Civil Procedure Keyed to Cound
Clearfield Trust Co. v. United States
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The United States issued a check to a recipient. The check was presumed to be stolen because the intended recipient never received the check. The check was cashed at a J.C. Penney with the recipient’s forged signature. J.C. Penney turned the check over to Clearfield Trust Co., Defendant. Defendant collected the funds owed on the check from the Federal Reserve. The United States informed “interested parties” eight months after it learned that the intended recipient never received the check. The United States then sued Defendant based on its guaranty of all prior endorsements, to recover the amount of the check. The District Court ruled that Pennsylvania law applied and held that the United States was barred from bringing suit due to the eight month delay from learning of the forgery to notifying any parties about the forged check. The United States appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed. Defendant appealed to the Supreme Court.
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