Document Type



Civil Procedure | Constitutional Law


The purpose of this article is to examine critically four recent Supreme Court cases on prejudgment seizure, Sniadach v. Family Finance Corp., Fuentes v. Shevin, Mitchell v. W. T. Grant Co., and North Georgia Finishing, Inc. v. Di-Chem, Inc. These cases have been cited as an arch-example of inconsistency, even irrationality, in constitutional doctrine. Members of the Supreme Court and numerous scholars have expressed chagrin at the apparent irresponsible obscurity at this difficult intersection of creditors' remedies and constitutional rights. We believe, however, that the search for reasonable and rational constitutional standards is not a hopeless task. We hope to show that there are emerging recognizable, if still indistinct, tests, against which state schemes for balancing the prejudgment rights of creditors and debtors may be measured. In short, we will assert that the recent prejudgment seizure cases, read together sympathetically, make sense.