Saturday, January 4, 2014

A.D. Juilliard & Co. v. American Woolen Co. case brief

A.D. Juilliard & Co. v. American Woolen Co. case brief summary
32 A.2d 800 (1943)

Plaintiff successor to the lessor of property sought review of a decision of the trial court (Rhode Island), which found in favor of defendant sublessee in the successor's action to recover rent and taxes due on the property.

Defendant was one of numerous sublessees of the property. In 1934, it received the assignment of the lease from a previous sublessee, and in 1939, it assigned the lease to a successor sublessee. The lessor's successor in interest brought an action against the sublessee to recover installments of rent and taxes in the total amount of $ 2935.83, allegedly due under a lease for the period between September 1940 and March 1941. The trial court ruled in favor of the sublessee.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • The court held that: 
  • (1) the sublessee never agreed to assume the obligation to pay rent for the unexpired term of the lease; 
  • (2) if a lessor chose to execute a lease without adequately protecting its rights, it could not thereafter complain if, by force of law, it was deprived of a benefit that it might otherwise have secured for itself; 
  • (3) the sublessee did not "indirectly" agree to pay rent by its course of dealing with the lessor; and 
  • (4) the sublessee's assignment of the lease to the successor sublessee was in good faith, and the sublessee did not retain any control over the leased premises after the assignment.

The court affirmed the decision of the trial court, which held that the sublessee was not liable for rent that accrued after it had assigned the lease to a new party.

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