Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Mississippi

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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