Thompson v. Monument Square Apartments, Case No. CPU4-20-003031

CourtCourt of Common Pleas of Delaware
Writing for the CourtSMALLS, C.J.
PartiesMelissa Thompson Appellant, v. Monument Square Apartments, Appellee.
Decision Date22 December 2020
Docket NumberCase No. CPU4-20-003031

Melissa Thompson Appellant,
v.
Monument Square Apartments, Appellee.

Case No. CPU4-20-003031

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE IN AND FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY

Submitted: December 7, 2020
December 22, 2020


Iran J. Garcia Domenech,Esq.
100 West 10th Street, Suite 203
Wilmington, DE 19801
Attorney for Appellant

David E. Matlusky, Esq.
1423 N. Harrison Street,
Wilmington, DE 19806
Attorney for Appellee

DECISION ON APPEAL

SMALLS, C.J.

Page 2

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case is before the Court on appeal from a decision of the Justice of the Peace, pursuant to 10 Del. C. §9571.

On January 15, 2020, Monument Square Apartments ("Appellee") filed a Summary Possession action against Appellant in the Justice of the Peace Court seeking back rent and possession of a rental unit.

On February 25, 2020, Appellant and Appellee entered into a stipulated agreement, whereby Appellant relinquished her security deposit and in exchange was allowed to remain in the rental unit until April 30, 2020. However, pursuant to this agreement, if Appellant failed to vacate by April 30 2020, Appellee was permitted to immediately file for a Writ of Possession and obtain entry pursuant to a stipulated judgment without further Court hearing. This agreement also waived Appellant's right to trial and right to appeal the stipulated judgment.1

Subsequent to the execution of this agreement, the Covid-19 pandemic was declared and Governor Carney issued a State of Emergency Declaration. Pursuant to this Declaration, the Governor issued a moratorium on all evictions while the State of Emergency remained in effect.2

Page 3

On May 14, 2020, Appellee notified The Justice of the Peace Court that Appellant breached the stipulated agreement. Appellee requested the stipulated agreement be converted into a stipulated judgment and possession be granted to Appellee.

On June 18, 2020, The Justice of the Peace Court granted Appellee's request and converted the stipulated agreement into a stipulated judgment and granted permission for to Appellee to immediately file for a Writ of Possession once Delaware's moratorium on evictions was lifted.

On June 30, 2020, Governor Carney modified the State of Emergency Declaration to allow for evictions in the event "the [C]ourt determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice."3

On July 15, 2020, Appellee filed for a Writ of Possession. Subsequently, on August 21, 2020, Appellee filed a Motion for possession alleging that it is in the Interest of Justice to proceed with the Writ of Possession. In the motion, Appellee represented that Appellant's only reasons for not vacating the unit were "logistical" and that it was in the best interest to move forward with the eviction for the health, safety, and welfare of the other tenants.

Page 4

On September 8, 2020, The Justice of the Peace Court found that Appellee's motion provided sufficient facts to proceed with the eviction in the interest of justice and granted the motion.

On September 11, 2020, Appellant filed a letter to the Justice of the Peace Court informing the Court of Appellant's health conditions and asking the Court to stay the eviction. On September 14, 2020, the Justice of the Peace Court stayed the eviction and scheduled a motion hearing.

On September 21, 2020, a hearing was held, however, the Appellant did not appear, therefore, on September 23, 2020 the Court denied Appellant's motion. On September 24, 2020, Appellant, now represented by counsel, filed a Motion to Stay the...

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