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Reeves v. Foutz & Tanner, Inc.

New Mexico Supreme Court
617 P.2d 149 (1980)


Facts

Reeves and Begay (plaintiffs) are members of the Navajo tribe. The plaintiffs are unsophisticated and have limited English. The plaintiffs separately pawned jewelry with Foutz & Tanner, Inc. (FT) (defendant), who advanced significantly less than the value of the jewelry to the plaintiffs. After thirty days, the plaintiffs were required to pay back the loan plus interest. The plaintiffs defaulted. FT alleges that it then sent notice to the plaintiffs of its intent to retain the jewelry in satisfaction of the debt, though Reeves denies receiving notice. The plaintiffs did not object, and FT kept the collateral. FT then placed the jewelry in its inventory and sold it in the ordinary course of business. FT did not account to the plaintiffs for any surpluses. The plaintiffs sued and won at the trial court level. The cases were consolidated on appeal, and the appellate court reversed. The plaintiffs appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sosa, C.J.)

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  • 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.).

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