D.H. Overmyer Co. v. Frick Co.
United States Supreme Court
405 U.S. 174 (1972)
D.H. Overmyer Co. (Overmyer) (plaintiff) entered into a contract with Frick Co. (defendant). The contract required Overmyer to make regular payments to Frick for Frick’s installment of an automatic refrigeration system in Overmyer’s Ohio warehouse. After the installation was complete, Overmyer fell behind in its payments, and the parties negotiated a new agreement that included the execution of a note in which Overmyer consented in advance to Frick’s obtaining a judgment for the amount due on the note without providing Overmyer the opportunity to present a defense. Overmyer received adequate consideration for the note, and the note was the product of negotiations carried on by corporate parties with the advice of competent counsel. Thereafter, Overmyer ceased to make the required payments, asserting a breach of the original contract by Frick. Frick obtained a judgment for the debt on the note in an Ohio court. Overmyer was not given notice or the opportunity to be heard. Overmyer moved to vacate the judgment. The Ohio court denied Overmyer’s motion, and the state appellate courts affirmed. Overmyer appealed, arguing that the court’s judgment on the note was unconstitutional because he was not given notice or the opportunity to be heard.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)