LAWRENCE G. BECKETT V. CITY OF PARIS DRY GOODS CO., Sup. Ct. of CA, 1939. 14 Cal.2d 633, 96 P.2d 122 by JohnMValentine


LAWRENCE G. BECKETT V. CITY OF PARIS DRY GOODS CO., Sup. Ct. of CA, 1939. 14 Cal.2d 633, 96 P.2d 122. History: Beckett—Plaintiff-Appellant; City of Paris—Defendant-Appellant; Plaintiff Beckett recovered damages for unlawful eviction; trial judge refused to allow certain amounts claimed; Beckett wants more damages; Paris wants decision overturned; both parties appealed from the judgment Facts: Beckett is an optometrist who agreed in writing w/City of Paris to conduct a firstclass optical dept in its large store; Beckett agreed to furnish it w/the likes of the store and pay 20% of his total monthly sales as consideration for the right to do business upon the conditions stated; store notified Beckett they were canceling the agreement b/c he did not deposit receipts w/the cashier and they told him to leave on the evening of December 7th; date was postponed for 3 weeks; and then Plaintiff’s instruments/merchandise were removed and he was excluded Issue(s): Is the contract between Beckett and City of Paris a lease or only a license to occupy certain property? It is a lease Holding: Add $147.83 to the judgment amount of $666 for actual losses; Plaintiff Beckett entitled to recover upon his cause of action for eviction Analysis: Language in the agreement points to lessor/lessee relationship; parties use the term “lease”; rights are given and language is used throughout the agreement which indicates it’s a lease—“cannot assign this lease” and “monthly rental” are examples; definite description w/in the premises; no one disagrees that the distinction between lease and license is important b/c a license can be terminated for just cause (like not turning in receipts), but if it is a lease, there needs to be something more substantial

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