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Collins-Durham v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

March 29, 2019

DEANN COLLINS-DURHAM
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.
v.
BROOKE V. FONTENOT Third-Party Defendant

          PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE.

          RULING

          DEE D. DRELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         Before the court are cross-motions for summary judgment filed by the Plaintiff, DeAnn Collins-Durham ("Plaintiff or "Collins-Durham") and Defendant, JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("Defendant" or "Chase"). (Docs. 31, 35). For the reasons explained below, the court finds that Defendant's motion should be granted and that summary judgment should be entered in favor of Chase, dismissing all claims by Plaintiff against it in this matter.

         I. Relevant Facts

         Plaintiff and her daughter, third party defendant Brooke V. Fontenot ("Fontenot"), opened a joint checking account at Chase on or about June 2, 2011.[1] Plaintiff and Fontenot testified that the main purpose of the account was to afford Plaintiff ease in transferring money to Fontenot in her times of need.[2]

         On or about September 28, 2016, Plaintiff received two (2) cashier's checks drawn on Red River Bank and made payable to "DeAnn Elise Collins-Durham." Check number 193430 was made in the amount of $150, 000 and check number 193562 was made in the amount of $249, 221.91.[3] Plaintiff alleges that she stored these checks in her safe deposit box at Red River Bank, but that they were stolen from that location sometime between September 28, 2016 and December 27, 2016, the date on which she later discovered they had been cashed.[4] Plaintiff acknowledges that she and her roommate at the time, Barbara Gage ("Gage"), both had access to the safe deposit box and each had a set of keys.[5] Fontenot asserts that she received the checks from Gage with the instructions that her mother wanted her to have them.[6] On December 27, 2019, Fontenot delivered both checks to the Chase location at 3820 Jackson Street Extension in Alexandria, Louisiana for deposit into the joint checking account she shared with Plaintiff.[7] An endorsement reading, "for deposit only 960448728" was added to the back of each check.[8] Once the check funds were deposited, Fontenot began requesting cashiers checks drawn upon these funds in various amounts, payable to the following payees:

1. David Fontenot - $100, 000 on December 28, 2016
2. Brooke Fontenot - $50, 000 on December 28, 2016
3. Brooke Fontenot - $50, 000 on December 28, 2016
4. Zachary Fontenot - $40, 000 on December 28, 2016
5. Barbara Gage - $75, 000 on January 6, 2017
6. Brooke Fontenot - $50, 000 on January 6, 2017.[9]

         In addition, Fontenot made a cash withdrawal on January 6, 2017 in the amount on $5, 000.[10]As a result of these withdrawals, most the funds deposited via the cashier's checks were depleted from the joint checking account by January 6, 2017.

         Plaintiff filed the instant suit naming Chase as the sole defendant and asserting a claim for conversion against Chase in the amount of the two cashier's checks, plus legal interest and costs, as well as other equitable relief as may be justified. (Doc. 1-2 at ¶5). Chase answered the suit, denying liability in this matter and naming Fontenot as a third-party defendant, asserting a claim against ...


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