Jenks v. Longwell, 2021-50799

CourtNew York Justice Court
Writing for the CourtMICHAEL A. SCIORTINO, J.
PartiesLindsey Jenks, Plaintiff, v. Matthew Longwell and Nancy Longwell, Defendants.
Docket Number2021-50799
Decision Date11 May 2021

Lindsey Jenks, Plaintiff,
v.

Matthew Longwell and Nancy Longwell, Defendants.

No. 2021-50799

Justice Court of the Town of Parma, Monroe County

May 11, 2021


Unpublished Opinion

Lindsey Jenks, pro se

Matthew Longwell and Nancy Longwell, pro se

MICHAEL A. SCIORTINO, J.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The plaintiff, LINDSEY JENKS ("plaintiff") commenced this small claim against MATTHEW LONGWELL and NANCY LONGWELL ("defendants") in the Justice Court for the Town of Parma, County of Monroe, State of New York, in the amount of $1, 000.00, plus the $15.00 court filing fee, for a total of $1, 015.00 for, according to the Small Claims Complaint Form, "Defendants are refusing to sign the Cancellation and Release of Purchase and Sale Contract dated November 1, 2020. The defendants' realtor, Keller Williams state that they are unable to refund the $1, 000.00 deposit for 197 Burritt Road, Hilton, NY, unless the sellers sign the contract." The Court Clerk in the Town of Parma properly served the Notice of Small Claim by mailing it by certified mail and by first class mail. See, 22 N.Y.C.R.R. §214.10(e). The parties participated in a fair and impartial hearing of this small claim on April 15, 2021, and each witness was properly sworn under oath prior to providing any testimony to the Court. The Court confirmed that the defendant resided within the municipality-the Town of Parma, giving rise to this Court's jurisdiction. See, Uniform Justice Court Act §213(a) (McKinney's 2021). Moreover, Uniform Justice Court Act §202 states that "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall have jurisdiction of actions and proceedings for the recovery of money or chattels where the amount sought to be recovered or the value of the property does not exceed $3, 000." Uniform Justice Court Act §202 (McKinney's 2021). The jurisdictional thresholds have been met permitting this Small Claim to continue.

At the hearing of the Small Claim, the defendants presented a Counterclaim against the plaintiff in the amount of $1, 000.00, plus $3.00 court filing fee, for a total of $1, 003.00 for, according to the Counterclaim form "We would like a countersuit in the amount of $1, 000.00 to offset the cost of certain repairs and upgrades requested by the plaintiff before purchase. Also for the many items given away or thrown away because they gave us 3 days to leave." In support of and in opposition to the Small Claim and the Counterclaim, the parties presented evidence in their own behalf, including testimony of the plaintiff and the defendants, and one fact witness for the plaintiff-namely, Jennifer Passarell, plaintiff's Broker. Plaintiff introduced, and this Court received, seven (7) pieces of documentary evidence. Defendant introduced, and this Court received, four (4) pieces of documentary evidence.

II. STATEMENT OF FACTS

The relevant facts in this matter demonstrate that the plaintiff and the defendants entered into a Purchase and Sale Contract for Residential Property ("Purchase Agreement") whereby the plaintiff was to purchase the defendants' home residence located at 197 Burritt Road, Hilton, New York 14468 ("Premises"). See, Plaintiff's Exhibit 1. Both parties subscribed their signature to the Purchase Agreement evidencing a legally binding document on or around October 18, 2020. See id. Attorneys representing both parties issued their respective Attorney Approval letters to the Purchase Agreement. See id. On October 20, 2020, plaintiff paid a $1, 000.00 deposit in good faith towards the purchase price to close on the Premises. See, Plaintiff's Exhibit 4. On or about October 22, 2020, a Home Inspection Report was issued by Gunther Home Inspections, Inc. to the plaintiff that identified and reported various concerns and recommendations to the plaintiff regarding smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, mildew in the attic, main roof surface and shingle replacement, section of railing near the pool deck, as further identified by plaintiff in her testimony. See, Plaintiff's Exhibit 2.

As a result of the concerns and recommendations in the Home Inspection Report, the plaintiff proposed to defendants an Addendum to the Purchase Agreement that identified various "Conditions" plaintiff was seeking to be repaired and remedied consistent with the Home Inspection Report as a prerequisite to closing under the Purchase Agreement. See, Plaintiff's Exhibit 3. Plaintiff's proposed Addendum was never subscribed, or executed, by the defendants evidencing an agreement to these "Conditions". Thereafter on October 26, 2020, defendants themselves proposed an Addendum to the Purchase Agreement that included a request for a "good faith deposit in the amount of $5, 000.00 to Listing Broker that is non-refundable on buyer for non-performance". See, Plaintiff's Exhibit 5. Defendants' proposed Addendum was never subscribed, or executed, by the plaintiff evidencing an agreement to pay the additional good faith and non-refundable deposit of $5, 000.00.

Thereafter, on November 1, 2020, plaintiff and Jennifer Passarell, Plaintiff's Broker, issued a...

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