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Property Keyed to Saxer
American Community Stores Corp. v. Newman
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
American Community Stores Corporation (Plaintiff) operated a chain of Hinky Dinky grocery stores in Nebraska on rented premises. The leases had 20-year terms, with the option of extending for five-year periods. Each lease prohibited assignments without the consent of the landlord, but allowed subleases without consent. Each lease provided that if Plaintiff defaulted on the lease, Plaintiff had twenty days after receiving notice from the landlord to cure the default before the landlord could retake possession of the property. Plaintiff announced in 1985 that it would close its stores in Nebraska. Each of the three stores at issue in this case was closed and reopened the next day under different management. Plaintiff had originally arranged to assign its leases to Nash-Finch Company, which would then sublease the stores to individual operators. Plaintiff and Nash-Finch signed assignment agreements. Plaintiff informed the landlords of the three stores at issue here (Defendants) of the assignments, and Defendants refused to consent to the assignments. Within two weeks, Plaintiff destroyed the assignment agreements and signed agreements with Nash-Finch to sublet the stores, with the subleases to end two days before Plaintiff’s leases ended. The agreements allowed Nash-Finch to extend its sublease through Plaintiff’s five-year option periods, and allowed Plaintiff to reenter if the conditions of the subleases were broken. Nash-Finch signed agreements with operators of the stores providing that they could operate the stores until Plaintiff’s leases expired. Also within two weeks, Plaintiff notified Defendants that the properties would be sublet. Plaintiff then sued for a declaratory judgment as to whether it had violated the terms of the leases. The trial court found that Plaintiff had valid subleases with Nash-Finch, because the subleases ended two days before the leases did, leaving Plaintiff a right of reversion. The trial court also held that Plaintiff’s right of reentry if the conditions of the sublease were broken was a right of reversion. Finally, the trial court held that Nash-Finch’s ability to extend its subleases through Plaintiff’s option periods did not make the agreements assignments. Defendants appealed, arguing that Plaintiff had actually assigned its leases to Nash-Finch.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.