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Pop’s Cones, Inc. v. Resorts International Hotel, Inc.

Superior Court of New Jersey
704 A.2d 1321 (1998)


Facts

Pop’s Cones, Inc. (Pop’s) (plaintiff) operated a TCBY franchise in Margate, New Jersey (the Margate location). In early summer of 1994, Pop’s president, Taube, entered into discussions with Phoenix, a representative of Resorts International Hotel, Inc. (Resorts) (defendant), about relocating the franchise to a space owned by Resorts. In August, Taube drafted a written proposal addressing the lease. In mid-September, Taube asked Phoenix about the status of the lease proposal. Taube informed Phoenix that she had a renewal option at the Margate location and needed to give notice by October 1 about whether Pop’s would be staying. Having gotten no response, in late September Taube again asked about the status of the lease proposal. Phoenix informed here they were “95% there” and only needed to obtain a signature on the deal. Phoenix also told Taube to “pack up the Margate store and plan on moving.” Pop’s notified the landlord of the Margate location that it would not renew the lease. Taube then moved Pop’s equipment into storage, retained an attorney to represent Pop’s in finalizing the lease, and began planning Pop’s relocation by sending in designs for the new store. Through the months of October to December, Resorts’s attorneys entered into lease negotiations with Taube and the attorney for Pop’s. In late January, Resorts sent a letter to the attorney for Pop’s stating that Resorts was withdrawing its offer to lease space to Pop’s. Taube found another location for Pop’s, but was unable to reopen until July. Pop’s filed suit under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. Resorts moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the Resort’s motion. Pop’s appealed to the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kleiner, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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