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Mitchell v. W.T. Grant Co.

United States Supreme Court
416 U.S. 600, 94 S.Ct. 1895, 40 L.Ed.2d 406 (1974)



W.T. Grant Co. (Grant) (plaintiff) sold various appliances to Mitchell (defendant) on credit. Mitchell did not pay the full balance and Grant filed suit to recover. Under Louisiana law, Grant’s lien on the appliances would expire if Mitchell transferred possession of the appliances. A Louisiana statute called for sequestration of such property if the creditor claimed that the debtor could “conceal, dispose of, or waste the property or the revenues therefrom, or remove the property from the parish, during the pendency of the action.” The law provided that the sheriff would hold the property during the court proceedings. Grant’s credit manager signed an affidavit stating that Grant had reason to believe that Mitchell would somehow dispose of the appliances during the proceeding. The trial judge then ordered sequestration of the appliances, directing the sheriff to take possession without a hearing or notice to Mitchell. Mitchell appealed based on the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67 (1972), which called for a hearing prior to sequestration.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

Concurrence (Powell, J.)

Dissent (Stewart, J.)

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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