State v. Grier (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-07-1169, 10 pp.) (Wanda G. Bryant, J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court (W. Robert Bell, J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Even though the trial court correctly ruled that a single instrument can be both a forgery and a chose in action, there was no evidence that the blank check defendant stole was a chose in action.
We reverse defendant’s conviction of larceny of a chose in action and remand for further proceedings.
Defendant’s argument that a single instrument cannot be both a forgery and a valid chose in action relies upon the contention that the crime of forgery and uttering a forged check require a counterfeit instrument while the evidence of larceny of a chose in action requires a showing that the defendant stole a valid instrument. Contrary to defendant’s instrument, G.S. § 14-75, “Larceny of a chose in action,” does not require that the “bank note, check or other order for payment” be valid.
Nevertheless, the theft of a blank check does not support a claim for larceny of a chose in action. “Larceny of chose in action” occurs when “any person shall feloniously steal, take and carry away, or take by robbery, any bank note, check or other order for the payment of money issued by or drawn on any bank … being the property of any other person….” G.S. § 14-75.
Despite evidence that defendant took a check from the victim’s checkbook and cashed a check made payable to herself for $465.00, there is no evidence that the check evidenced any debt or obligation prior to the taking. Therefore, there is no evidence that defendant committed larceny of a chose in action.
Affirmed in part; reversed in part.