679504 emphasis supplied in northside motors of

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Unformatted text preview: ed by the secured party which is reasonably convenient to both parties. Without removal a secured party may render equipment unusable, and may dispose of collateral on the debtor's premises under s. 679.504. (Emphasis supplied). In Northside Motors of Florida, Inc. v. Brinkley, 282 So. 2d 617, 624-25 (Fla. 1973), the supreme court considered the implications of this provision and declared: We emphasize that the creditor may not use self-help techniques which would result in a breach of the peace. Such methods would expose the creditor to tort liability and would also expose him to liability under [**4] Florida Statute 679.507, F.S.A. **** In Percifield v. State, supra, this Court held that the creditor could repossess property sold under a conditional sales contract without resorting to legal process only if he could do so without committing an unlawful trespass or other breach of the peace. The creditor may not exert wrongful pressure upon the debtor to obtain repossession of the secured items. He has no right to use force and enjoys no immunity. He acts at his peril, and exposes 24 himself to severe potential liability, including liability for punitive damages. Buie v. Barnett First National Bank of Jacksonville, 266 So. 2d 657 (Fla. 1972). THIS CASE At issue here is whether a creditor can avoid liability by hiring an independent contractor to accomplish the repossession. We conclude not, and in doing so approve and adopt the opinion of the Court of Appeals of Minnesota on this issue. In Nichols v. Metropolitan Bank, 435 N.W.2d 637 (Minn. Ct. App. 1989), the court declared: A principal generally is not liable for physical harm to another caused by an independent contractor's acts or omissions. See Conover v. Northern States Power Co., 313 N.W.2d 397, 403 (Minn.1981). [**5] However, even if R.J. Control Service was an independent contractor, the Bank still may be liable for the Nichols' alleged damages if repossession of the Nichols' automobile by the Bank involved a...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.

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