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Adbar, L.C. v. New Beginnings C-Star

Missouri Court of Appeals
103 S.W.3d 799 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003)


Facts

New Beginnings C-Star (New Beginnings) (defendant) was a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol abuse. New Beginnings received a “preliminary indication” from the City of St. Louis’s zoning administrator that it could use a particular building for its purposes under existing regulations. Accordingly, New Beginnings signed a three-year lease with the building’s owner, Adbar, L.C. (Adbar) (plaintiff). Subsequently, the City denied New Beginnings’s occupancy permit on the basis of its operations being a nuisance. The zoning administrator had received pressure from a city alderman to deny the occupancy permit. New Beginnings appealed, and the board of adjustment affirmed the denial. New Beginnings requested a writ from the circuit court, which was granted. New Beginnings consequently received the occupancy permit. The City then revoked the permit, and New Beginnings filed a motion for contempt, which was granted. The City reissued the permit. Due to more pressure from the alderman, the Director of the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse then threatened to rescind all of New Beginnings’ state funding if it moved into Adbar’s building. As a result, New Beginnings decided not to move into the building. Adbar sued for breach of the lease. The trial court ruled in favor of New Beginnings, finding that its performance was excused under the doctrine of commercial frustration. Adbar appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Norton, J.)

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