The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUSEN
This case involves the adequacy of the proofs to support defendant's contention that a loan of $ 10,000 made by Charles Price, of Burnt Mills Hills, Maryland, to defendant, on or about September 28, 1949,
was made in the District of Columbia so that the three-year period of limitations prescribed by the District of Columbia Code
governs rather than Pennsylvania's six-year period of limitations.
The record before the court on this motion of defendant for summary judgment
consists of affidavits, depositions and the pleadings.
An uncontradicted affidavit of Charles A. Ryan dated 5/5/56 states that in late September 1949, 'Charles Price loaned Herman Taylor $ 10,000. By giving a check to Herman Taylor' in O'Donnell's Seafood Restaurant, E Street, Washington, D.C.
At Mr. Ryan's deposition, taken by plaintiff on 5/29/56, he stated:
In all other respects, his deposition confirmed his affidavit and explained that 'he remembered the incident because he thought it was so fine that Mr. Price was helping the defendant who had 'made' Mr. Price. The deposition also states that Mr. Price and Mr. Taylor agreed at this restaurant meeting to meet again in Atlantic City.
Charles Ford, Esq., a practicing attorney since 1922, stated by deposition
that he was a close and intimate friend of both Charles Price, who was manager in the Maryland Athletic Club, and the defendant, a boxing promoter of many years' standing, and that he knew the defendant borrowed $ 10,000 from Charles Price in 1949. Also, he testified that a few days after the loan was made, he saw defendant give Charles Price $ 3,500 in cash at a restaurant in Atlantic City as partial repayment of the abovementioned $ 10,000 and that the word 'loan' was mentioned at that time.
This evidence makes clear that the loan forming the basis of the complaint (see footnote 1, supra) was made in Washington, D.C., so that the cause of action arose there. The three-year period of limitations applied in the District of Columbia is, therefore, applicable.
The plaintiff also contends that the statute of limitations is no defense to this action by the sovereign because Congress has not clearly manifested its intent that the Government be bound by such statute, citing United States v. Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. Co., 1886, 118 U.S. 120, 6 S. Ct. 1006, 30 L. Ed. 81.
However, the Supreme Court was careful to point out in this Nashville, C. & St. L. Ry. Co. case, 118 U.S. at page 125, 6 S. Ct. at page 1008, that this principle did not apply where the period of limitations prescribed by state law had run prior to the assignment of the obligation to the United States, using this language:
'The nature and legal effect of any contract, indeed, are not changed by its transfer to the United States. * * * They take such paper subject to all the equities existing against the person from whom they purchase at the time when they acquire their title; and cannot, therefore, maintain an action upon it if at that time all right of action of that person was extinguished, or was barred by the statute of limitations.'
The United States Supreme Court has followed the rule that an assignment of a claim to the United States cannot give such claim any greater validity than it had in the hands of the assignor for over a century and a quarter. See United States v. Buford, 1830, 3 Pet. 12, 28 U.S. 12, 7 L. Ed. 585;
Guaranty Trust Co. v. United States, 1938, 304 U.S. 126, 141-143, 58 S. Ct. 785, 82 L. Ed. 1224.
In this case, the assignment, which is attached as an exhibit to the complaint, is dated December 15, 1953, and there is nothing in the record which would indicate a tolling of the start of the period of limitations beyond November 1, 1949,
so that the applicable statute of limitations
had barred the assignor's claim more than a year prior to its assignment to plaintiff.
And Now, September 13, 1956, defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted
and it is ordered ...