Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

Maxwell v. Fidelity Financial Services

Supreme Court of Arizona
907 P.2d 51 (1995)


Facts

The Maxwells (plaintiffs) financed the purchase of a $6,500 water heater with a loan from Fidelity Financial Services (Fidelity) (defendant) in 1984 at 19.5 percent interest. Elizabeth Maxwell earned approximately $400 per month working part-time as a hotel maid and her husband earned approximately $1,800 per month working for the local paper. The market value of the Maxwells’ home was $40,000. Fidelity secured the transaction with a lien of the water heater and a lien on the home. After making payments for three and a half years and despite the fact that the water heater never functioned properly, Maxwell requested another loan from Fidelity. Fidelity approved the loan and the Maxwells signed an additional set of documents similar to the first set, including consenting to a lien on the home. The total amount Maxwell was to pay on the debt was $17,000. Maxwell subsequently sought a declaratory judgment that the contract was unenforceable on the grounds that it was unconscionable. The trial court granted Fidelity’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the 1988 contract acted as a novation, barring any action on the 1984 contract, and Maxwell appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (Martone, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.