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Retailer properly terminated lease, COA rules in reversal

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A retail chain that closed an underperforming store in a Hendricks County shopping center had a contractual right to do so under its lease, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in reversing a judgment in favor of the plaza owner.

In Claire's Boutiques, Inc. v. Brownsburg Station Partners LLC, 32A01-1209-CC-438, the Court of Appeals reversed a ruling in favor of shopping center Brownsburg Station and remanded with an order that the trial court grant summary judgment in favor of Claire’s Boutiques Inc.

At issue is a co-tenancy provision of a contract that allowed Claire’s to terminate the lease if occupancy levels at the shopping center fell below 70 percent. The trial court ruled that Claire’s violated that clause because the total amount of comparable space occupied did not fall below 70 percent.

“We hold as a matter of law that the operating co-tenancy provision in the Lease unambiguously states that Claire’s could terminate the Lease in the event the occupancy level fell below seventy percent of the non-department retail store tenants in Buildings A1 and A3, not seventy percent of the gross leasable area in those buildings, for a period of one year or more,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel.

Najam wrote that Brownsburg Station was inviting the court to rewrite the contract, which it may not do. “As such, we conclude that Claire’s exercised its option under the operating co-tenancy provision to terminate the Lease when it vacated the premises.

“Therefore, the trial court erred as a matter of law when it denied Claire’s motion for summary judgment as to liability under the lease. We vacate the Judgment and remand for the trial court to enter summary judgment in favor of Claire’s.” Panelists Mark Bailey and Michael Barnes concurred.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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