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Public Finance Corp. v. Davis

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 23, 1976.

PUBLIC FINANCE CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERDEFENDANT-APPELLEE,

v.

LUELLA DAVIS, DEFENDANT AND COUNTERPLAINTIFF-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. ROBERT J. SAUNDERS, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE EBERSPACHER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal by the defendant, Luella Davis, from an order of the circuit court of St. Clair County dismissing her counterclaim, and motion for leave to file an amended counterclaim, against the plaintiff, Public Finance Corporation, in which she claimed damages for severe emotional distress intentionally inflicted upon her by plaintiff's manner of seeking to collect two delinquent accounts.

The sole issue before this court is whether either the defendant's counterclaim or her amended counterclaim, which was attached to her motion to file an amended counterclaim, stated a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The defendant filed each of these counterclaims in response to a complaint filed by the plaintiff. The plaintiff's complaint prayed for judgment against the defendant in the amount of $543.07 for amounts due and owing the plaintiff under a promissory note executed by the defendant and secured by consumer goods of all kinds, including household goods, owned by the defendant.

The defendant attached her original counterclaim to her answer. Therein she alleged that:

"(2) On or about February 27, 1973, she entered into a contract with Sav-Mart Furniture, and said contract was subsequently purchased by Public Finance Corporation.

(3) On or about January 25, 1974, she executed a promissory note to Public Finance Corporation in the amount of $784.42.

(4) On or about September 1, 1974, Luella Davis informed employees or agents of Public Finance Corporation that she was financially unable to continue regular payments on those two accounts.

(5) On or after September 1, 1974, employees or agents of Public Finance Corporation, in order to collect the two accounts, harassed Luella Davis by frequent and repeated phone calls and visits to her home.

(6) On or after September 1, 1974, agents or employees of Public Finance Corporation communicated private and/or untrue facts about Luella Davis to her acquaintances.

(7) On or after September 1, 1974, agents or employees of Public Finance Corporation entered Luella Davis' home under false pretenses to investigate the number and kind of household goods owned by her.

(8) On or after October 1, 1974, Luella Davis informed employees or agents of Public Finance Corporation that she was ill.

(9) On or after October 1, 1974, agents or employees of Public Finance Corporation attempted to collect the two accounts by contacting Luella Davis at the hospital where her daughter was hospitalized and seriously ill.

(10) As a result of the above actions by employees and agents of Public Finance Corporation, Luella Davis suffered physical and mental anguish and severe emotional distress.

(11) Public Finance Corporation, through its employees and agents, intentionally inflicted such physical and mental anguish and severe emotional distress on Luella Davis;

(12) Public Finance Corporation, through its employees and agents recklessly disregarded the possibility of causing physical and mental anguish and ...


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