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Logemann v. Valgora

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 30, 2013

Darrell Logemann, appellee,
v.
Reginald Valgora, appellant.

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County, Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, Judge, on appeal thereto from the County Court for Douglas County, Marcela A. Keim, Judge.

Joseph L. Howard, of Dornan, Lustgarten & Troia, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Howard L. Neuhaus, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee.

Inbody, Chief Judge, and Irwin and Moore, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL

Irwin, Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This appeal involves a dispute between a landlord, Darrell Logemann, and a tenant, Reginald Valgora. Specifically, the dispute concerns whether, pursuant to the terms of a lease agreement, Valgora is personally liable to Logemann for unpaid rent during a time when Valgora was no longer personally occupying the leased premises, but his former company was still in possession of that property. Ultimately, the county court found that Valgora is liable for certain unpaid rents and entered judgment against him. Valgora appealed the judgment to the district court. The district court affirmed the decision of the county court.

Valgora now appeals from the district court's affirmance of the judgment against him. Upon our review, we find that the district court correctly affirmed the county court's order, and as such, we also affirm.

II. BACKGROUND

In January 2000, Logemann and Valgora entered into a written lease agreement for commercial property located in Bennington, Nebraska. Valgora utilized this property to house his business, V.T. & E. Plastics. V.T. & E. Plastics manufactures plastic products. Valgora signed the lease as "Reg Valgora, Pres. V.T.E. Plastics."

Certain provisions of the written lease agreement between Logemann and Valgora are integral to our resolution of this appeal. As such, before we discuss the facts which gave rise to this appeal, we will briefly detail the most pertinent provisions of the January 2000 lease agreement.

The lease provided that Valgora would pay rent to Logemann in the amount of $15, 000 per year, payable in monthly installments, and that the lease was for a term of 2 years. At the expiration of that 2-year period, the lease gave Valgora the option to renew the lease for an additional term of 12 months. The lease specifically provided that "[a]ll of the terms and conditions of the [original] lease shall apply during the renewal term except that the monthly rent" may increase if the real estate taxes on the property increase.

The lease also included a provision about assigning and subletting. That provision provided:

Lessee shall not assign this lease or sublet any portion of the premises without prior written consent of the Lessor, which shall not be unreasonably withheld. Any such assignment or subletting without consent shall be void and, at the option of the Lessor, may terminate this lease.

The lease also indicated the proper manner to provide notice to either party to the lease.

Any notice which either party may or is required to give, shall be given by mailing the same, postage prepaid, to Lessee at the premises, or Lessor at the address shown below, or at such other places as may be designated by the parties from time to time.

Valgora and V.T. & E. Plastics occupied the leased premises beginning in January 2000. When the lease term expired on February 28, 2002, Logemann had a conversation with Valgora about whether Valgora wanted to continue to lease the property. Ultimately, Logemann and Valgora orally agreed to continue the lease on a month-to-month basis. Logemann believed that all of the ...


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