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Fuentes v. Shevin

United States Supreme Court
407 U.S. 67 (1972)



Fuentes (plaintiff) purchased a gas stove and later a phonograph from Firestone represented by court officer Shevin (defendant) under separate payment plans. Under the payment plan contract Firestone retained title but Fuentes could possess the property until she defaulted on payments. Following a dispute over maintenance of the stove, Firestone brought a repossession action in state court for Fuentes failing to make the monthly payments. Firestone instituted an action in small claims court for repossession and obtained a writ of replevin. The sheriff seized both the stove and phonograph from Fuentes’s home even though Fuentes had not yet received the summons to answer Firestone’s complaint. Fuentes had no notice of the writ. The Florida statute at issue makes no requirement of the applicant to make a “convincing showing” prior to seizure of the goods in question. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on the Fourteenth Amendment issues.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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