Colorado Supreme Court
Mason v. Farm Credit of Southern Colorado
From 2008 to 2011, Zachary Mason took out several loans through Farm Credit of Southern Colorado for land he farmed in Otero County. Those loans gave Farm Credit a security interest in some of his crops, farm equipment and some personal property. He defaulted on his loans in 2012, and Farm Credit sued him in pursuit of personal property collateral, conversion of insurance proceeds, civil theft, breach of contract and fraud.
In 2013, Farm Credit amended its complaint to say James Mason, Zachary Mason’s father, converted Zachary Mason’s property to his own and to request an accounting. Farm Credit wanted the return of crop collateral and any proceeds from its sale. James Mason was also a farmer, but his operations did not overlap with his son’s, nor was he involved with any of his son’s loans. James Mason demanded a jury trial.
The case before the court looked at whether an amended complaint is grounds to allow a case to be tried before a jury when the nature of the original complaint was primarily equitable and did not require a jury. The court held that James Mason was entitled to a jury trial under Rule 38 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.