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Unformatted text preview: Fuentes v Shevin U.S. Supreme Court 407 U.S. 67 (1972) p. 318 Facts: • D purchased stove from P under sales contract with provision allowing repossession in case of non-payment. • $500 plus additional $100 in financing. • D made payment for more than year and only $200 remained • D entered into dispute over service of stove • P applied for writ of replevin and property was seized without D receiving notice. Procedural Facts: District court in FL (and PA in similar case) upheld constitutionality of authorizing seizure of chattels under current statute governing writs of replevin. Issues: Whether the FL law governing writs of replevin meets the requirement of due process in allowing the right to notice and a hearing at a time when deprivation can still be prevented. Rule: Due Process: Parties whose right s are affected are entitled to be heard and to enjoy this right, they must first be notified. Notice must be at a meaningful time and manner. State Law: Applicant for replevin is assumed to have entitlement to property; Requires an official complaint an a bond for double the value of the property to be claimed. Application: The Court examines the current FL law and finds that it merely deters unfounded applications by requiring the bond for the property in question. Nevertheless, this is found to be insufficient as a substitute for a prior hearing when due process would require that the D should be given notice in a meaningful manner and time to grant them the opportunity to respond to the writ. They turn to the precedent case of Boddie v CT which insists that the opportunity for the hearing must be provided before the deprivation of the property. The court sets several parameters for the right of a prior hearing—1) the deprivation of interest has to fall under the 14 th amendment; 2) Length and consequent severity may determine form of hearing, they do not decide the basic right to a prior hearing; 3) Partial ownership is not at issue—the 14 th amendment extends to protection to any significant property interest; 4) Necessities are not adjudicated by court Extraordinary circumstances arise that would justify postponing hearing until after seizure: 1) Public Interest; 2) Prompt Action is needed; 3) Government official responsible for determining action is necessary and justified in instance under statute. Court overcomes objection that k provided the right to State to deprive D of possessions due to the repossession clause. This merely asserts P’s right to repossess the property yet does not address the requirement of due process. In this case, the notice and the deprivation of property happened simultaneously when the sheriff came to remove the merchandise. Since the D was given no prior opportunity to be heard, the court finds the law in violation of due process The court remands this case and vacates the judgments from the lower court and requires the hearing to provide a real test aimed at proving the validity of the claimant to the property before...
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- Spring '08
- The Land, Supreme Court of the United States, Pleading, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure