W & D Acquisition, LLC v. First Union Nat'l Bank

In W & D Acquisition, LLC v. First Union Nat'l Bank, 262 Conn. 704, 817 A.2d 91 (Conn. 2003), a customer withdrew funds from its account three hours after the bank was served with a pre-judgment garnishment directing it to hold the customer's funds to secure a potential judgment. Id. at 94. The issue before the Connecticut court was whether the bank was liable for having failed to secure those funds within a "reasonable time" after being served with garnishment process. See id. The trial court held that it was not. Id. Applying a "midnight deadline" provision from another section of the Connecticut Code to the "reasonable time" provision, the trial court held that the bank had until midnight on the next banking day to secure the garnished funds. See id. The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed but only on the ground that the midnight deadline did not apply and that the issue of what was a reasonable amount of time was "a fact-specific inquiry." Id. at 97. In rejecting the notion that the midnight deadline creates a "bright-line rule" of what is "reasonable time," the Connecticut appellate court pointed to Official Comment 6 to 4-303 of Uniform Commercial Code, which also accompanies our state version of that provision. Id.