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D & T Pure Trust v. DWB, LLC

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

February 20, 2019

D & T PURE TRUST; Mayflower R.V., Inc.; and Toni Len Boydston, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Lendell Douglas Boydston, Appellants
v.
DWB, LLC, Formerly d/b/a Mayflower RV Sales and Service; and Danny Brown, Individually, Appellees

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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          APPEAL FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17CV-14-186], HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE

         James, House, Downing & Lueken, P.A., Little Rock, by: Patrick R. James and Charley E. Swann, for appellants.

         Walker Law Firm, PLLC, by: Kent Walker and Tess Stewart, for appellees.

         OPINION

         LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge

          This is 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.

          I. Background and Procedural History

          This 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.

          Notably, the asset-purchase agreement included a venue provision that required that all disputes under the agreement be

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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.

          The 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 Spring County.

          On May 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 ...


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