Question

The Barretts purchased a 1982 Kenworth truck in June 1995 from Mary Harwood. The purchase price was $11,000, to be paid in monthly installments of $300 before the 10th of each month. Eighteen months after the sale, Harwood retained Smith to repossess the truck due to delinquent payments by the Barretts. Smith contacted the Village of Malone Police Department to request the presence of a police officer at the site of the repossession. The village subsequently dispatched Officer Durant to the scene. At the site of the repossession, Barrett produced the purchase agreement and signed receipts tending to prove the payments on the truck were cur rent. Officer Durant examined these documents but advised the Barretts that this was a civil matter and that they should retain an attorney. A verbal and physical altercation ensued between the Barretts and Harwood, who was present at the scene. Durant subsequently warned Barrett, "If you start any trouble here, you'll be in the back seat of my car. Do you understand me, mister?" As a result, the Bar rettssur rendered the keys to the truck to Smith on the basis of Durant's perceived threat of arrest. Smith subsequently purchased the truck from Harwood for $3,500. The Barretts sued all of the par- ties involved in the allegedly unlawful repossession, including the Village of Malone, for violation of their due process rights under color of law in contravention of federal civil rights laws. How do you think the court decided?


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  • CreatedOctober 21, 2015
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