by
Starting in February of 2014, Philip McGimpsey (“McGimpsey”) and his wife Jolene leased a home from D&L Ventures, Inc. D&L was a Nevada corporation owned by David Asher and his wife Georgina. The residential property McGimpsey leased from D&L was located in Eagle, Idaho. D&L obtained the Property in a 2013 foreclosure sale and received a trustee’s deed, which excluded any warranties. A dispute arose out of a breach of contract claim between the McGimpsey and D&L, who entered into a combined lease/Buy-Sell Agreement for the property. On discovering that D&L was an unregistered Nevada corporation conducting business in Ada County, McGimpsey failed to close on the purchase of the home in 2017, because he believed D&L to be in violation of Idaho Code section 30-21-502(a). After the closing date passed, D&L informed McGimpsey that the contractual provisions terminated upon his failure to close and reminded McGimpsey he had to vacate the property, pursuant to the Buy-Sell Agreement. About a month later, D&L registered with the Idaho Secretary of State as a Nevada corporation and filed all of its tax returns and paid its other obligations. McGimpsey subsequently filed a complaint against D&L, and the corporation counterclaimed against McGimpsey and third-party defendants. D&L moved for summary judgment that was granted in part and denied in part. The district court ultimately concluded that D&L had the legal ability to convey the property via warranty deed and that McGimpsey breached the Buy-Sell Agreement by failing to close and failing to show that his breach was excused by D&L’s alleged inability to convey marketable title. McGimpsey and third-party defendants timely appealed and their appeals were consolidated. The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s award of summary judgment to D&L because Idaho Code section 30- 21-502 did not impair the validity of contracts; therefore, D&L had the legal ability to convey the property via warranty deed. View "McGimpsey v. D&L Ventures" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Defendant on the ground that Plaintiff was not legally entitled to recover rent monies which he had paid to Defendant over the period of time during which he was renting a waterfront condominium from her while she was in violation of R.I. Gen. Laws 34-18-22.3, holding that the hearing justice properly granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff sought retroactive recovery of rent paid to Defendant because Defendant had not complied with section 34-18-22.3, which requires a landlord who is not a resident of the state to designate an in-state agent for service of process. The superior court granted summary judgment for Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff was not allowed to recover from Defendant for her alleged violation of section 34-18-22.3 because he failed to show that he suffered harm as a result of Defendant's violation; (2) because Plaintiff did not incur any damages as a result of Defendant's alleged offense, there was no basis for recovery under R.I. Gen. Laws 9-1-2; and (3) the trial justice did not err when he determined that the elements of unjust enrichment were not satisfied based on the facts of this case. View "Olsen v. DeMayo" on Justia Law

by
This appeal stemmed from a civil action brought by United Grand to recover overdue rent from Malibu Hillbillies and its guarantor. After a default judgment, United Grand sought almost $2 million in attorney fees for its efforts to enforce the judgment against the guarantor. The trial court subsequently found that United Grand had engaged in extensive misconduct throughout the duration of the action and imposed a terminating sanction striking from the complaint United Grand's prayer for attorney fees. However, the trial court also entered judgment in favor of United Grand and against the guarantor in the amount of the unpaid rent and accrued interest she had already paid. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of dismissal, the order dissolving the injunction and the order denying attorney fees on appeal. The court held that many of United Grand's claims were forfeited and the few cognizable claims of error were meritless. Finally, the court dismissed the appeal from the sanctions orders. View "United Grand Corp. v. Malibu Hillbillies, LLC" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held in this eviction action that, under the circumstances of this case, the retaliation defense was not available under Minn. Stat. 504B.441 but that the common law should recognize a defense when a landlord retaliates against a tenant for making a good-faith complaint to the landlord of a material violation of a local or state law, residential covenants, or the lease. By special verdict, a jury found that Tenant materially violated the terms of the lease but that Landlord retaliated against Tenant as a penalty for complaining about the condition of the leased premises. The district court entered judgment for possession of the rental unit in favor of Tenant apparently based on the retaliation defense under Minn. Stat. 504B.285, subd. 2, and Minn. Stat. 504B.441. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the retaliation defense was unavailable to Tenant under either statutory provision. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) Tenant could not assert a statutory defense; but (2) the language of the verdict was adequate to satisfy the requirements of the common-law retaliation defense that the Court recognized today. View "Central Housing Associates, LP v. Olson" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in this contract action, holding that any failure by landlords to strictly comply with any contractual notice provisions when declaring a lease in default is excused when the allegedly defaulting party receives actual notice of the default despite noncompliance. Treasure Island, LLC and its prime tenant, Rose, LLC, entered into a lease for space inside of Treasure Island's hotel/casino that was subleased to Señor Frog's and used to operate a restaurant. Treasure Island declared the lease in default when Rose failed to make timely rent payments. Thereafter, Treasure Island sued Rose alleging breach of the lease agreement and seeking declaratory relief. Rose counterclaimed, alleging breach of contract and seeking declaratory relief, arguing (1) the district court erred in declaring the lease terminated because Treasure Island failed to give proper notice of the default, and (2) the judgment was void because Señor Frog's was a necessary party and was not joined in the action in violation of Nev. R. Civ. P. 19. The trial court entered judgment for Treasure Island. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Rose suffered no prejudice because it received actual notice of the default; and (2) Señor Frog's was not a necessary party to the litigation. View "Rose, LLC v. Treasure Island, LLC" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant's petition for a writ of prohibition to bar East Cleveland Municipal Court Judge William Dawson from continuing to preside over Euclid Lake Properties, LLC. v. Tri Eagle Fuels, LLC, East Cleveland M.C. case No. 17CVG01000, holding that jurisdiction was not patently and unambiguously lacking in the municipal court. Lessee signed a commercial lease to rent certain property from Lessor for fifteen years. After Lessor alleged that Lessee was in default of the lease and served Lessee with a notice to vacate the premises Lessee filed suit alleging that Lessor, in fact, had breached the lease. Before Lessor filed an answer it filed a forcible-entry-and-detainer (FE&D) action against Lessee. The case was assigned to Judge Dawson. Lessee filed an original action for a writ of prohibition alleging that Judge Dawson lacked jurisdiction to proceed in the municipal court case based on the jurisdictional priority rule. The court of appeals denied the writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Judge Dawson was not deprived of jurisdiction over the FE&D action. View "State ex rel. Tri Eagle Fuels, LLC v. Dawson" on Justia Law

