Reste Realty Corp. v. Cooper
New Jersey Supreme Court
251 A.2d 268 (1969)
In 1958, Joy Cooper (defendant) leased a basement floor commercial space. She used the space for meetings and sales trainings. However, whenever it rained, water would leak into her leased space, often rendering the space unusable. Cooper would complain to Arthur Donigian, officer and managing agent of the lessor, who would then take steps to remove the water. Donigian was independently aware of the flooding issue as the files he kept in a furnace room on the basement level were kept on two-by-fours off the ground. When Cooper renegotiated a substitute lease for a larger space (still on the basement level), Donigian promised that the driveway above the office space would be resurfaced to fix the problem. Although the driveway was in fact resurfaced, the problem got worse. Cooper continued to complain to Donigian, who would take action to clean up the water. After Donigian died in March 1961, two years into the new five-year lease, no one would listen to Cooper’s complaints every time it rained. As a result, Cooper had to move some of her meetings elsewhere (incurring additional rent), reschedule meetings, or cancel them completely. On December 20, 1961, a meeting of sales representatives from four states was interrupted by five inches of rain on the floor. Thereafter Cooper saw an attorney, and by December 30, she submitted her notice to the lessor and abandoned the premises. In January 1962, Reste Realty Corp. (Reste) (plaintiff) acquired the building and an assignment of the lease interest. In November 1964, Reste sued Cooper for the unpaid rent between December 1961 (when Cooper vacated the premises) to March 1964 (the expiration of the lease period). The trial court found that Cooper had been constructively evicted and granted judgment in her favor. The Appellate Division reversed, holding that (1) there was no evidence showing that the landlord had done anything constituting a constructive eviction, and (2) even if it had, Cooper waived that defense by failing to vacate within a reasonable period of time. Cooper appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court .
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Francis, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.