In a hypothetical country, fifty years ago, the minimum wage was approximately $1.50 per hour. At the same time, a family with two adults and two children could live in….
Can Hobbs make one or more counterclaims? If so, what are they and will they be successful?
For each essay question, state your conclusion, then state the reasons for your conclusion (<link is hidden> the legal issues(s) and the application of the facts of the question to the legal issues(s)).
If you just state a conclusion without giving your reason(s), no credit will be given for that answer.
Answers given must show that you found the legal issues presented by the problem; that you know the legal principles to be applied; and that you are familiar with the appropriate legal terms.
Before starting to write your answer to each essay question, please take a moment to carefully analyze the facts presented and to organize your thoughts. Remember always: brevity is the soul of wit.
Use your own words for this and do NOT use ANY outside sources at all.
1. Luke Hobbs has agreed to rent a house in Yonkers, New York from Deckard Shaw. Shaw doesn’t want to bother with attorneys, so they make an oral agreement that the rent will be $12,000 per year payable as $1000 per month due on the first of each month, with the lease term commencing
on June 1, 2018. On February 9, 2019, there was a break in the sewer line serving the premises, which remained unfixed and resulted in sewage surfacing from the system. Foul odors filled the home and unhealthy fluids seeped into the basement for long periods of time. Hobbs told Shaw
of the leak in an email on February 10, 2019 and followed up on that with several phone calls.
Hobbs, sick of the lack of meaningful response from Shaw, called the building inspector for Yonkers as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Protection. Hobbs finally stopped paying rent as of May 1, 2019. On June 17, 2019 (right after the building inspector paid a visit to Shaw), the sewer line was finally and completely repaired, and the basement was cleaned. Hobbs stated that the home was again perfectly fine to live in. On June 10, 2019, prior to the repair, Shaw gave Hobbs notice to quit the property, effective as of June 30, 2019. After Hobbs stopped paying rent, Shaw placed a pad lock on the garage of the house and slid a note
under the front door of the house calling Hobbs a “deadbeat.” Hobbs missed a day of work as a stunt driver because he was unable to get his McClaren 720S (a type of fancy sports car) out of the garage and was not paid his day rate of $450 as a result. Hobbs finally vacated the premises on October 31, 2019. Deckard Shaw filed a lawsuit against Luke Hobbs for unpaid rent from the period of May 1 through October 31.
a. Can Hobbs make one or more counterclaims? If so, what are they and will they be successful?
b. Will the court award Shaw the unpaid rent? If so, how much? (5 Points)
c. Assuming the repair had been made promptly after Hobbs had informed Shaw, based on the June 10, 2019 notice to vacate, when would the lease have terminated? (5 Points)
2. For the past year, Jack, a unit owner in a condominium building, has been frequently renting out his apartment for short term Airbnb rentals. Three years ago, the board of directors of the condominium adopted a rule stating that “the minimum rental period for any unit must not be less than three (3) months.” The rule further states that unit owners who fail to comply can be fined $100 per day for each day the unit has been rented. After being given numerous written warnings and an opportunity to cure, the condominium association brings a proceeding to evict Jack from his unit.
a. Will the condominium association succeed in evicting Jack? Why or why not? If not, what other steps could they take to get rid of Jack? (10 points)
b. If the declaration for the condominium says that each unit owner can rent their unit as they see fit, is the rule still valid. Why or why not? (5 Points)
c. If this was a coop, would the coop board succeed in evicting Jack? Why or why not? (5 points)
3. Truman G. Witherwax III is the sole owner of his family’s apple orchard in Ulster County, New York, Waxy Apple Farms. The orchard has been in the family for 200 years, and Truman wants to keep it that way. Truman is currently married to his second wife, Dolores, and has three children:
a son from a previous marriage, Truman IV (known as “Quinn”), and two daughters from his current marriage, Mabel and Ethel. Quinn has never been interested in the farm, and Truman thinks Quinn is too busy trying to become famous on TikTok (or whatever those darn kids are up to these days) to take the family business seriously. Thus, Truman wants his daughters to get the orchard to own and operate as equal partners. Truman also wants to make sure that Dolores is protected for the
Page 5 of 5 rest of her life. Therefore, Truman creates a will that says, “Upon my death, I, Truman G. Witherwax III, hereby convey Waxy Apple Farms to Dolores Witherwax for remainder of her life, and then to Mabel Witherwax and Ethel Witherwax, as joint tenants.”
a. Assuming Truman has died, please describe the types of ownership interests, if any, that, Dolores, Quinn, Mabel, and Ethel have in Waxy Apple Farms. (5 Points)
b. Just before Truman’s untimely death from a tractor accident, Quinn learns from a former classmate, who is now a geologist, that there is a very strong probability that there are several million barrels worth of oil located under the orchard. Quinn moved to Los Angeles two years before and is currently desperate for money. Regardless of the merit of his claim, can Quinn sue his stepmother and half-sisters for his share of Waxy Apple Farms in federal court? Why or why not? (5 Points)
c. As a result of Quinn’s lawsuit, Mabel and Ethel learn about the oil. Sadly, Dolores has also passed away from a different tractor accident. Mabel wants to keep operating the family business without the possible environmental impacts from drilling for oil. Ethel wants that oil
money. Ethel sells her interest in Waxy Apple Farms to ExxonMobile for $25,000,000. Is Ethel able to sell her interest? Why or why not? If so, what is the ownership relationship between Mabel and ExxonMobile? (5 Points)
d. Quinn still wants that oil. He buys an one acre piece of land right next door to Waxy Apple Farms. He erects an oil well very close to the boundary with the orchard. He starts to pump 1,000 barrels of oil a day, almost all of which comes from under Waxy Apple Farms. Assuming New York has no correlative rights legislation, would ExxonMobile be able to go to court to get an injunction (<link is hidden> a court order to stop) against Quinn? Why or why not? (5 Points)