Richardson v. Pridmore

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtPETERS; BRAY, J., and SCHOTTKY
Citation97 Cal.App.2d 124,17 A.L.R.2d 929,217 P.2d 113
Parties, 17 A.L.R.2d 929 RICHARDSON v. PRIDMORE et al. Civ. 14268.
Decision Date24 April 1950

Page 113

217 P.2d 113
97 Cal.App.2d 124, 17 A.L.R.2d 929
RICHARDSON

v.
PRIDMORE et al.
Civ. 14268.
District Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, California.
April 24, 1950.

Page 114

[97 Cal.App.2d 125] Morris M. Grupp, Remington Low, San Francisco, for appellants.

Andrew J. Eyman, Bernard B. Glickfeld, San Francisco, for respondent.

PETERS, Presiding Justice.

Plaintiff, Dorothy Richardson, and her husband were tenants in an apartment owned by defendant Friedman and managed by defendant Pridmore. The defendants unlawfully evicted the plaintiff and her

Page 115

husband. Plaintiff then brought this action alleging three causes of action. The first is in tort for damages for the wilful and unlawful eviction of the plaintiff, who was then pregnant and shortly thereafter suffered a miscarriage; the second is for damage to plaintiff's clothing, while the third is for conversion of plaintiff's property. The jury returned verdicts for the plaintiff on all three causes of action, fixing the damages on the first at $7,250.00, on the second at $25.00, and on the third for $50.00. On the motion for a new trial the plaintiff consented to a reduction to a total of $4,825.00. From the judgment in that amount defendants appeal.

The evidence shows a deliberate and intentional eviction of the plaintiff by defendants. Plaintiff and her husband moved into the Lassen Apartments in San Francisco as month-to-month tenants of a single room in May or June of 1947. To secure even these unsatisfactory accommodations plaintiff and her husband were forced to pay the manager who preceded Pridmore a bonus of $30.00. Shortly after the plaintiffs moved in, Pridmore became manager. There were 78 apartments in the building. The plaintiff and her husband were desirous of securing more room, but when Pridmore was approached she demanded a substantial bonus. Plaintiff promised to give Pridmore $50.00 as a bonus, and, as a result, on July 2, 1947, was able to secure a larger apartment in the same building. The bonus was never paid. It is a reasonable inference from the evidence that the failure to pay this bonus was the motivating cause of Pridmore's subsequent actions.

On July 2, 1947, plaintiff paid the rent to Pridmore, and on August 2, 1947, paid the rent for the period expiring on September 2, 1947. The apartment and the furniture were not in good condition, and plaintiff and her husband, at their own expense, repainted the floors and walls, and plaintiff made [97 Cal.App.2d 126] slip covers for the furniture and bought drapes for the living room and kitchen. Plaintiff received one key to the apartment from Pridmore. Plaintiff's brother arrived in San Francisco shortly after the apartment was rented and, because he was unable to find a place to stay, lived with plaintiff and her husband for some weeks, with the acquiescence of Pridmore.

In August of 1947, plaintiff was 19 years of age and was a little over two months pregnant. It was her first pregnancy. She was in excellent physical condition. She was a professional entertainer and was working week ends. Her husband was an oiler on construction rigs. He was desirous of securing a union card as an operator, but was unable to do so in San Francisco. He secured an offer of a job at Tracy, which he accepted, where he could work as an operator and thus qualify for an operator's card. His intention was to stay in Tracy only long enough to get his card, and then to return to San Francisco. He had no intention of abandoning the San Francisco apartment.

On August 17, 1947, the plaintiff and her husband left for Tracy. They took with them the husband's work clothes, a few cooking utensils and a small table. They left in the apartment the balance of their belongings, including the slip covers, drapes, most of their dishes, and most of plaintiff's clothes, and some of her husband's. Pinned on the wall of the apartment they left a note to plaintiff's brother which read: 'Chuck--Bill and I got a place in Tracy. Will be back in three or four days. Don't say anything about our moving yet. Leave a note and tell us your address. Love, Dot and Bill.' Plaintiff testified that the reason for the third sentence was that she did not want to have her brother have their mailing address changed to Tracy, and that her brother would have understood exactly what she meant. This note was removed by Pridmore from the apartment and kept by her. She failed to tell plaintiff's brother about the note, although she saw him several times in and about the apartment house.

