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Ford Motor Credit v. Ryan

939 N.E.2d 891, 189 Ohio App. 3d 560 (2010)

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Ford Motor Credit v. Ryan

Ohio Court of Appeals

939 N.E.2d 891, 189 Ohio App. 3d 560 (2010)

Facts

James and Carolyn Ryan (defendants) purchased several cars from Ford Motor Credit Company (Ford) (plaintiff). The Ryans defaulted on all of their contracts for the cars. Ford hired Automobile Recovery Services of Cincinnati, Inc. (ARS) to repossess the cars in self-help repossessions. On May 9, 2005, ARS repossessed a Mercury Mountaineer Premier. The Premier contained the Ryans’ personal property, including money and clothes. James asked ARS to return the personal property, but ARS only returned the vehicle’s license plates. The Ryans eventually redeemed the Premier. On January 12, 2006, ARS repossessed the Premier again. When James discovered an ARS employee hooking the Premier to a tow truck, James attempted to unhook the vehicle. The ARS employee grabbed James’s hands and pushed him away from the car while screaming at him. James testified that he felt threatened by the employee. James pushed and screamed back, but he eventually relented. Between February 7 and 8, ARS repossessed three more cars without incident. Eventually, Ford brought a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Ryans in Ohio court. The Ryans filed several counterclaims against Ford and ARS, including claims of conversion, trespass, assault, and breach of peace related to the repossessions. Ford and ARS moved for summary judgment, arguing that they were entitled to repossess the cars. The trial court granted summary judgment for Ford and ARS. The Ryans appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Klatt, J.)

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