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Property Keyed to Merrill
Williams v. Ford Motor Credit Company
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
David Williams, Cathy Williams’ (“Plaintiff”) husband, purchased a car from a dealer. Both, Plaintiff and David, obtained titled to the car, but solely David’s name was listed on the loan papers. Thereafter, the car loan was assigned to the Ford Motor Credit Company (“Defendant”). Later, David and Plaintiff were divorced. Under the divorce court’s order, Plaintiff obtained full title to the car, but David was still mandated to pay Defendant for the car. David defaulted on the payments and signed a repossession authorization. At about 4:30 a.m., Plaintiff was woken up by a noise outside of her residence. At that moment, Plaintiff found two men in the process of towing her car. Plaintiff began to yell at the tow truck, and the truck stopped. One of the men in the truck told Plaintiff that Defendant told him tore possess the car. Plaintiff told the man that she had personal items inside the car. The man went to the car, obtained Plaintiff’s items, gave them to her, and left with the car.Plaintiff reported the car stolen to the police and brought suit against Defendant for conversion. At trial, Plaintiff testified that the tow truck driver was polite the entire time and did not threaten or make her believe she would be physically injured. At the end of the trial, the jury granted Plaintiff $5,000 in damages on the grounds that the repossession was a result of unlawful “breach of the peace,” violating Arkansas Statute § 85-9-503. Under the statute, which codifies Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, one is allowed to secure party to repossess its property without judicial process only if the repossession occurs in a manner that does not breach of the peace. The district court entered judgment for Defendant notwithstanding the verdict. Plaintiff appealed on the grounds that the repossession took place in an unlawful manner because the method had a risk of violence.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.