As plaintiff's husband, assisted by his brother, were moving their things on August 17th in preparation for the trip to Tracy, they met Pridmore, who asked if they were moving out. Plaintiff's husband testified that he told the manager that they

Page 116

were not moving, but were simply going out of town for a few days. This was corroborated by his brother. Plaintiff and her husband then went to Tracy, where they moved into a motel, paying for their room on a day-by-day basis.

On August 29, 1947 plaintiff returned to San Francisco [97 Cal.App.2d 127] to get some of her husband's clothes. She discovered that her key would not operate the lock on her apartment door. She rang the bell and the door was opened by a woman. In her apartment plaintiff saw a man in bed and a small child playing on the floor. She asked what these people were doing in her apartment and the woman told her that she had rented the place, and not to argue with her about it but to go down and see the manager. Plaintiff thereupon went down to see Pridmore and asked her why she could not get into her apartment. Pridmore replied that she had been told by plaintiff that they were leaving. This was denied by plaintiff, who then asked Pridmore where her clothes and other belongings were. Pridmore replied that they were in the basement. Plaintiff thereupon left and went to her sister-in-law's home.

Pridmore denied that plaintiff had been at the apartment on August 29th, testifying that she first returned on the morning of the 30th. She claimed that she did not rerent the apartment until September 2nd, and did not have the lock changed until that date. She also testified that...

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28 practice notes
  • Spinks v. Apartments, No. H031468.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 4, 2009
    ...while the lease was still in force, conduct that could constitute an actionable breach of the lease. ( Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 129, 217 P.2d 113 [“the wilful eviction of a tenant is a breach of contract”].) Defendants thus are not entitled to summary adjudication on......
  • Newby v. Alto Riviera Apartments
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 20, 1976
    ...recognized in California. (State Rubbish etc. Assn. v. Siliznoff, supra, at pp. 336-337, 240 P.2d 282; Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 130, 217 P.2d 113; Emden v. Vitz (1948) 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 198 P.2d 696.) The right to recover for emotional distress alone in situations i......
  • Potter v. Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Nos. H004841
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 15, 1990
    ...[arrest made with knowledge or with reckless disregard of the fact that no offense had been committed]; Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 130, 217 P.2d 113 [the removal of tenant's belongings and the rental of the premises to another by a landlord]; DeRose v. Carswell (1987) ......
  • Golden v. Dungan
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1971
    ...709, 718--719, 17 Cal.Rptr. 568; Guillory v. Godfrey (1955) 134 Cal.App.2d 628, 633, 268 P.2d 474; Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 130, 217 P.2d 113, and Emden v. Vitz (1948) 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 319, 198 P.2d 696.) The decision states, 'The important elements are that the ac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • Spinks v. Apartments, No. H031468.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 4, 2009
    ...while the lease was still in force, conduct that could constitute an actionable breach of the lease. ( Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 129, 217 P.2d 113 [“the wilful eviction of a tenant is a breach of contract”].) Defendants thus are not entitled to summary adjudication on......
  • Newby v. Alto Riviera Apartments
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 20, 1976
    ...recognized in California. (State Rubbish etc. Assn. v. Siliznoff, supra, at pp. 336-337, 240 P.2d 282; Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 130, 217 P.2d 113; Emden v. Vitz (1948) 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 198 P.2d 696.) The right to recover for emotional distress alone in situations i......
  • Potter v. Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Nos. H004841
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 15, 1990
    ...[arrest made with knowledge or with reckless disregard of the fact that no offense had been committed]; Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 130, 217 P.2d 113 [the removal of tenant's belongings and the rental of the premises to another by a landlord]; DeRose v. Carswell (1987) ......
  • Golden v. Dungan
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1971
    ...709, 718--719, 17 Cal.Rptr. 568; Guillory v. Godfrey (1955) 134 Cal.App.2d 628, 633, 268 P.2d 474; Richardson v. Pridmore (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 124, 130, 217 P.2d 113, and Emden v. Vitz (1948) 88 Cal.App.2d 313, 319, 198 P.2d 696.) The decision states, 'The important elements are that the ac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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