Hollybrook Farms v. Wise, C. A. JP17-21-002272

CourtCourt of Justice of Peace Court of Delaware
PartiesHOLLYBROOK FARMS Plaintiff Below, Appellee v. DEXTER WISE Defendant Below, Appellant
Docket NumberC. A. JP17-21-002272
Decision Date14 October 2021

HOLLYBROOK FARMS Plaintiff Below, Appellee

DEXTER WISE Defendant Below, Appellant

C. A. No. JP17-21-002272

State of Delaware, Justice of Peace, Sussex

October 14, 2021

Submitted: October 14, 2021

Samantha Taulbee as agent for Hollybrook Farms pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 57 Jayce R. Lesniewski, Esq. CLASI, Georgetown, for Dexter Wise

Richard Comly, Justice of the Peace

Jennifer Sammons, Justice of the Peace

John Martin, Senior Justice of the Peace




The Court has entered a judgment or order in the following form:

This is a Summary Possession appeal pursuant to 25 Del. C. § 5717(a).

Hollybrook Farms is the landlord for a rental unit known as 300 Pasture Lane, Unit 304, Laurel, Delaware. Dexter Wise is the tenant. On May 7, 2021, the landlord sent to tenant a "FIVE DAY NOTICE OF DELINQUENT RENT". In the notice, the landlord informed the tenant he owed $83.00 in overdue rent. Ms. Taulbee testified that when the management company files a court case in Delaware, they charge the tenant $50.00 and add that to the tenant's account. Hollybrook Farms filed a prior action against Mr. Wise on January 5, 2021, Case Number JP17-21-000033. On that action a nonsuit judgment was entered against the landlord. The landlord had charged the Defendant $50.00 for legal fees. The Defendant had paid the $50.00 prior to the May 7, 2021 notice being sent. The landlord was not entitled to the $50.00 legal fees because they lost the prior case. The landlord should have given the tenant a $50.00 credit, but they did not. Therefore, the May 7 notice overstated the rent due by $50.00 and is thereby defective. A defective notice cannot be used as the basis to terminate a lease.

Accordingly, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted. The tenant retains possession of the rental unit.


Richard Comly Justice of the Peace

For the three-judge panel

Information on post-judgment procedures for default judgment on Trial De Novo is found in the attached sheet entitled Justice of the Peace Courts Civil Post-Judgment Procedures Three Judge Panel (J.P. Civ. Form No. 14A3J).


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