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Black River Electric Coop. v. People's Community State Bank

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

May 4, 2015

BLACK RIVER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, A Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative, Appellant,
v.
PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY STATE BANK, n/k/a PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY BANK, Respondent

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF REYNOLDS COUNTY. Honorable Kelly W. Parker, Judge.

For Appellant: R. Scott Reid.

For Respondent: Jennifer Hackworth Thompson.

DANIEL E. SCOTT, J. -- OPINION AUTHOR, JEFFREY W. BATES, J. -- CONCURS, WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., PJ/CJ -- CONCURS.

OPINION

Page 639

DANIEL E. SCOTT, J.

Acting as a financing conduit under a USDA loan program, Black River borrowed $450,000 from the USDA and re-lent it to a Mr. Baker to start a business. Black River had required a letter of credit (LOC) as loan security; its file contained one purportedly issued by People's Bank (Bank).

When Baker defaulted several years later, still owing $129,000, Black River made claim on the LOC. Bank disclaimed any knowledge of it and refused to pay. Black River sued to collect.

The case was tried without a jury. One contested issue was whether Irv Ellington (an imprisoned former Bank vice president) had apparent authority to issue the LOC on Bank's behalf.[1]

Black River called four witnesses; Bank called five. Neither party requested findings of fact or conclusions of law. The trial court took the case under advisement and, according to its judgment, considered witness credibility and all the evidence in finding for Bank and against Black River.

On appeal, Black River claims the judgment is against the weight of evidence and that the trial court misapplied the law. See Murphy v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976). Missouri Court Rule 73.01(c) drives us to reject both assertions and affirm the judgment.

Page 640

Analysis

Rule 73.01(c) applies to court-tried cases ...


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