Jessamy Fort & Ogletree v. Lenkin, 87-1473.

Citation551 A.2d 830
Case DateDecember 21, 1988
CourtCourt of Appeals of Columbia District

Page 830

551 A.2d 830
Edward J. LENKIN, General Partner on behalf of 14th and Eye Streets Associates, Appellee.
No. 87-1473.
District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Submitted November 2, 1988.
Decided December 21, 1988.

Ronald C. Jessarny, Joanne Doddy Fort and Karen R. Sistrunk, Washington, D.C., for appellant.

Jack C. Sando, Bethesda, Md., for appellee.

Before NEWMAN, STEADMAN and SCHWELB, Associate Judges.

STEADMAN, Associate Judge:

Jessamy Fort & Ogletree (hereinafter referred to as "Tenant") entered into a lease agreement with 14th and Eye Street Associates (hereinafter "Landlord") for office space on part of the twelfth floor of Landlord's building at 1400 1 Street N.W., Washington, D.C. Landlord brought suit for possession and payment due in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of the Superior Court when Tenant, relying on its interpretation of the pertinent lease provisions, refused to contribute any payment relating to building electricity costs. Tenant appeals from the grant of summary judgment in favor of Landlord.

The controversy centers on the proper interpretation of Paragraph 6(a) of the lease agreement, which states in part1 that:

As long as Tenant is not in default under any of the provisions of this Lease, Landlord shall provide the following utilities and services to Tenant without additional cost to Tenant, except as otherwise specifically provided herein: [(1)] reasonably adequate electricity.

The lease suggests that the matter of electricity was the subject of particular negotiation.2 The language inserted as subpart (1) to Paragraph 6(a), relating to "reasonably adequate electricity," represents a modification of the previously existing boilerplate language (which provided that Tenant would pay all costs of electricity and other utilities). Also inserted into the lease at Paragraph 6(b), typed sideways along the margin of the page on which both 6(a) and 6(b) appear, is a provision listing certain types of electrically-operated equipment, and providing that Tenant seek special approval, possibly conditioned on payment of additional rent, for the use of types of equipment other than those specified.3

Page 831

Contending that Paragraph 6(a) is subject to modification by Paragraphs 3(d)(1) and 3(d)(2), Landlord asserts that Tenant is responsible on a pro rata basis for a share of increased electricity costs. Paragraph 3(d)(1) provides:

Monthly in advance throughout the term of this Lease . . . Tenant shall pay to Landlord . . . as Additional Rent, Tenant's Building pro-rata share of any increases in the annual amount of Building Operating Costs in excess of FIVE DOLLARS AND 50/100...

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6 cases
  • BECKMAN v. FARMER, 88-741
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 26, 1990
    ...of extrinsic evidence or on a choice among reasonable inferences to be drawn from extrinsic evidence." Jessamy Fort & Ogletree v. Lenkin, 551 A.2d 830, 831 (D.C. 1988) (citation omitted); see also Dodek v. CF 16 Corp., 537 A.2d 1086, 1093 (D.C. 1988); Kurth v. Dobricky, 487 A.2d 220, 223 (D......
  • Headfirst Baseball LLC v. Elwood, Civil Action No. 13-536 (RBW)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 7, 2016
    ...and should be used sparingly in cases where motive or intent are material.” (citation omitted) (quoting Jessamy Fort & Ogletree v. Lenkin, 551 A.2d 830, 831 (D.C.1988) )). Therefore, awarding summary judgment against defendant Robert Elwood on counts three, four,7 and six of his counterclai......
  • Rivers & Bryan, Inc. v. HBE Corp., 91-CV-882.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 15, 1993
    ...evidence was introduced at trial, the interpretation is a question of law before this court. See Jessamy Fort & Ogletree v. Lenkin, 551 A.2d 830, 831 (D.C.1988); see also Sacks v. Rothberg, 569 A.2d 150, 154 (D.C.1990). Moreover, HBE does not seek to have the clause interpreted to provide H......
  • Young v. Delaney, 92-CV-1023.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • September 22, 1994
    ...conduct of the parties before and after its formation. See Beckman, supra, 579 A.2d at 629-30; see also Jessamy Fort & Ogletree v. Lenkin, 551 A.2d 830, 831 (D.C.1988); Dodek, supra, 537 A.2d at 1093; Holland v. Hannan, 456 A.2d 807, 815 (D.C. 1983). The law involving contract interpretatio......
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