The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Northbrook Trust & Savings Bank ("Northbrook Bank") sues
three defendants, including Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ("Reserve
Bank"), alleging the late return of a $4,635 check drawn on defendant
Palos Bank and Trust Company and deposited by one of Northbrook Bank's
customers in its checking account at Northbrook Bank. Reserve Bank
removed Northbrook Bank's suit from the Circuit Court of Cook County to
this Court and then moved for judgment on the pleadings. For the reasons
stated in this memorandum opinion and order, that motion is denied.
As for Northbrook Bank, there is no question that:
(1) Federal law restricts liability of a Federal Reserve Bank to its
immediate sender. Section 16 of the Federal Reserve Act,
12 U.S.C. § 360, and Regulation J thereunder, 12 C.F.R. § 210.2
(e) and 210.-6(a) (1980); Colonial Cadillac, Inc. v. Shawmut Merchants
Bank, N. A., 488 F. Supp. 283, 285 (D.Mass. 1980); Dempster Plaza State
Bank v. Valley Bank of Nevada, No. 80 C 2611 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 23, 1980).
(2) Such federal law preempts any inconsistent state law. Colonial
Cadillac, 488 F. Supp. at 285-86. Thus if Northbrook Bank is not Reserve
Bank's immediate sender (as it cannot be under the definition of Section
210.2(e) of Regulation J),*fn1 Reserve Bank cannot be liable to
Northbrook Bank and must be dismissed from this action.
As for Reserve Bank, however, there is equally no question that:
(1) Fed.R.Civ.P. 7(a) does not permit a reply by Northbrook Bank to
Reserve Bank's answer (including its affirmative defense) except by court
order, which has not been obtained. It certainly does not require a
responsive pleading by Northbrook Bank.
(2) Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(d) therefore treats all averments of Reserve Bank's
answer and affirmative defense as denied or avoided by Northbrook Bank.
(3) For purposes of Reserve Bank's motion for judgment on the
pleadings, the Court is therefore left with the Complaint which states
Plaintiff [Northbrook Bank] placed said check into the
collection process and on October 12, 1978 it was
presented to Palos for payment by The Federal Reserve
Bank of Chicago ("Federal")
and with the controverted allegations of Reserve Bank's answer and
Judgment on the pleadings must therefore be denied to Reserve Bank.
However, given the apparent situation on the ultimate merits, the Court
notifies the parties that if Northbrook Bank does not voluntarily dismiss
this action as to Reserve Bank forthwith and if the facts are indeed as
alleged in Reserve Bank's answer and affirmative defense and its answers
to interrogatories, Northbrook Bank's attorneys may be regarded as having