Justia Agriculture Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Landlord - Tenant
65282 Two Bunch Palms Building LLC v. Coastal Harvest II, LLC
Plaintiff 65282 Two Bunch Palms Building LLC, (Two Bunch) orally leased an industrial building in Desert Hot Springs to Coastal Harvest II, LLC, (Coastal Harvest) for the indoor cultivation of cannabis. When, after two years of negotiations, the parties were unable to agree to a written lease and a master service agreement, Two Bunch served Coastal Harvest with a 30-day notice to quit. Coastal Harvest refused to vacate the property, so Two Bunch instituted this unlawful detainer action. After a one-day trial, the trial court entered a judgment of possession for Two Bunch and awarded it $180,000.13 in holdover damages. At trial court, Coastal Harvest unsuccessfully argued it operated a licensed cannabis operation on the property and, therefore, it could not be evicted because it was entitled to the presumption under California Civil Code section 1943 of a one-year tenancy for “agricultural . . . purposes” and the presumption of a one-year holdover tenancy for use of “agricultural lands” under Code of Civil Procedure section 1161(2). Assuming without deciding that Coastal Harvest’s cannabis operation constituted agriculture, Two Bunch rebutted the presumption under Civil Code section 1943 with evidence that the parties agreed that, unless they signed a written lease, the term of the oral lease was month-to-month. And, because this unlawful detainer action was not filed for failure to pay rent, Code of Civil Procedure section 1161(2) and its holdover presumption for “agricultural” tenants did not apply. Finding no reversible error in the trial court's judgment, the Court of Appeal affirmed. View "65282 Two Bunch Palms Building LLC v. Coastal Harvest II, LLC" on Justia Law
Shadow Industries, LLP v. Hoffman, et al.
Shadow Industries, LLP, appealed a district court judgment dismissing its eviction action and holding the tenants David and Chris Hoffman had timely exercised their option to extend the term of the parties’ lease agreement. Shadow argued the district court erred in finding the parties’ lease agreement to be ambiguous, finding the option to extend the lease expired on February 1, 2019, and finding the Hoffmans timely exercised their option to extend the lease. The North Dakota Supreme Court found the district court’s interpretation of the lease as having ambiguity as to when the lease terminated was premised upon the court’s observation that “[w]hen ‘crop years’ end and begin is undefined.” To this, the Supreme Court disagreed that the lease was ambiguous and failed to define the end of the lease. The Supreme Court found the lease terminated at the end of the 2018 crop year. "While determining when the end of the 2018 crop year occurred may be a question of fact, the term is not ambiguous simply because it requires a future event or contingency." There was testimony that the crop year ended no later than October 2018; following the harvesting of their crops and still in 2018, the Hoffmans deep ripped the land, tilled to create fall bedding, and applied fertilizer to prepare for the 2019 crop year. "On the basis of these facts, and the absence of any contrary facts in the record, we conclude as a matter of law the 2018 crop year ended and the lease terminated in 2018." Because the facts of this case compelled a finding the 2018 crop year ended in 2018 and the lease terminated at the end of the 2018 crop year, the Court found the exercise of the option in January 2019 was not timely and the lease terminated. It therefore reversed judgment and remanded for further proceedings. View "Shadow Industries, LLP v. Hoffman, et al." on Justia Law