Ross v. Owners Mgmt., JP16-21-003255

CourtCourt of Justice of Peace Court of Delaware
Writing for the CourtJAMES A. MURRAY JUDGE.
PartiesWYOMING W. ROSS, Defendant Below, Appellant, v. OWNERS MANAGEMENT COMPANY, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.
Docket NumberJP16-21-003255
Decision Date27 October 2021

WYOMING W. ROSS, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.

OWNERS MANAGEMENT COMPANY, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.

No. JP16-21-003255

State of Delaware, Justice of Peace, Kent

October 27, 2021


Submitted: October 22, 2021

Announced in Court: October 22, 2021

TRIAL DE NOVO

Wyoming W. Ross, Defendant/Appellant, appeared represented by Colton Fleu, Esquire.

Owner's Management Company, Plaintiff/Appellee, appeared represented by Craig T. Eliassen, Esquire.

Murray, J., Hicks, J., Alston-Jackson, J.

ORDER

JAMES A. MURRAY JUDGE.

1

On October 22, 2021 this Court, consisting of the Honorable James A. Murray, the Honorable Jamie Hicks and the Honorable Nicole Alston-Jackson, acting as a special court pursuant to 25 Del. C. § 5717(a)[1] held a trial de novo[2] in reference to a Landlord/Tenant Summary Possession petition filed by Owner's Management Company, (hereinafter referred to as Plaintiff), against Wyoming W. Ross (hereinafter referred to as Defendant). For the following reasons the Court enters judgment in favor of the Defendant.

FACTUAL and PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed a Landlord/Tenant Summary Possession petition with Justice of the Peace Court No. 16 seeking possession. This action is based on an alleged Rules Violation. Trial was held on September 30, 2021 and judgment was entered in favor of the Plaintiff.[3] Defendant filed a timely appeal of the Court's Order pursuant to 25 Del. C. § 5717(a). Consequently, trial de novo was scheduled and held.

2

TRIAL/MOTION FOR DIRECTED VERDICT

Upon Plaintiff resting their case, Defense motioned the Court for a directed verdict.[4] Plaintiff presented three witnesses and 12 exhibits during the presentation of their case. Whereas the Court announced its decision in open court, the Court will not opine exhaustively on all testimony and evidence presented but will opine on the testimony and exhibits utilized in reaching its decision.

There is a landlord/tenant relationship between the Parties as proven by a signed lease agreement for the property located at 5 Linstone Lane, Apartment #223, Milford, Delaware 19963.[5] Defendant signed the lease on July 22, 2016.[6] Between December 21, 2018 and July 26, 2021 Plaintiff noticed Defendant repeatedly of an alleged Rules Violation by way of seven notices.[7] Plaintiff chose not to file an action for summary possession until after their fifth notice dated June 18, 2021.[8] Plaintiff filed their petition on July 1, 2021. Then on July 26, 2021 Plaintiff sent Defendant

3

notice for the same alleged Rules Violation as consistent with all other notices sent to Defendant.[9]

DISCUSSION

A landlord's remedies relating to breach of rules and covenants are addressed pursuant to 25 Del. C. § 5513(a) thru (c). Section 5513(a) states:

If the tenant breaches any rule or covenant which is material to the rental agreement, the landlord shall notify the tenant of such breach in writing, and shall allow at least 7 days after such notice for remedy or correction of the breach This section shall not apply to late payment of rent which is covered under § 5502 of this title

Section (a)(1) states:

Such notice shall substantially specify the rule allegedly breached and advise the tenant that, if the violation continues after 7 days, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and bring an action for summary possession. Such notice shall also state that it is given pursuant to this section, and if the tenant commits a substantially similar breach within 1 year, the landlord may rely upon such notice as grounds for initiating an action for summary possession The issuance of a notice pursuant to this section does not establish that the initial breach of the rental agreement actually occurred
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