by
This appeal centered on a manufactured housing community owner’s attempt to raise the rent for its homeowner–tenants after installing a new water filtration system and commissioning a report on market rents for comparable manufactured housing communities. After the homeowners petitioned for an arbitration under the Rent Justification Act, the arbitrator concluded that the rent increase was justified. On appeal, however, the Superior Court reversed on the grounds that the community owner did not establish that the installation of the water filtration system “was an increase in its costs” or that the expenditure caused “its original expected return [to] decline[].” The community owner appealed the Superior Court’s decision. The Delaware Supreme Court found after its review of this matter that the Superior Court overruled the arbitrator’s order allowing the rent increase, finding that the community owner “would have had to offer evidence about its original costs and original expected return and how the expenditure . . . altered that relationship.” Because that reasoning grafted onto the Act a requirement that the statute did not contain, the Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court’s judgment and remanded the case for the entry of a judgment affirming the arbitrator’s order. View "Sandhill Acres MHC, LC v. Sandhill Acres Home Owners Association" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court reversed a lower court judge's order of execution on the fifth agreement for judgment between Y.A., an alleged victim of domestic violence, and the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), a covered housing provider, holding that the motion judge failed to consider whether domestic violence contributed to Y.A.'s failure to make the agreed-upon payments. The Housing Court found that Y.A.'s failure to make required payments set forth in the parties' agreement constituted a violation of a material term of the agreement. The judge made no reference to Y.A.'s allegations of an abusive relationship in his findings. The Supreme Judicial Court remanded the matter to the Housing Court for further proceedings, holding that where a judge is given reason to believe that domestic violence is or might be relevant to a landlord's basis for eviction, the judge must ensure that the judge has sufficient evidence to make a determination whether the tenant is entitled to protections under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), 34 U.S.C. 12291 et seq., and such a determination must be supported by findings. View "Boston Housing Authority v. Y.A." on Justia Law

by
The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division affirming the judgment of Supreme Court dismissing this declaratory judgment action brought by commercial tenants who unambiguously agreed to waive the right to commence a declaratory judgment action as to the terms of their leases, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, the waiver clause was enforceable, requiring dismissal of the complaint. Plaintiffs executed two commercial leases with the predecessor-in-interest of Defendant. Each lease incorporated a rider provided that the tenant waived its right to bring a declaratory judgment action with respect to any provision of the lease. After Defendant sent notices to Plaintiffs alleging various defaults Plaintiffs commenced this action seeking a declaratory judgment that they were not in default. Supreme Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action. The Appellate Division affirmed, determining that the declaratory judgment waiver was enforceable and barred Plaintiffs' action. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the declaratory judgment waiver was enforceable, and therefore, the action was properly dismissed. View "159 MP Corp. v Redbridge Bedford, LLC" on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of judgment on the pleadings to the city in an action brought by landlord after the city revoked his rental-dwelling license. The court held that Ellis v. City of Minneapolis, 860 F.3d 1106, 1109 (8th Cir. 2017), was controlling in this case, and that landlord failed to allege a plausible claim to relief under the Fair Housing Act. Giving landlord's complaint the honest, fair assessment he invites, the court was left with the inescapable conclusion that his claim was indeed about the city's alleged hyper-enforcement of its housing code against for-profit landlords, which was essentially the same allegation that this court considered and rejected in Ellis. View "Khan v. City of Minneapolis" on Justia Law