Special Deposit Law & Legal Definition


A special deposit consists in the placing of specific kinds of money or property in the possession of the bank, with an obligation of the bank to return the identical thing deposited; the depositor retaining title. [Keyes v. Paducah & I. R. Co., 61 F.2d 611 (6th Cir. Ky. 1932)].

In a special deposit, moneys (as bills in packages, or specie in boxes, for example), are entrusted to a bank, not to be used, but to be kept safely, and specifically returned. Such a deposit of specie or other funds for safekeeping and return creates the relationship between the depositor and the bank of bailor and bailee. Where money is left with a bank with the understanding and agreement that it is to be devoted to some particular purpose, such as to be paid over to some third person on presentation of certain papers, it constitutes a special deposit, and is held by the bank as agent of the depositor. The distinctive feature of a special deposit is that the identical money is to be kept apart from the general funds of the bank so that it can be returned to the depositor or used for the specific purpose for which it was deposited. The intention of the parties controls, and in the absence of facts from which it can be found that the parties intended that the fund was deposited for safekeeping and return, or to be devoted to a specific purpose then agreed upon, it will be held to be a general deposit. [Bassett v. City Bank & Trust Co., 115 Conn. 1 (Conn. 1932)].