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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life Imitates a 1960s Sitcom

Tampa, Florida, issued a promissory note to storekeeper Thomas Pugh Kennedy on June 21, 1861, in the amount of $299.58.

Kennedy's great-granddaughter says the city never made good on its loan. Now, Joan Kennedy Biddle and her family are suing to collect the payment plus 8 percent annual interest.

The total bill: $22.7-million.
Biddle wouldn't give specifics on why she decided to sue now, using as evidence a piece of paper that has been handed down as an heirloom for generations.

"This thing has been in the family since the date on the note, and it has never been repaid," said Biddle, 77. "My daddy told me, and I certainly believe him." [Link]
The relevant case law comes from an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.
Andy is forced to evict Frank Myers from his home only to later discover that he holds a century-old bond that is originally believed to be worth $349,119.27. Since the Mayberry treasury holds just over $10,000, the mayor and town council scramble to keep Frank happy by renovating his run-down home. Later, the bond is discovered to be worthless because it was paid for with Confederate currency.

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