Family Finance Corporation (FFC) (plaintiff), a collection agency, instituted a wage-garnishment action against Christine Sniadach (defendant). As part of the proceeding, FFC froze Sniadach’s wages. Under a Wisconsin statute, freezing of wages was permitted prior to trial on the merits or any hearing on the collection claim. Sniadach filed a motion to dismiss the garnishment proceeding on the ground that, absent an opportunity to be heard, freezing her wages violated her due process rights. The Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the motion to dismiss. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.