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Beckett v. City of Paris Dry Goods Co.

Supreme Court of California
96 P.2d 122 (1939)


Facts

Beckett (plaintiff) and a department store City of Paris Dry Goods Co. (City of Paris) (defendant) agreed that the former would operate an eye-glass shop within City of Paris. The agreement called for Beckett to pay City of Paris twenty percent of his shop’s monthly sales for a term of three years. It also stated that Beckett “cannot assign this lease” without the landlord’s written consent. Two years into the agreement, City of Paris terminated the contract and demanded surrender of the premises by a set date, after which Beckett’s equipment and merchandise were removed and Beckett was excluded. Beckett sued for unlawful eviction. City of Paris argued that its agreement with Beckett made him a licensee; thus City of Paris was free to revoke Beckett’s license at any time and to exclude Beckett from the premises. The trial court ruled that Beckett was a lessee and that he was wrongfully evicted. City of Paris and Beckett respectively appealed the ruling and the calculation of damages.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Edmonds, J.)

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