Ron Gault and Amanda Kisor obtained Judgment as a Matter of Law for their client, Kara Company LLC, in a landlord/tenant dispute. The plaintiff, Monica Agee, was a tenant in a house owned by the Defendant, Kara Company, LLC. Originally, the plaintiff’s Complaint included claims of violation of the Alabama Uniform Landlord Tenant Act, invasion of privacy, trespass, conversion, negligence, harassment, trespassed property, oppression, wantonness, outrage and criminal trespass against Kara Company, LLC, and its members, Randy Williams and Diana Williams. A motion for summary judgment was filed, and the claims against the individual Defendants were dismissed, and all claims except for the negligence claim against Kara Company was also dismissed.
The negligence claim arose out of an incident that occurred on April 28, 2014. Kara Company gave notice to the plaintiff in September of 2013 that the rental house she lived in would be listed for sale. The plaintiff claimed that, on April 28, 2014, Diana Williams allowed a realtor to bring a prospective buyer into the home without giving her proper notice. The plaintiff’s claim was that all of her personal belongings and client files, since she is also a practicing attorney, were in plain view and could have been seen by anyone who came into the house.
The testimony at trial was that no one knew for sure whether anyone actually went into the house on April 28, 2014. Diana Williams did receive a call from her realtor saying that a buyer’s realtor wanted to show that house that day, however, there were tornados in the area that day, so Diana was not sure if any prospective buyers actually went to the house. The plaintiff, who was not at home at the time of the alleged viewing, had no firsthand knowledge of anyone entering the home. She and her two children testified during trial that they believed someone entered the home because, when they returned home, items were moved, lights were on, and doors that had been closed when they left were opened. The plaintiff admitted that none of her property was missing, damaged, or disturbed, but sought damages equal to the value of the home itself and all of the contents inside the home.
At the close of the evidence, the Defendant moved for judgment as a matter of law due to the plaintiff’s failure to prove any compensable damages. That motion was granted.