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MARINE BANK v. WEAVER ET UX.

decided: March 8, 1982.

MARINE BANK
v.
WEAVER ET UX.



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT.

Burger, C. J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Author: Burger

[ 455 U.S. Page 552]

 CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.

We granted certiorari to decide whether two instruments, a conventional certificate of deposit and a business agreement between two families, could be considered securities under the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.

I

Respondents, Sam and Alice Weaver, purchased a $50,000 certificate of deposit from petitioner Marine Bank on February 28, 1978. The certificate of deposit has a 6-year maturity, and it is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.*fn1

[ 455 U.S. Page 553]

     The Weavers subsequently pledged the certificate of deposit to Marine Bank on March 17, 1978, to guarantee a $65,000 loan made by the bank to Columbus Packing Co. Columbus was a wholesale slaughterhouse and retail meat market which owed the bank $33,000 at that time for prior loans and was also substantially overdrawn on its checking account with the bank.

In consideration for guaranteeing the bank's new loan, Columbus' owners, Raymond and Barbara Piccirillo, entered into an agreement with the Weavers. Under the terms of the agreement, the Weavers were to receive 50% of Columbus' net profits and $100 per month as long as they guaranteed the loan. It was also agreed that the Weavers could use Columbus' barn and pasture at the discretion of the Piccirillos, and that they had the right to veto future borrowing by Columbus.

The Weavers allege that bank officers told them Columbus would use the $65,000 loan as working capital but instead it was immediately applied to pay Columbus' overdue obligations. The bank kept approximately $42,800 to satisfy its prior loans and Columbus' overdrawn checking account. All but $3,800 of the remainder was disbursed to pay overdue taxes and to satisfy other creditors; the bank then refused to permit Columbus to overdraw its checking account. Columbus became bankrupt four months later. Although the bank had not yet resorted to the Weavers' certificate of deposit at the time this litigation commenced, it acknowledged that its

[ 455 U.S. Page 554]

     other security was inadequate and that it intended to claim the pledged certificate of deposit.

These allegations were asserted in a complaint filed in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in support of a claim that the bank violated § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 48 Stat. 891, 15 U. S. C. § 78j(b). The Weavers also pleaded pendent claims for violations of the Pennsylvania Securities Act and for common-law fraud by the bank. The Weavers alleged that bank officers actively solicited them to guarantee the $65,000 loan to Columbus while knowing, but not disclosing, Columbus' financial plight or the bank's plans to repay itself from the new loan guaranteed by the Weavers' pledged certificate of deposit. Had they known of Columbus' precarious financial condition and the bank's plans, the Weavers allege they would not have guaranteed the loan and pledged the certificate of deposit. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the bank. It concluded ...


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