Dorsey v. Community Stores Corporation, No. 70-C-551

CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtSWYGERT, , and REYNOLDS and GORDON
Citation346 F. Supp. 103
PartiesGloria DORSEY, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. COMMUNITY STORES CORPORATION et al., Defendants. Gloria TAYLOR, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. NELSON BROS. FURNITURE CO., Inc., et al., Defendants.
Decision Date06 June 1972
Docket Number70-C-516.,No. 70-C-551

346 F. Supp. 103

Gloria DORSEY, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
COMMUNITY STORES CORPORATION et al., Defendants.

Gloria TAYLOR, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
NELSON BROS.
FURNITURE CO., Inc., et al., Defendants.

Nos. 70-C-551, 70-C-516.

United States District Court, E. D. Wisconsin.

June 6, 1972.


346 F. Supp. 104

Milwaukee Legal Services by Mark E. Wilson, and Thomas D. Crandall, Milwaukee, Wis., for plaintiffs.

Karl M. Dunst, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Wolke & Krause, Foley & Lardner, by Lawrence J. Bugge and Robert A. Christensen, Milwaukee, Wis., for defendants.

Before SWYGERT, Chief Judge, and REYNOLDS and GORDON, District Judges.

DECISION and ORDER

These cases present a challenge to the constitutionality of the Wisconsin replevin statutes. Wis. Stats. §§ 265.01-265.13. Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment, and the matter has been fully briefed by the parties.

The challenged Wisconsin statutes permit a plaintiff in a replevin action, upon the filing of an appropriate affidavit and bond, to cause the sheriff of the county in which the property is located "to take the same from the defendant and deliver it to the plaintiff." (§ 265.03). It is also provided that if the property be in a building or enclosure, the sheriff is directed to demand its delivery and "if it be not delivered he shall enter and take the property." (§ 265.09). The statute does not require that a warrant be sought from a judicial officer, nor is there any provision for a hearing in advance of the seizure.

Although the defendants suggest that there are factual disputes in these cases, we conclude that there are none of any significance to our decision. It is clear from the record in this case that the plaintiffs purchased certain household furniture under installment sales contracts, and, in compliance with the statute, the vendors caused the furniture (e. g., beds, sofas, a refrigerator, a gas stove) to be repossessed. This was accomplished by a deputy sheriff's going to each of the plaintiffs' residences and obtaining entry to the premises from each of the plaintiffs upon disclosing the purpose of his visit. Neither plaintiff resisted the repossession, although the plaintiff Dorsey attempted to demonstrate to the deputy sheriff that she had proper receipts for payments.

We conclude that the Wisconsin replevin statutes are unconstitutional in that they authorize the taking of property without affording procedural due process; we also believe the statute is unconstitutional in that it permits a warrantless seizure in violation of the fourth amendment. We recognize that...

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7 practice notes
  • Soldal v. County of Cook, No. 89-3631
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 27, 1991
    ...that bears closely though not decisively on the issue. The district courts are divided on it. Compare Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.Wis.1972) (3-judge panel), and Laprease v. Raymours Furniture Co., 315 F.Supp. 716, 721-22 (N.D.N.Y.1970) (same), with McCormick v. Fi......
  • United States General, Inc. v. Arndt, Civ. A. No. 75-C-204.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • August 4, 1976
    ...consideration on the merits. See Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 92 S.Ct. 1983, 32 L.Ed.2d 556 (1972); Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.Wis.1972). Cf. North Georgia Finishing, Inc. v. Di-Chem, Inc., 419 U.S. 601, 95 S.Ct. 719, 42 L.Ed.2d 751 (1975); Mitchell v. W. T. G......
  • Mitchell v. Grant Company 8212 6160, No. 72
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 13, 1974
    ...v. Colonial Finance Corp., 467 F.2d 202 (C.A.5 1972); Sena v. Montoya, 346 F.Supp. 5 (N.M.1972); Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.Wis.1972); Thorp Credit, Inc. v. Barr, 200 N.W.2d 535 (Iowa 1972); Inter City Motor Sales v. Judge of the Common Pleas Court for the City o......
  • Long v. Levinson, Civ. No. 4-911-W.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • March 14, 1974
    ...2d 840 (Civ.Ct.N.Y.City 1971); Laprease v. Raymours Furniture Co., 315 F.Supp. 716 (N.D.N.Y.1970); Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E. D.Wisc.1972); Hall v. Stone, 229 Ga. 96, 189 S.E.2d 403 (1972); Turner v. Colonial Finance Corp., 467 F.2d 202 (5th Cir. 1972 Miss.; Willi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • Soldal v. County of Cook, No. 89-3631
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 27, 1991
    ...that bears closely though not decisively on the issue. The district courts are divided on it. Compare Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.Wis.1972) (3-judge panel), and Laprease v. Raymours Furniture Co., 315 F.Supp. 716, 721-22 (N.D.N.Y.1970) (same), with McCormick v. Fi......
  • United States General, Inc. v. Arndt, Civ. A. No. 75-C-204.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • August 4, 1976
    ...consideration on the merits. See Fuentes v. Shevin, 407 U.S. 67, 92 S.Ct. 1983, 32 L.Ed.2d 556 (1972); Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.Wis.1972). Cf. North Georgia Finishing, Inc. v. Di-Chem, Inc., 419 U.S. 601, 95 S.Ct. 719, 42 L.Ed.2d 751 (1975); Mitchell v. W. T. G......
  • Mitchell v. Grant Company 8212 6160, No. 72
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 13, 1974
    ...v. Colonial Finance Corp., 467 F.2d 202 (C.A.5 1972); Sena v. Montoya, 346 F.Supp. 5 (N.M.1972); Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.Wis.1972); Thorp Credit, Inc. v. Barr, 200 N.W.2d 535 (Iowa 1972); Inter City Motor Sales v. Judge of the Common Pleas Court for the City o......
  • Long v. Levinson, Civ. No. 4-911-W.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • March 14, 1974
    ...2d 840 (Civ.Ct.N.Y.City 1971); Laprease v. Raymours Furniture Co., 315 F.Supp. 716 (N.D.N.Y.1970); Dorsey v. Community Stores Corp., 346 F.Supp. 103 (E. D.Wisc.1972); Hall v. Stone, 229 Ga. 96, 189 S.E.2d 403 (1972); Turner v. Colonial Finance Corp., 467 F.2d 202 (5th Cir. 1972 Miss.; Willi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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