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Sheridan Suzuki, Inc. v. Caruso Auto Sales

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.110 Misc. 2d 823, 442 N.Y.S.2d 957 (Sup. Ct. 1981)

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff Sheridan Suzuki sold a motorcycle to Ronald Bouton, who paid with a bad check and then sold the vehicle to Defendant Caruso Auto Sales the following day.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The common law rule that a thief could never pass good title has been supplanted by the statutory rule that a person receiving goods incident to a transaction involving a dishonored check receives only voidable title. A bona fide purchaser for value can receive good title from a person with voidable title so long as other statutory requirements are met.


Facts. Bouton purchased a motorcycle from Plaintiff for a sum of $3,559.44, which was paid for with a check later dishonored. Bouton received a bill of sale and registration in his name. Also, a Certificate of Title was applied for from the state agency pursuant to the state requirements. The process of granting a Certificate of Title was later interrupted by Plaintiff upon discovery that Bouton’s check was bad. One day later Bouton endeavored to sell the motorcycle to Defendant. During this time Defendant called Plaintiff and was told of the circumstances of the prior day’s transaction, although at that time the Plaintiff was unaware that Bouton’s check was no good. Bouton was paid $2,000 for the motorcycle by Defendant and promised to deliver the Certificate of Title to Defendant when it was received from the state. Bouton left the area and when the check was found to be bad, Plaintiff sued for return of the motorcycle and prevailed in a preliminary order to have the motorcycle pla
ced with Plaintiff until a determination of the rights of the parties could be made.

Issue. Did Bouton possess any title that could be passed on to Defendant in a manner which creates legal protection for Defendant as a bona fide purchaser?

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