U.S. Leasing Corp. v. Franklin Plaza Apartments, Inc.

CourtNew York City Court
Writing for the CourtEDWARD GOODELL
Citation65 Misc.2d 1082,319 N.Y.S.2d 531
Decision Date19 February 1971

Page 531

319 N.Y.S.2d 531
65 Misc.2d 1082, 8 UCC Rep.Serv. 1026
Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County.
Feb. 19, 1971.

Frank & Frank, New York City (Ira M. Berger, New York City, of counsel) for plaintiff, United States Leasing Corp.

Berger, Kramer & Levinson, New York City (Donald S. Hecht, New York City, of counsel) for defendant, Franklin Plaza Apartments, Inc.

Page 532


This is a motion for summary judgment in the sum of $4,615.08 and, in addition, a counsel fee of $500. based upon an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant described as a 'lease' of equipment and executed by the defendant as lessee on July 16, 1968.

The incidents giving rise to this litigation began in June 1968 when representatives of Pitney-Bowes, Inc. discussed with a representative of the defendant, a non-profit Housing Corporation, the purchase of a No. 736 Addressor-Printer to be supplied by Pitney-Bowes, Inc. Two alternative methods of acquisition were presented to the defendant. One was an outright purchase and the other an arrangement described by the defendant as a lease 'for a period of five years' at the end of which 'the machine would become our property.'

The defendant alleges in its opposing affidavit that the representatives of Pitney-Bowes, Inc. stated that 'it would set up [65 Misc.2d 1083] the machine, make the plates for same and arrange the plates by buildings for us and insert flip tabs and other identification strips, instruct our office staff how to operate the machine and also service the machine for five years.'

The items of equipment which the defendant claims it agreed to acquire were the 736 addressor-printer, 1 lister, 1--7835 12 tray nodular cabinet, 1--7961 embossing machine and '1 set of embossed plates bearing the names and addresses of defendant's tenant-cooperators.'

The claimed source of the problem in this case is the last item, namely the embossed plates bearing the names and addresses of tenants, which the defendant alleges were not delivered to it as promised by Pitney-Bowes, Inc. with the claimed consequence that it has never been able to use the addresser printer.

While the defendant's negotiations were conducted with the representatives of Pitney-Bowes, Inc., when the agreement with respect to the equipment was presented to the defendant by Pitney-Bowes, the latter was not named a party to the agreement. Instead, the named contracting party in addition to the defendant was the plaintiff, a California corporation engaged in the business of leasing property with which the defendant had no prior contact. Pitney-Bowes, Inc., while not a party to the agreement was referred to in the agreement as the 'Supplier of Equipment.'

The agreement, as noted, is termed a lease, describes the plaintiff as lessor and the defendant as lessee and provides for sixty monthly payments of 'rent' for an 'initial term of lease' of sixty months. The 'terms and conditions of lease' include a disclaimer by the plaintiff of any warranty, express or implied, a disclaimer of any responsibility for improper installation or operation and provides that any claim by the lessee must be asserted against the supplier. It also requires that despite any claims against the Supplier, the lessee must 'nevertheless pay Lessor

Page 533

all rents payable under the lease.' The lessor also 'agrees to assign to lessee * * * all of the rights which Lessor has against Supplier for breach of warranty or other representations respecting equipment.'

Based on this agreement the plaintiff claims it is entitled to summary judgment for the 58 unpaid installments of 'rent' and, in addition under a 'default' provision in the agreement, the sum of $500 for attorney's fees incurred in connection with the enforcement of its rights under the lease.

The answer pleads a general denial, and several affirmative defenses including lack of mutuality of obligation and consideration,[65 Misc.2d 1084] breach of warranty, unconscionability and failure of consideration and a counterclaim to recover payments made by the defendant to the plaintiff amounting to $158.

In substance the plaintiff's position is that it has a right to recover the unpaid balance of the installments regardless of the defendant's claims which, the plaintiff argues, should be asserted against Pitney-Bowes.

In determining the question of whether there is merit in the defenses interposed by the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 cases
  • Vicksburg Partners, L.P. v. Stephens, No. 2004-CA-01345-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 22, 2005
    ...of Indiana v. Holyfield, 476 F.Supp. 104, 110 (S.D.Miss.1979) (citing United States Leasing Corp. v. Franklin Plaza Apartments, Inc., 65 Misc.2d 1082, 319 N.Y.S.2d 531 ¶ 36. In Buraczynski, the Tennessee Supreme Court recognized substantive unconscionability in the context of a contract of ......
  • Frankel v. Citicorp Ins. Serv., Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 30, 2010
    ...unconscionable" ( Durham v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., 315 N.W.2d 696, 700 [S.D.], citing United States Leasing Corp. v. Franklin Plaza Apts., 65 Misc.2d 1082, 319 N.Y.S.2d 531; see Mobile Elec. Serv. v. FirsTel, Inc., 649 N.W.2d at 606). This sentiment is rooted in the Constitution of South Dakota ......
  • Barco Auto Leasing Corp. v. PSI Cosmetics, Inc.
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • June 13, 1984
    ...rev'd on other grounds, 64 Misc.2d 910, 316 N.Y.S.2d 585 (App.T. 1st Dept.1970); United States Leasing Corp. v. Franklin Plaza Apts., 65 Misc.2d 1082, 319 N.Y.S.2d 531 Judicial approaches to the applicability of Article 2 to leases has been "placed along a spectrum measuring willingness to ......
  • Funding Systems Leasing Corp. v. King Louie Intern., Inc., KCD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 11, 1979
    ...equipment has proved to be useless. King Louie derives this argument from United States Leasing Corp. v. Franklin Plaza Apts., Inc., 65 Misc.2d 1082, 319 N.Y.S.2d 531 (1971). 12 That opinion was by a civil court of the City of New York, a court of inferior and limited jurisdiction, and the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT