Sunday, December 1, 2013

Levine v. Blumenthal case brief

Levine v. Blumenthal case brief summary
186 A. 457 (N.J. 1936)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendants appealed a decision from the First District Court of the City of Paterson (New Jersey) that held that defendants were liable for the balance of rent on a lease for which plaintiff had been accepting a lesser amount because business was bad for defendants.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff and defendants entered into a two-year lease with an option for renewal and a rent increase in the second year. Before the expiration of the first year, defendants advised plaintiff that they could not pay any increase in rent because business was bad. Defendants alleged plaintiff agreed to allow them to remain under the same rental until business improved. Defendants continued to pay the old rent, which plaintiff accepted. Defendants did not exercise the renewal option and left the premises without paying the last month's rent. Plaintiff brought a successful action to recover the unpaid balance of the rent for the second year.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court held that plaintiff's agreement to accept lower payments created no legal obligation where it was not supported by valid consideration. 
  • There was no accord and satisfaction where there was no consideration. 
  • Judgment for the plaintiff was affirmed.

CONCLUSION
Judgment for plaintiff on the contract claim was affirmed where there was no consideration for plaintiff's agreement to accept a lesser sum for rent payments.

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