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Messing v. Bank of America, N.A.

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
792 A.2d 312 (2002)


Facts

Jeff Messing (plaintiff) attempted to cash a check at a local branch of Bank of America, N.A. (Bank of America) (defendant). The check was made out to Messing and drawn on an account at Bank of America. A bank teller took Messing’s check and confirmed Messing’s identity by reviewing Messing’s driver’s license and credit card. Bank of America’s deposit agreement with account holders allowed Bank of America to set physical or documentary requirements for any person seeking to cash a check drawn on a customer’s account. Because Messing was not an account holder, the teller requested, pursuant to bank policy, that Messing provide his thumbprint signature on the check by using an inkless fingerprint device. Messing refused, and the bank returned the check to Messing. Messing brought an action against Bank of America, seeking (1) a declaratory judgment that the fingerprint policy was illegal and (2) an order prohibiting Bank of America from implementing the fingerprint policy. The circuit court granted Bank of America’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action. Messing appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Krauser, J.)

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