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Facio v. Jones

929 F.2d 541 (1991)

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Facio v. Jones

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

929 F.2d 541 (1991)

Facts

Gary Facio (plaintiff) wrote a check on insufficient funds. When the check bounced, Facio sent a money order to pay the debt and fees. Even so, a collection agency filed suit in a Utah court to collect on the debt. Believing the debt was paid, Facio did not answer the complaint, and a default judgment was entered. Facio moved to vacate the default judgment. To vacate the default judgment, Utah’s civil rules required that Facio provide proof of a meritorious defense. Facio failed to do so. The trial court denied the motion and ordered garnishment of Facio’s wages and bank account to satisfy the judgment. Facio sued the collection agency and the trial judge (defendants) in federal district court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the default judgment’s constitutionality as applied and alleging that his property was garnished without due process. The district court found for Facio, holding that the Utah civil rule’s requirement that Facio present a meritorious defense to avoid default judgment was unconstitutional. The collection agency and judge appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ebel, J.)

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