OPINION ISSUED JUNE 8, 2000
RON MACE AND JOAN P. MACE
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Patricia L. Kotchek, Attorney at Law, for claimants.
Joy M. Cavallo, Assistant Attorney General, for respondents.
This claim was submitted to the Court for decision upon a
Stipulation entered into by counsel for claimants and counsel for
respondents, wherein certain facts and circumstances of the claim
were set forth as follows:
1. On October 2, 1995, claimants, as lessors, entered into a
three year lease agreement with respondent Department of
Agriculture, the lessee, to provide office space in the town of
Moorefield, Hardy County at a monthly rate in the amount of $637.50
and a provision to terminate the lease with thirty days written
notice. Respondent Department of Administration was also
identified in the lease agreement. Due to some failure of
communication between the Department of Administration and the
Department of Agriculture, the premises were vacated by the
Department of Agriculture in February 1998, but claimants were not
notified of the intent to terminate the lease agreement until April
2, 1998, thus, breaching the lease agreement. Claimants tried but
were unable to mitigate their damages by renting to another tenant,
effective March 1, 1998.
2. As a result of the breach of the lease agreement,
claimants sustained a loss of $1,912.50 for unpaid rent for the
months of February, March and April of 1998. However, claimants
agreed to relinquish and settle this claim for the amount of
$1,012.50 which will be allocated as follows:
a. against respondent Department of Administration in the
amount of $375.00 representing the loss of rental income for the
months of March and April 1998.
b. against respondent Department of Agriculture in the
amount of $637.50 representing the unpaid rental income for the
month of February 1998.
3. Both Respondents agree that the amount of the damages as
put forth by claimants is fair and reasonable.
The Court has reviewed the facts of this claim as stated in
the Stipulation, and adopts the statement of facts as its own. The
Court finds that respondents breached the lease agreement; that
claimants were damaged by this breach; and that the amount of the
damages agreed to by the parities is fair and reasonable.
Accordingly, the Court is of the opinion to and does make an award in the amount of $1,012.50 to claimants.
Award of $375.00 against the Department of Administration.
Award of $637.50 against the Department of Agriculture.