Paoletti v. Morris, C. A. JP17-21-004636

CourtCourt of Justice of Peace Court of Delaware
Writing for the CourtWILLIAM WOOD JUSTICE
Decision Date22 February 2022
PartiesJOSEPHINE PAOLETTI Plaintiff Below, Appellee v. MELVIN MORRIS SALLY MORRIS Defendant Below, Appellant
Docket NumberC. A. JP17-21-004636

JOSEPHINE PAOLETTI Plaintiff Below, Appellee

MELVIN MORRIS SALLY MORRIS Defendant Below, Appellant

C. A. No. JP17-21-004636

State of Delaware, Justice of Peace, Sussex

February 22, 2022

Submitted: February 22, 2022

Chad Lingenfelder appeared for Plaintiff Defendants appeared pro se

William Wood, Justice of the Peace

Richard Comly, Justice of the Peace

Deborah Keenan, Deputy Chief Magistrate




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

This is action is trial de novo appeal to a three-judge panel. Plaintiff seeks back rent and possession of her rental property based upon 60 Days' notice of termination as prescribed by 25 Del C §5106. Defendants do not dispute that back rent is due, but aver that the notice was retaliatory and that it was subsequently voided when the parties readied agreement on a new lease.

Having heard the testimony and considered the evidence submitted during trial, the Panel unanimously agrees that Plaintiff has proven her case by a preponderance of the evidence. The notice provided to Defendants was compliant with statute. There was no evidence of a retaliatory act on Plaintiffs part and there was insufficient evidence that a meeting of the minds to form a new lease ever took place. While there were multiple negotiations and an offer, no writing took place nor was there adequate notice to Plaintiff that there was an acceptance of the offer. The panel also finds that the Plaintiff is entitled to double damages for holdover tenancy pursuant to 25 Del C §5515.

Accordingly, judgment is awarded Josephine Paoletti against Melvin and Sally Morris for $4, 233.62, accruing rent of $33.33 per day until the rental property is vacated, $87.50 court costs, and possession. Post judgment interest shall accrue at the legal rate of 5.25% per annum.


William Wood 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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