Sheriff v. Joseph
A sub-agent who acts as the agent of the plaintiff's agent is bound by the same obligations as the plaintiff's agent. The plaintiff, Margaret Sheriff, alleged that in 1995 she rented a safe deposit box from a bank. In 1999, she gave her mother, the defendant, Yolanda Joseph, the authority to open the safe deposit box, as her agent. In 2008, Yolanda Joseph appointed her son, the defendant, Antony Sheriff, as her attorney-in-fact. Allegedly, Antony Sheriff removed items from Margaret Sheriff's safe deposit box. Margaret Sheriff sued her mother and her brother, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and statutory theft and requested an accounting. Antony Sheriff moved to dismiss counts alleging breach of fiduciary duty, statutory theft and conversion and argued that the plaintiff's complaint failed to allege adequately that he was his mother's agent and that his mother was the plaintiff's agent. The plaintiff objected that she was the exclusive owner of the safe deposit box and that her mother was only allowed to access her safe deposit box as the plaintiff's agent. The plaintiff's complaint adequately alleged that she owned the safe deposit box and that Antony Sheriff was his mother's agent and the plaintiff's sub-agent. A sub-agent is bound by the same obligations as the agent, pursuant to Licari v. Blackwelder, a decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court. The court denied Antony Sheriff's motion to dismiss. The plaintiff's complaint failed to adequately allege a claim for an accounting, and the court granted the defendants' motion to strike the request for an accounting.