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Weiman v. Butterman

Illinois Appellate Court
260 N.E.2d 321 (1970)


Facts

In December 1962, E. Weiman (plaintiff) entered an agreement with A. Goldsmith to provide coin-operated laundry facilities at Goldsmith’s residential apartment building. The written agreement was titled “Lease” and referred to the parties as “Lessor” and “Lessee.” The agreement rented the apartment’s laundry room to Weiman for a five-year period with an option to renew for an additional five years. Goldsmith agreed to provide any utilities needed to operate the laundry facilities. In turn, Goldsmith would receive 25 percent of Weiman’s gross receipts, which Weiman would pay every six months. The lease also provided exclusivity. Goldsmith would not allow the installation or operation of any other coin-operated laundry facilities at the apartment building during the lease term. Weiman installed and operated two washers and one dryer in the apartment building’s laundry room. A sign with Weiman’s name and telephone number was posted in the laundry room. In 1966, Butterman (defendant) purchased the apartment building from Goldsmith. The sale contract did not list Weiman as a tenant. Before the sale, Butterman did not speak to Weiman or see the agreement between Weiman and Goldsmith. Butterman did inspect the building, including the laundry room, prior to purchase, but Butterman did not ask about the laundry facilities. After the building was sold, Butterman replaced Weiman’s machines with a competitors’ machines. Weiman sued. Weiman alleged that the agreement between Weiman and Goldsmith was a lease, and Butterman had no right to replace the laundry facilities. Butterman argued that the agreement was a mere license that was not binding on subsequent purchasers. The trial court found for Weiman. Butterman appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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