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FJS ELECTRONICS v. FIDELITY BANK (06/19/81)

filed: June 19, 1981.

FJS ELECTRONICS, INC. T/A MULTI-TECK
v.
THE FIDELITY BANK, APPELLANT



No. 751 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, at No. 5343 January Term, 1977

COUNSEL

Karen Lee Turner, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Robert A. Swift, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Spaeth, Brosky and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Brosky

[ 288 Pa. Super. Page 139]

FJS Electronics, Inc., appellee, brought an action to recover the amount of a check drawn on appellant bank which appellant paid after appellee had requested payment be stopped. The central issue for our determination is whether a bank had a reasonable opportunity to stop payment on a check in the sum of $1,844.98 when the amount given by the customer was $1,844.48, hence, inaccurate. The court below held that an error of $.50 does not deprive the bank of a reasonable opportunity to stop the check. We affirm.

On February 27, 1976, appellee, FJS Electronics, Inc., trading as Multi-Teck (hereinafter Multi-Teck), drew a check in the amount of $1,844.98 on appellant, The Fidelity Bank (hereinafter Fidelity). The number of the check was 896 and the payee was Multilayer Computer Circuits. On March 9, 1976, Mr. Frank Suttill, president of Multi-Teck, called Fidelity on the telephone and requested payment on check number 896 be stopped. Mrs. Roanna M. Sanders took the stop payment order. The amount given by Suttill was $1,844.48; otherwise, the information he provided was essentially correct.*fn1 A confirmation notice was subsequently sent

[ 288 Pa. Super. Page 140]

    to Multi-Teck, reciting the inaccurate amount, and Multi-Teck confirmed all the information which it contained. The confirmation notice also contained the request, "PLEASE ENSURE AMOUNT IS CORRECT." (The entire notice was in block letters.)

The parties stipulated the following facts:

6. In March 1976, the Bank used a computer to pull checks on which stop payment request had been made. The computer keyed on the amount of the check which was typed in computer digits by the depository Bank on the bottom of each check.

7. The Bank, except when requested by a customer, did not pre-print nor post-print the number of the check in computer digits on the bottom of the check. Some banks in Philadelphia and other cities did pre-print the number of the check.

8. The Bank's computer was programmed to read three sets of computer digits called "fields" on the bottom of each check: the federal reserve number of the bank, the ...


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