Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Langford case brief

State v. Langford case brief summary
467 So.2d 41 (1985)

Defendant appealed his conviction of theft in the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans (Louisiana) based upon his receipt of funds through overdraft protection of his account with a bank.

Defendant opened a bank account that was erroneously coded by the bank as having unlimited overdraft protection. Defendant began immediately writing over 200 checks totaling $ 848,879, which the bank paid under an automatic computer controlled system. Although defendant received statements for each check and the amount of overdraft, the bank inadvertently failed to review defendant's activity. Defendant was charged with theft; he claimed that the bank consented to the taking, and that there was no proof he intended to permanently deprive the bank of the money. Defendant was convicted and appealed.


  • The court held that defendant's intent to deprive could be inferred from the facts pursuant to La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:445, and that defendant's continued writing of checks after he became aware of the situation implied his intent. 
  • In affirming the conviction, the court held that defendant failed to prove that the bank did more than passively assent to the taking, and that consent was not proved.

The court affirmed defendant's conviction.

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