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Funk v. Funk

Idaho Supreme Court
633 P.2d 586 (1981)


Facts

Ewald and Pearl Funk (lessors) (plaintiffs) leased farmland to Melvin and Diane Funk (lessees) (defendants). The lease was for a 10-year period, beginning in 1970. Lease payments were due twice a year, on March 1 and December 1, and the lease required the consent of the lessor before subleasing the property. In 1978, the lessees sought to sublease the property for that year. The lessees sent a letter to the lessors and agreed to pay both lease payments on March 1. The lessees also promised to supervise the subtenant’s operations to ensure that the land was farmed in a good and husbandry-like manner and that proper weed control was practiced. The lessors refused permission and stated that they would not allow a sublease of any type. The lessors believed that the lease payments required under the lease were below fair market value. Later, the lessors notified the lessees that they would allow a sublease if the lessees paid the real estate taxes on the property, paid the lessors half of the sublease payments, and agreed to terminate the lease one year early. The lessees responded that they would not sublease the property for that year. However, the lessors discovered that the lessees did actually sublease the property. The lessors sent a notice of termination of the lease to the lessees, but the lessees refused to vacate the property. The lessors then sued the lessees, seeking a declaratory judgment that the lease had been terminated. The lessees moved for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. The lessors appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Shepard, J.)

Dissent (Bakes, C.J.)

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