Perez v. Campbell

LOCATION: Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District

DOCKET NO.: 5175
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1970-1971)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 402 US 637 (1971)
ARGUED: Jan 19, 1971
DECIDED: Jun 01, 1971

Facts of the case


Media for Perez v. Campbell

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 19, 1971 in Perez v. Campbell

Warren E. Burger:

We’ll hear arguments next in Perez against Campbell for the State of Arizona.

Mr. Ching you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Anthony B. Ching:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

This case is here on certiorari to review the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The facts are relatively simple.

The petitioners here are Adolfo Perez and his wife Emma Perez.

They live in Tucson, Arizona.

On July 8, 1965, Adolfo Perez, while driving his family car, had an accident.

A year or so later, a lawsuit was filed against Adolfo Perez and his wife based on the accident.

A year or so later, the Perez’s confessed judgment and the judgment was rendered against the two of them as husband and wife.

Thereafter, Adolfo and Emma Perez each filed a petition in bankruptcy.

The judgment was scheduled in each of the bankruptcy petition, and in due course that that was discharged.

However, Arizona law provides that anyone who has a judgment of this kind against him would have his driver’s license and automobile registration suspended until the judgment or a part of it is paid.

Potter Stewart:

The judgment was -- the judgment ran against both the man and the wife, did it or did not?

Anthony B. Ching:


That judgment is in the record.

It’s not reproduced in the appendix.

However, it’s in the record on page 54 and 55.

Warren E. Burger:

When you speak of it is being a confession of judgment, do you mean the conventional default judgment where they did not respond or did they affirmatively confess?

Anthony B. Ching:

The confession judgment was entered by their attorney.

They had -- this is not in the record, but I will supply that information to the Court if the Court desires the information.

The Perez’s retained counsel.

An answer was filed denying the negligence.

On the date of trial, counsel advised the Perez’s to confess judgment so that he can take them to bankruptcy.

Potter Stewart:

And the theory on which the lawsuit was brought against her i.e. the wife was what, because the husband was driving the car alone in the car, was he not, at the time of the collision?

Anthony B. Ching:

Yes, the husband was alone.

This was alleged in the complaint.

Potter Stewart:

And the complaint joined her as a defendant on what theory, on the community property theory or --

Anthony B. Ching:


In Arizona, it is a common practice in suing a marital community to sue both the husband and wife.