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JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Motorola, Inc – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Motorola, Inc. (47 AD3d 293, 846 N.Y.S.2d 171 [1st Dept 2007], petitioner JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. held a judgment against an Indian company ("IITL") without assets in the United States.

To collect, it commenced a special proceeding against respondent Motorola, Inc. because Motorola was being sued by IITL in India.

JPMorgan Chase hoped to recover any assets going from Motorola to IITL. In the special proceeding, Chase had obtained a judgment in this Court, from which Motorola was appealing, that directed Motorola, as garnishee, to pay Chase the amount of Chase's judgment against IITL, in the event that Motorola became indebted to IITL, by judgment or otherwise, in the Indian action.

The First Department held that the trial court improvidently granted the judgment of garnishment, because it subjected the garnishee (Motorola) to a substantial risk of double liability.

In JPMorgan Chase, the bank itself was the creditor seeking to garnish a nonbanking entity, which explains why Samsun's reliance upon dicta in that decision is unavailing.

The Court in JPMorgan Chase was distinguishing a line of cases, among which Petrogradsky Mejdunarodny Kommerchesky Bank v. National City Bank of NY(253 NY 23, 170 N.E. 479, rearg denied 254 N.Y. 563, 173 N.E. 867, cert denied282 U.S. 878 [1930]) was identified as the most prominent.

In making the distinction, the First Department said that a risk of double liability to a bank is a foreseeable one that banks presumably consider in setting the fees charged to account holders.