolyn Epperson filed a complaint against SOUTHBank in circuit court alleging that the bank had breached its contract with her by failing to give her the funds from certain certificates of deposit upon her request. The bank had denied Epperson's request because she did not present the original certificates. The trial court granted summary judgment for SOUTHBank, finding that contractual language required presentation of the original certificates for withdrawal. Epperson appealed the trial court's judgment, and the Supreme Court assigned the case to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and rendered judgment in favor of Epperson. SOUTHBank filed a petition for writ of certiorari, which the Supreme Court granted. Upon review, the Court found that the contractual language pertaining to withdrawals gave SOUTHBank discretion to require certain forms to be used for withdrawal, to refuse or restrict early withdrawals, and to assess penalties for early withdrawal. These terms were consistent and allowed SOUTHBank to require presentation of the original CD or CDs for withdrawal. The contract was unambiguous, and the trial court's grant of summary judgment was therefore appropriate. View "Epperson v. SouthBank" on Justia Law
Trustmark National Bank v. Meador
Dr. Carroll Meador filed a complaint against Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, Inc. (MBHS), Trustmark National Bank (Trustmark), and Doe Defendants 1 through 10, for breach of fiduciary duties, interference with fiduciary duties, interference with contract rights, interference with prospective business advantage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deceit, fraud, and retaliatory discharge. The complaint stemmed from the doctor's employment with MBHS and a large line of credit he obtained from Trustmark. A dispute between the parties ended with the bank suing the doctor for defaulting on the loan, and the doctor declaring bankruptcy. Several defendants sought to remove the case to the federal district court. The district court granted remand of the case, finding the federal bankruptcy proceedings in the case had been concluded and only state claims remained. Then Defendants Trustmark, MBHS and several codefendants filed a motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The doctor appealed the ultimate outcome of the trial court's decision in favor of Defendants. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to strike portions of the doctor's affidavit, and in denying Trustmark and MBHS' motions for summary judgment. The Court reversed the trial court's decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Trustmark National Bank v. Meador" on Justia Law
Chase Home Finance, L.L.C. v. Hobson
This case came before the Supreme Court on interlocutory appeal from the Circuit Court of Warren County in which the circuit court affirmed in part and reversed in part the county court's grant of summary judgment for Plaintiff James Hobson, Jr. Defendants Chase Home Finance, LLC, and Priority Trustee Services of Mississippi, LLC (collectively, Chase) appealed the circuit court's affirmance of their liability. Plaintiff cross-appealed the circuit court's order that vacated the county court's award and ordered trial on damages. The dispute arose from Plaintiff's purchase of real property at a foreclosure sale. He tendered a cashier's check to Chase's agent, for which Chase gave Plaintiff a receipt. Approximately two weeks later, Chase returned Plaintiff's check and refused to tender a deed to the property, stating that the foreclosure sale had been cancelled due to the original borrower's reinstatement. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract, arguing that Defendants breach was grossly negligent, and requested actual and punitive damages along with attorney's fees. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the borrower's alleged reinstatement prior to the foreclosure sale created a genuine issue of dispute regarding Chase's liability, and, therefore, the Court held that the circuit court erred in affirming the county court's grant of summary judgment as to liability. Accordingly, the Court reversed the circuit court's judgment and remand to the county court for further proceedings. View "Chase Home Finance, L.L.C. v. Hobson" on Justia Law
Trustmark National Bank v. Roxco Ltd.
Roxco, Ltd. was hired as the general contractor for several public-construction projects for the State of Mississippi, including four building projects at the University of Mississippi, Jackson State University, and Alcorn State University. Pursuant to Section 31-5-15, in order to access the retainage on its state-construction projects, Roxco substituted securities valued at $1,055,000. These securities were deposited in a safekeeping account at Trustmark National Bank. Upon being notified of Roxco’s default, the State instructed Trustmark to transfer the funds from the treasury bills into the state treasury account. By letter, Roxco directed Trustmark not to transfer the funds from the treasury bills to the State’s account. Notwithstanding Roxco’s letter, Trustmark deposited the funds into the State’s account. Roxco filed suit against Trustmark for breach of contract and conversion. Trustmark argued that Section 31-5-15 permitted the release of the funds in the safekeeping account. A jury found in favor of Roxco and awarded $3,720,000 in damages. Aggrieved, Trustmark filed this appeal. Finding that the trial court should have granted Trustmark's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Trustmark National Bank v. Roxco Ltd." on Justia Law