Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Simpler v. Rodriguez

Court of Common Pleas of Delaware, Kent

April 5, 2018

KENNETH SIMPLER, Plaintiff-Below, Appellant
v.
CRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ AND ANGEL RODRIGUEZ, Defendants-Below, Appellees.

          Submitted: February 26, 2018

          Mr. Kenneth Simpler Ms. Crystal Rodriguez Mr. Angel Rodriguez

          DECISION AFTER TRIAL

          CHARLES W. WELCH JUDGE

         The plaintiff-below, appellant, Kenneth Simpler ("Simpler"), has filed this civil appeal for a trial de novo with this Court of a final decision of the Justice of the Peace Court pursuant to 10 Del. C. § 9571 and Court of Common Pleas Civil Rule 72.3. Simpler is seeking recovery on a debt he alleges is owed to him by the defendants-below, appellees, Crystal Rodriguez ("Crystal") and Angel Rodriguez ("Angel") for the storage of personal property. Simpler is seeking the sum of $1, 100.00, plus interest and court costs. Crystal and Angel contend that they do not owe anything to Simpler for the storage of their property.

         Following the trial for this matter, and after careful consideration by the Court of all the evidence introduced at trial and the parties' arguments, the Court enters judgment for the defendants-below, appellees, Crystal and Angel.

         FACTS [1]

         Simpler owns a farm in Maryland. Angel and Crystal are husband and wife. They are related to Simpler. Crystal is Simpler's niece, as her father is Simpler's brother.

         Crystal and Angel lived in the vicinity of Simpler, in Maryland. They decided to sell their home in Maryland and move to a new residence in Delaware.

         Crystal's father approached Simpler and asked whether Crystal and Angel could store some personal items on his farm while they were moving. Simpler gave Crystal's father permission to store Crystal and Angel's items in one of the sheds on his farm. Crystal and Angel brought the items to the shed which included, but were not limited to, lawn tractors, hand tools, lawn ornaments, Christmas decorations and shelving. In total, Crystal and Angel used about 500 square feet of the shed to store their items. There was no agreement about whether any payment for the storage of the items was expected at the time. Crystal and Angel believed that Simpler was permitting them to store the items in the shed as a favor. They had inquired from Simpler how much he wanted to charge them for storing their items. Simpler just responded "don't worry about it."[2]

         Crystal and Angel's items were stored in the shed for about six months, from April 2015 until October 2015. During that period, Simpler contacted some local storage companies and determined that a storage cost of $4.97 a day would be reasonable. He hand-delivered a bill to Crystal and Angel in the amount of $905.00 based on the calculation of $5.00 per day for 181 days. Crystal and Angel have refused to pay the bill that was delivered to them by Simpler.

         DISCUSSION

         In order for Simpler to recover the debt he alleges is due to him from Crystal and Angel for the storage of their personal property, he must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, (1) that Crystal and Angel were legally obligated to pay him a debt, (2) that Crystal and Angel have failed to pay the debt and (3) the amount due. See 26 C.J.S. Debt, Action o/§ 14 (2002). Simpler has not met his burden of proof.[3]

         The Court finds that there was no agreement in place between Simpler and Crystal and/or Angel for the payment of storage costs when Simpler agreed to permit them to store items in a shed on his farm. There is no evidence that at any time before the items were stored or the items were moved that there was a discussion of payment between them. Simpler is Crystal's uncle. When she asked him what he would charge them for storing their items, Simpler responded "don't worry about it." Given their relationship and this response, Crystal and Angel had a reasonable belief that Simpler was doing them a favor by ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.