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06/06/32CONTINENTALILLINOISBANK&TRUSTCO.v.

SUPREMECOURTOFMICHIGAN

June6,1932
CONTINENTALILLINOISBANK&TRUSTCO.
v.
CLEMENT
SYLLABUSBYTHECOURT
BILLSANDNOTESJOINTANDSEVERALOBLIGATION.
Promissorynotewordedinsingularbutsignedbytwopersonsisjointandseveralobligationofsigners(2Comp.Laws
1929,9266SmithHurdIllinoisRev.Stat.[1931],chap.98,88).
Theopinionofthecourtwasdeliveredby:North
AppealfromKalamazooWeimer(GeorgeV.),J.SubmittedApril20,1932.(DocketNo.108,CalendarNo.36,430.)Decided
June6,1932.
AssumpsitbyContinentalIllinoisBank&TrustCompany,anIllinoiscorporation,againstBelleW.Clementonapromissory
note.Judgmentnonobstanteveredictofordefendant.Plaintiffappeals.Reversed,andjudgmentorderedenteredfor
plaintiff.
NORTH,J.Thisisasuitonapromissorynotesignedbythedefendant,BelleW.Clement,andanother,ByronC.Thorpe.
Thedefenseurgedisthatthenoteisthejointobligationofthetwomakers,andthatplaintiffcannotrecoverbecauseoneof
themwasnotmadeapartydefendant.Thejury'sverdictwasinfavoroftheplaintiff,butjudgmentfordefendantwas
enterednonobstante.Plaintiffhasappealed.
Thenoteinpartreads:
"Chicago,Ill.,February9,1931.
"Sixtydaysafterdate,theundersigned,forvaluereceived,promisestopaytotheorderofContinentalIllinoisBank&Trust
Company,atitsofficeinChicago,Ill.,Twentyfourthousanddollars.***
"Tosecurethepaymentofthisnote***theundersignedhaspledged,transferredanddeliveredtosaidbankthefollowing
property,viz:(sundrysecurities)andfurthertosecuresaidnoteandliabilitiestheundersignedherebypledges,assignsand
transfersanyandallotherpropertynoworhereafterandhowsoeverinthepossessionorcontroloftheholderhereof.***
(Signed)"BYRONC.THORPE
(Signed)"BELLEW.CLEMENT."
ThenegotiableinstrumentslawofthisState(2Comp.Laws1929,9266)provides:

"Whereaninstrumentcontainingthewords'Ipromisetopay,'issignedbytwoormorepersons,theyaredeemedtobe
jointlyandseverallyliablethereon."
"Ifaninstrumentwordedinthesingularisexecutedbyseveral,theobligationisajointandseveralone."DowLawBankv.
Godfrey,126Mich521(86Am.St.Rep.559),citingnumerouscases.
Itisquitepersuasivethateachoftheseveralverbsusedinthisnoteisinformtoagreewithasubjectinthesingular,notin
theplural.Conformingtothisconstruction,thenote,ifstatedinsuchwordsaswouldeliminatetheseemingambiguity,
wouldread:Each(notboth)oftheundersignedpromisestopay,etc.Anotesodrawnwouldclearlyfallwithintheabove
quotedportionofthenegotiableinstrumentslawandthedecisionscited.Wethinkitfollowsthatthenoteinsuitisthejoint
andseveralobligationofthemakers.
InthetrialcourtcounselagreedthatthecaseshouldbecontrolledbythelawoftheforumratherthanthelawofIllinois,
wherethenotewasexecutedandmadepayable.Appellant'sbriefnowpointsoutthatcounselwereinerrorinso
stipulating,butappelleeinsiststhatthestipulationshouldbeheldbindinguponthepartiesinthisappeal,andthatthelawof
Michiganshouldcontrol.Thesameresultwillbereachedineithercase.Section68oftheIllinoisnegotiableinstrumentslaw
provides:
"Allpartiesjointlyliableonanegotiableinstrumentaredeemedtobejointlyandseverallyliable."SmithHurdIllinoisRevised
Statutes(1931),chap.98,88.
NotonlybystatutoryprovisionbutbycourtdecisionitappearstheruleinIllinoisisthatpersonswhosignanotejointinform
areliablebothjointlyandseverally.Hochschildv.GoddardToolCo.,233Ill.App.56Harrisonv.Thackaberry,248Ill.512
(94N.E.172).
Thejudgmententeredinthecircuitcourtissetaside,andthecaseremandedwithdirectiontoenterjudgmentuponandin
accordancewiththeverdictofthejury.Coststoappellant.
CLARK,C.J.,andMcDONALD,POTTER,SHARPE,FEAD,WIEST,andBUTZEL,JJ.,concurred.
19320606
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