Neymark v. Zakrzewski, 030100 AKDC, 3AN-99-6630 CIV
|Docket Nº:||3AN-99-6630 CIV|
|Opinion Judge:||Samuel D. Adams, District Court Judge.|
|Party Name:||Julie Ann Neymark, Plaintiff, v. Adam Zakrzewski, Defendant.|
|Case Date:||March 01, 2000|
|Court:||District Court of Alaska|
ORDER REGARDING ATTORNEY FEES
NEYMARK IS THE PREVAILING PARTY
Neymark sued Zakrzewski for breach of his statutory duties under a residential landlord/tenant lease. The pro per Complaint alleged that Zakrzewski failed to "provide adequate and reasonable heat, ventilation, hot water, working appliances, snow removal in a timely manner, and failure to keep the apartment in a clean, safe, and reasonable repair."
The court divided these claims into two separate statutory causes of action: (1) violation of AS 34.03.180 for failure to provide essential services, (see Jury Instruction 6(a)); and (2) violation of AS 34.03.140 for improper access into the apartment, (See Jury Instruction 8). Although the improper access claim was not explicitly set forth in the Complaint, the court held that Zakrzewski was on notice of this claim based on the general nature of the Complaint and the attachments thereto.
The jury found Zakrzewski liable on both theories, awarding $775 for failure to provide essential services and $500 for improper access, for total damages of $1275. See Verdict form. Because of the general nature of the Verdict form, there is no way to determine exactly which essential services the jury found to have not been supplied. Compare Jury Instruction 6(a)(emphasis added), which states that
In order for the tenant, Ms. Neymark, to win her claim you must find that it is more likely true than not true that the landlord Mr. Zakrzewski deliberately or negligently failed to supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water, reasonable heat, sanitary facilities, or other essential services.
with the Verdict form (emphasis added) which states that:
If you find that Mr. Zakrzewski negligently or deliberately failed to provide essential services to Ms. Neymark, his tenant, you shall calculate and award Ms. Neymark damages by determining the percentage by which you find that the use and enjoyment of her apartment were diminished as a result of the landlord's violations of his legal duties.
Accordingly, the court finds that Neymark is the prevailing party because she prevailed on both theories submitted to the jury. Moreover, the court finds that the jury's award together with attorneys fees is more favorable than Neymark's pretrial Offer of Judgement to such an extent that the provisions of Civil Rule 68 do not inure to Zakrzewski's benefit.
AMOUNT OF COSTS AND ATTORNEYS FEES TO...
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