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Court reimburses man for watermelons


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Court reimburses man for watermelons

By The Associated Press

July 7 2005

RALEIGH, N.C. -- When Jackie L. Eley's pickup truck was repossessed, more than just her ride was taken away. The 130 watermelons in the truck bed also were repossessed.

Revenge, though, has been sweet.

The state Court of Appeals has ruled that the repo firm, Mid-East Acceptance Corp., must pay Eley $1,365 -- three times the melons' value -- as well as legal fees.

Eley's truck was repossessed July 29, 2002, a day when the temperature would reach 98 degrees with 89 percent humidity. She had missed two payments.

The men refused to let her unload the produce. And their boss refused to let Eley retrieve her melons later that day from the yard.

Two days later, the company had second thoughts.

"The watermelons are rotting, and the smell is polluting the storage lot," the company wrote to Eley, demanding that she take her melons or pay the cost of removing them.

Eley refused.

As she testified, "The melons were spoiled. They wouldn't do me any good. They took the truck, they took the melons. They were their melons then."

Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press


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