D&T PURE TRUST; MAYFLOWER R.V., INC.; and TONI LEN BOYDSTON, as Personal Representative of the Estate of LENDELL DOUGLAS BOYDSTON APPELLANTS
DWB, LLC, Formerly d/b/a MAYFLOWER RV SALES AND SERVICE; and DANNY BROWN, Individually APPELLEES
FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17CV-14-186]
HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE
House, Downing & Lueken, P.A., by: Patrick R. James and
Charley E. Swann, for appellants.
Law Firm, PLLC, by: Kent Walker and Tess Stewart, for
D. VAUGHT, JUDGE
an appeal from the dismissal of an unlawful-detainer action.
D&T Pure Trust; Mayflower R.V., Inc.; Toni Len Boydston,
as personal representative of the estate of Lendell Doug
Boydston; and Toni Len Boydston, individually (collectively
referred to as Boydston), sued DWB, LLC, d/b/a Mayflower RV
Sales and Service; and Danny Brown (collectively referred to
as Brown) in the Crawford County Circuit Court for unlawful
detainer. Boydston sought possession of certain property that
it had leased to Brown as well as treble damages stemming
from Brown's alleged breach of their commercial lease.
The Crawford County Circuit Court dismissed Boydston's
unlawful-detainer complaint based on "the doctrine of
claim preclusion and the concepts of res judicata and
judicial economy." We reverse and remand.
Background and Procedural History
dispute stems from Brown's March 2013 purchase of
Mayflower RV-a business with locations in Faulkner County,
Crawford County, and Hot Spring County- from Boydston. Brown
purchased Mayflower RV and also leased the land on which the
business was located. These transactions were memorialized in
an asset-purchase agreement and a lease agreement.
the asset-purchase agreement included a venue provision that
required that all disputes under the agreement be resolved in
Pulaski County. The lease included no such venue provision.
Also significant to this appeal is that the lease required
Brown to pay Boydston $14, 583.33 monthly in rent for the
three Mayflower RV locations, but it did not specify the
amount of rent attributable to each individual property.
relationship between Brown and Boydston soured, and Boydston
accused Brown of breaching the lease and the asset-purchase
agreement. The dispute heightened when the Faulkner County
location was destroyed by a tornado in April 2014. At this
juncture, Brown and Boydston disagreed on the amount of pro
rata rent that Brown was obligated to pay for Mayflower
RV's two operational locations in Crawford County and Hot
13, 2014, Boydston sent a formal notice of default and
opportunity to cure to Brown. In the letter, Boydston alleged
numerous breaches of their agreements, including that Brown
owed and failed to pay rent in the amount of two-thirds of
the amount enumerated in the lease agreement. On May 16,
2014, Brown responded to Boydston's letter and challenged
Boydston's understanding of the proper amount of pro rata
rent owed. Boydston replied, outlining Brown's continuing
6, 2014, Boydston sent Brown a letter terminating the lease,
a notice of uncured default, and a notice to vacate the
Crawford County location. Brown was served with the notice to
vacate on June 13, 2014, but did not vacate the property.
Boydston informed Brown of additional defaults in letters
dated July 15, and September 19, 2014. Brown continued to
hold over on the property.
12, 2014, Brown sued Boydston in the Pulaski County Circuit
Court seeking a declaratory judgment regarding a multitude of
disputes between the parties. Boydston counterclaimed,
seeking damages for the breaches of the agreements, which
included damages for unpaid rent.
thereafter, on June 23, 2014, Boydston filed this
unlawful-detainer action in the Crawford County Circuit Court
pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated sections 18-60-301 et
seq. (Repl. 2015). In his complaint, Boydston alleged that
Brown breached the lease, the lease had been terminated based
on Brown's breach, and Brown refused to vacate the
premises. Brown answered, and Boydston later filed an amended
and substituted complaint. Subsequently, Brown answered the
amended and substituted complaint and also filed a motion to
dismiss pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(8), arguing that venue was proper in Pulaski County.
Boydston filed a motion with the Crawford County Circuit
Court to stay the proceedings; however, the circuit court
never ruled on the motion. The parties also filed several
motions for continuance. The practical result of these
motions was that there was no action ...