Di Renzo v. Cavalier

Decision Date20 June 1956
Docket NumberNo. 34731,34731
Citation165 Ohio St. 386,135 N.E.2d 394
Parties, 60 O.O. 13 DI RENZO, Appellee, v. CAVALIER, Appellant.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. A license to do an act upon land involves the exclusive occupation of the land by the licensee so far as is necessary to do the act and no further, whereas a lease gives the right of possession of the land and the exclusive occupation of it for all purposes not prohibited by its terms.

2. Whether an instrument is a license or a lease depends generally on the manifest intent of the parties gleaned from a consideration of the entire contents of the instrument.

3. Where the lessee of a ballroom delivers possession thereof to another for four and one-half hours for a private party and requires such other to employ the check room attendants of the lessee and to have his 'regular officer of the law on duty during the party,' pursuant to a written agreement under which a stated fee is paid for such use, attendants and officer, there is a presumption of law that the ballroom is being used under a license and not a lease.

Certified by the Court of Appeals for Mahoning County.

For more than 20 years, defendant, appellant herein, has been the lessee of a ballroom in Youngstown in which he conducted dances and which, on occasion, he permitted to be used by others for private parties. On January 19, 1953, one Conti family, hereinafter called Conti, entered into a written agreement with defendant whereby defendant agreed to furnish the ballroom for the purpose of holding a wedding reception on May 16, 1953, between the hours of 7:30 p. m. and 12:00 midnight, for a consideration of $75.

Conti agreed to employ and pay defendant's 'regular officer of the law' and to have him 'on duty during the party' and to employ and pay defendant's regular check room attendants. The pay of these employees was specified in the agreement.

Plaintiff, appellee herein, while a guest at the wedding reception, was injured when a portion of the ceiling fell and struck him on the head.

At the close of plaintiff's evidence, in an action to recover for such injury, the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County dirested a verdict for the defendant, upon which judgment was rendered.

An appeal was perfected to the Court of Appeals of the Seventh Appellate District, wherein the judges of the Ninth Appellate District were sitting by designation. Such court reversed the judgment of the Common Pleas Court and remanded the cause for retrial, and the designated judges certified the record of the case to this court for review and final determination for the reason that the judgment, on which they agreed, is in conflict with that agreed on by the regular judges of the Seventh Appellate District in the unreported case of DeRose v. Cavalier.

William E. Pfau and William E. Pfau, Jr., Youngstown, for appellant.

Morris Mendelssohn and Falls, Hazel & Kerr, Youngstown, for appellee.

BELL, Judge.

The sole question to be decided here is whether Conti was occupying this ballroom under a lease or a license.

Counsel for defendant, in contending that the agreement herein constituted a lease, relies chiefly on the following definition of a tenant as approved by this court in Pitts v. Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, 160 Ohio St. 129, 137, 113 N.E.2d 869, 874:

"A tenant, including a tenant for years, is an occupant who has not only an interest in land, but also some estate, be it ever so little, such as the estate of a tenant at will. He is 'one who occupies the premises of another in subordination to that other's title and with his assent express or implied."'

We do not find it necessary to depart from that definition here, but we do not believe it applicable to the facts in this case. The facts in the Pitts case are in no way comparable to those of the instant case and the difference is easily demonstrated by the first paragraph of the syllabus of the Pitts case, which...

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14 cases
  • Irons v. Maginnis (In re Irons)
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Northern District of Ohio
    • July 6, 2017
    ...possession of the land and the exclusive occupation of it for all purposes not prohibited by its terms." DiRenzo v. Cavalier , 165 Ohio St. 386, 389 135 N.E.2d 394, 396 (Ohio 1956). The "right to reside" in issue here is a broader right than the more limited rights of a licensee that DiRenz......
  • Matter of Daben Corp., Civ. No. 78-2531.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • March 26, 1979
    ...element. The intent is primarily ascertained in light of the terms of the contract, construed as a whole. Di Renzo v. Cavalier, 165 Ohio St. 386, 135 N.E.2d 394 (1956); Corbin, supra, Section 549. A lease will exist only if the agreement contains the ingredients thereof. GEM contends that t......
  • Schloss v. Sachs
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Common Pleas
    • November 30, 1993
    ...the land and the exclusive occupation of it for all purposes not prohibited by its terms." (Emphasis added.) DiRenzo v. Cavalier (1956), 165 Ohio St. 386, 60 O.O. 13, 135 N.E.2d 394, paragraph one of syllabus. "It has been said that the essential feature distinguishing a lease of an interes......
  • Lee v. North Dakota Park Service
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1977
    ...for mining barium is only a license and not a lease. Saxman v. Christmann, 52 Ariz. 149, 79 P.2d 520 (1938). In DiRenzo v. Cavalier, 165 Ohio St. 386, 135 N.E.2d 394, 396 (1956), the Court quoted with approval from 32 Am.Jur., Landlord and Tenant, § 5, page "A license to do an act upon land......
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