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Who Are Co Sureties


WHO ARE CO SURETIES. Where all of the sureties sign the same instrument and become equally liable thereon, there is no question of their being co-sureties. But there may be two or more sureties for the same principal who are not co-sureties. If several per sons become bound for the same duty or obligation of the same principal, though at different times, by different instruments and without the knowledge of each other, yet they are generally considered as co sureties. (Woodworth v. Bowes, 5 Ind., 276; Deer ing v. Earl of Winchelsea, 2 Bos, & Pul., 270; Pickens v. Miller, 83 N. C., 543.) In the last case an admin istrator who had given bond when first appointed, eight years afterwards gave an additional bond with other sureties, and both sets of sureties were held to be co-sureties. But where an officer held over his term and gave bond for the full term, and then being re-elected gave bond for the expiration of the term with new sureties, the sureties on the different bonds were held not to be co-sureties. (Boone Co. v. Jones, 58 Ia., 373.) And where a person signing a note after the principal and surety had signed, added to his signature, "security for the above parties," he was held not to be a co-surety, since he had qualified his contract so as to become' a surety for the whole, after the other two. (Harris v. Warner, 13 Wend., 400.) So, by the weight of authority, successive accommodation indorsers of negotiable instruments are not co-sureties, in the absence of an agreement to that effect. (Brandt, Sur. & Guar., Sec. 260; Hillegas v. Stephenson, 75 Mo., 118; McGurk v. Huggett, 56 Mich., '87.) Parol evidence may be introduced to show that the indorser of a promissory note is a co-surety with the surety signing with the maker. (Nurre v. Chit tenden, 56 Ind., 462.) And it is a general rule that parol evidence will be admitted to show the real relation subsisting between several parties bound for the performance of a written obligation. And a parol agreement of one surety to indemnify the other may be shown to defeat the right to contribu tion. (Brandt, Sur. & Guar., Sec. 261; Craythorne v. Swinburne, 14 Ves., i6o.) When legal proceedings have been commenced against the principal for the collection of the debt, and a new surety becomes bound at such time for the payment of the debt, he is not regarded as a co-surety, but as a surety for the principal from whom the original surety may collect the debt after payment on default of the principal. (Friberg v. Donovan, 23 Ill. App., 58.) Where one of the sureties has done something that would make it inequitable for him to recover contribution from the other surety, contribution will not be enforced, since it is an equitable right in its foundation, and he who would have equity must do what equity demands. (Dennis v. Gillespie, 24 Miss., 581.) Where one of the sureties by stifling competition bought the land of the principal for less than it was worth, and on payment of the debt, he was held not entitled to contribution from the co surety. So the surety who becomes so at the request of another upon promise of indemnity, is not a co-surety from whom contribution can be enforced. (Turner v. Davies, 3 Esp., 478.) Like wise the surety of a surety is not a co-surety, and is not generally liable to contribution. (Adams v.

Flannagan, 36 Vt., 400.)

surety, principal, contribution, co-surety and held