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Loucks v. Albuquerque National Bank

Supreme Court of New Mexico
418 P.2d 191 (1966)


Facts

Richard Loucks (plaintiff) and Del Martinez (plaintiff) formed a partnership named L & M Paint and Body Shop (L & M) (plaintiff). Martinez borrowed $500 from Albuquerque National Bank (the Bank) (defendant) on February 8, 1962, which was prior to the formation of L & M. On March 15, L & M opened a checking account with the Bank. The signatures of both Loucks and Martinez were required to withdraw funds from the L & M account. Two payments were made on the Martinez loan from the L & M account. Martinez subsequently defaulted on the loan, and the Bank withdrew the outstanding balance of $402 from the L & M account on March 15, 1983. This left only $3.66 in the L & M account. Loucks and Martinez went to the Bank on March 18, 1963 and informed the Bank that the debt was a personal debt of Martinez. Loucks and Martinez also told the Bank that L & M had outstanding checks drawn on the L & M account. The Bank refused to re-credit the L & M account and dishonored at least nine checks. Loucks, Martinez, and L & M sued the Bank for wrongful dishonor of the checks and sought compensatory and punitive damages. Loucks, Martinez, and L & M presented evidence that some businesses would no longer take checks from L & M based on the dishonored checks or refused to offer L & M credit. The trial court dismissed all claims except for the $402 alleged to be wrongfully taken from the L & M account. The jury returned a verdict of $402 against the Bank. Loucks, Martinez, and L & M appealed the dismissal of the remaining claims to the Supreme Court of New Mexico.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Omen, J.)

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