Estate of Sharon Lee Morrow by, Bruce Morrow, Personal Representative, Bruce Morrow individually, Alice Riley, Wayne Morrow and Herbert Morrow, Plaintiffs,
Anton Bohn and Mary Hanna, Defendants.
Submitted: April 10, 2014
Upon Consideration of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment GRANTED
David J. Bever, Esquire of Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor, P.A., Dover, Delaware for Plaintiffs.
Anton Bohn, Pro se.
Mary Hanna, Pro se.
ROBERT B. YOUNG J.
The Estate of Sharon Lee Morrow, Personal Representative Bruce Morrow, Alice Riley, Wayne Morrow and Herbert Morrow ("Plaintiffs") move for summary judgment pursuant to Superior Court Rule 56. Plaintiffs have filed a Petition for Ejectment, seeking an order removing Anton Bohn and Mary Hanna ("Defendants") from the subject property, and requiring them to pay for damages related to their illegal occupation of the property. A previous hearing before the Justice of the Peace Court previously determined that Defendants' occupation of the property is, in fact, illegal.
Defendants do not deny any of the relevant factual claims made by Plaintiffs in their Complaint as required by 10 Del. Code § 6701 (b) for a valid defense to the action. Defendants simply request that Plaintiffs grant prior occupant Sharon Lee Morrow's alleged "last wishes" that Defendants be allowed to reside on the property. Even if true, that basis does not provide Defendants with a legal justification to continue residing on the property. Defendants present no other genuine issue of material fact. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
The property at issue ("the Property") is located at 2190 South DuPont Blvd., Smyrna, Delaware, 19977. The Property is owned jointly by Plaintiffs pursuant to the last will and testament of Sherman Morrow, who died on May 14, 1998. Plaintiffs permitted Sharon Lee Morrow to live on the Property until her death on April 21, 2013. According to a letter written by Sharon Lee Morrow, she permitted Mary Hanna to reside with her on the Property. Sharon Lee Morrow did not request or require any rent from Defendant, Hanna.
After Sharon Lee Morrow died, Plaintiffs attempted to take possession of the Property, but found Defendants residing in the home. According to Plaintiffs' Affidavit filed on March 19, 2014, Plaintiffs have requested Defendants to leave the Property on many occasions. Plaintiffs did not enter into any agreement or contract with Defendants permitting them or either of them to continue to reside on the Property.
On December 4, 2013, Plaintiffs attempted to remove Defendants from the Property with assistance from the Delaware State Police. However, the Delaware State Police refused to take action without a specific order authorizing them to remove Defendants from the Property. Plaintiffs' Affidavit further states that Defendants have never paid rent and have never provided any other financial remuneration to Plaintiffs for their continued occupation of Plaintiffs' property. Defendants are not entitled by will or deed or otherwise to any use of the Property.
On October 22, 2013, an action for summary possession was heard before Judge Dillard at the Justice of the Peace Court, where the Court found that Defendants had no standing under the landlord-tenant code. The Court determined that Defendants were not legally tenants, and dismissed the case. On December 19, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint for Ejectment against Defendants pursuant to 10 Del. Code § 6701, seeking to remove Defendants from the Property. On March 7, 2014, Defendants jointly filed an Answer to the ...