Harrison v. Field
Harrison v. Field, Washington Vol. II 136 (1795), was a case where the court determined whether a co-signer, who accidentally signed a joint bond rather than a joint and severed bond, should be responsible for the borrower’s debt.
The testator of Field loaned William Claiborne a sum of money which Claiborne using Minge as his co-signer (surety) executed a joint bond to repay Field’s estate. After Minge passed away, the Field’s testator realized that the bond was joint and not joint and severed, making Claiborne from the execution to now insolvent in paying the debt. Understanding the loan was made entirely on Minge’s credit the appellee is seeking to recover the debt from Minge’s estate.
The Court's Decision
Chancellor Wythe decreed that the estate of Minge should pay the appellee the principal money due. The Court of Appeals reversed and dismissed the case stating that since Minge was not the borrower nor the beneficiary of the money, a court of equity should not force his estate to pay.
- Bushrod Washington, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, (Richmond: T. Nicolson, 1799), 136.