Interesting case on People’s Court yesterday. A renter decided not to move into an apartment after paying the first month’s rent. The landlord said that if he could rent the place out right away he would return the non-renter’s money. He did so and put a check for the entire amount in the mail the same day that the new renter signed the lease. But the story did not have a happy ending, or it would not have ended in court.
The day the landlord mailed the check he received notice that he was being sued for the money, in the amount of the check which he had just mailed. The suit had been filed the very next day after the non-renter had asked for the money back and been told he would get it if the place was re-rented. The landlord promptly went to the bank and stopped payment on the check, and sent a letter to the non-renter saying that he had done so and that they would meet in court.
The judge asked the landlord why he stopped payment on the check.
The landlord, a gentleman in his eighties, answered the judge, “Judge, I returned that money because it was the moral thing to do. But this man turns out to be sue happy. He could have had his money several months ago, but if he wants to wait until a judge orders me to return his money I’m perfectly happy to let him wait until you to order me to return his money.”
The judge, laughing her head off, so ordered, but the plaintiff did not get the usual award of court costs due to the suit being deemed “premature.”