Triffin v. Bridge View Bank

330 N.J. Super. 473, 750 A.2d 136 (App. Div. 2000)
  • Opinion Date: May 4, 2000

UCC; CHECKS—An assignee of a dishonored check may not enforce the “midnight deadline” rule because the rule’s only beneficiaries are the payee, those who received the check before dishonor, and collecting banks.

An unknown individual forged a check of a company (Check Owner) and made the check payable to another individual (Check Recipient). The Check Recipient cashed the check at a check cashing service and the check was subsequently presented to the Check Owner’s bank for payment. The bank presented a copy of the forged check to the Check Owner and the Check Owner informed the bank of the fraud and directed the bank to stop payment. Several months later, an individual purchased the dishonored check (Check Purchaser) and filed an action under N.J.S. 12A:4-302 to collect the balance of the value of the check under the theory that the bank held the check past midnight without either returning it or settling it, violating the “midnight deadline” rule in the statute. The lower court and Appellate Division held that although the bank was in violation of the statute, an assignee of the dishonored check may not enforce the statute, because the beneficiaries of the statute include only the payee, those who may have received the check before its dishonor, and collecting banks. Therefore, Check Purchaser had no standing to sue under this statute because the statute provides standing to only those involved in the collection and payment of a check who may be directly harmed by the failure of the payor bank to adhere to the “midnight deadline.”