Elements Outline 2 - Case(year(court(winner Edwards v...

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Case (year) (court) (winner) Who/ Whom/ What/ What Basis Plaintiff Defendant Outcome Below/ Error Complained of/ Outcome Here Facts Holding Reasoning “D-term” Reasoning “E-term” Notes Edwards v. Habib (I) 1967 D.C. Ct. App. Landlord Action by L against T for possession on the grounds that the T was given a 30 days NTQ . BELOW : At trial before a jury, the court ruled that evidence of a retaliatory eviction was inadmissible and directed verdict for L. ERROR : Trial court erred in issuing a directed verdict for L and judge incorrectly ruled that the terms of her lease were settled on the basis of res judicata . HERE : Affirmed and determined that court properly ruled and settled the proceedings on the basis of res judicata. REVERSED BY JUDGE SKELLY WRIGHT T rented an apartment from the L under a month-to- month lease . After taking possession, T made a number of complaints to the D.C. Housing Division , who had the premises inspected, discovered HCV , and directed L to make numerous repairs. The L later gave the T 30 days NTQ . HOLDING : If L issues a NTQ to T of a month-to-month lease and files to recover possession, and if T alleges that the L’s notice to quit and action for possession were in retaliation for the T’s reporting of HCV, then L’s reason for seeking possession is immaterial and inadmissible, the court should find for L. The D.C. Code of 1961 provides that a month-to-month T can be terminated by L by a 30 days’ NTQ. It does not require that either the L give any reason for terminating the T. In addition, this court has held that NTQ need assign no reason and that evidence as to the reason for seeking possession is inadmissible (with exceptions under which case did not fall). E s : rights of L v. T (Congress in better position to restrict/enlarge) E s : Would L’s rights be restricted indefinitely? (If court denies L possession, and L later decides to issue NTQ, T could claim it was still a retaliatory eviction.) Burden would be placed on L to show a valid reason for seeking possession, which gives the L little incentive to rent out his property, because once, he does, he may never be able to recover possession. Issues left open… Does this rule apply to fixed term leases? What constitutes a retaliatory eviction? T wanted to maintain possession asserting a retaliatory eviction defense . Brown v. Southall Realty Co. 1968 D.C. Ct. App Tenant Action by L against T for possession for NPR (as required by lease agreement). BELOW : At a bench trial, judge awarded possession to L upholding the validity of lease. ERROR : court erred in failing to declare the lease void as an illegal K. (Appeal was allowed due to the threat that res judicata would have on subsequent cases.) HERE : Reversed (declaring lease void and denying L action for possession).
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