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Cramco, Inc. v. La Sirena Furniture

A-4775-02T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2004) (Unpublished)

BANKS; JUDGMENTS—A bank served with a writ of execution having only a slight non-misleading variation in the name of a debtor is obligated to honor the writ and withhold the named customer’s funds.

A judgment creditor caused a writ of execution to be served on a bank, requesting that it withhold funds from a judgment debtor. However, the name on the writ was a slight variation of the name of the judgment debtor. As a result, the bank refused to execute the writ. Following this refusal, the bank released the funds to its customer without honoring the levy. The judgment creditor then moved for turnover of the judgment debtor’s funds to satisfy the writ.

After a hearing, the lower court held that the bank should have honored the levy because the name of the debtor was sufficiently correct. The Appellate Division affirmed, stating that only mistake on the writ was the word “la,” mistakenly being placed at the end of the name, instead of at the beginning. It opined that “la” was commonly known to mean “the” and the difference should not have prevented the bank from honoring the levy. This slight variation in the name did not have the capacity to mislead and the funds should have been withheld from the customer’s account.

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