High court rules CCC Inc. must comply with original terms of lease-purchase agreement

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 8, 2019

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that a company must comply with the sale of its property that it originally entered into.

"Upon consideration of the standard of review, the briefs, and the record presented, the Court finds no substantial question of law and no prejudicial error," the memorandum decision obtained by The West Virginia Record states.

CCC Inc. and J Class Collision LLC entered into a lease agreement in June 2013 wherein CCC leased property to J Class Collision with the option to purchase, according to the decision.

During the course of the lease agreement, J Class expressed the intent to exercise the purchase option on numerous occasions and in 2015, CCC agreed to sell the property. J Class then was approved for financing to complete the purchase.

However, CCC then allegedly backed out of the sale, citing negative tax ramifications. J Class filed a complaint to compel CCC to sell the property in December 2015.

A bench trial occurred and on July 11, 2016, an order for CCC to consummate the sale was issued. On Dec. 1, 2016, the Circuit Court further ordered that J Class would have to pay rent from during the lease agreement. J Class then paid the full sum for unpaid rent.

J Class filed a motion to enforce the order on Jan. 17, 2017, when CCC had yet to consummate the sale. On March 3, 2017, the Circuit Court judge ruled that CCC failed to comply with the 2016 order and granted the motion to enforce and awarded $4,783 to respondent in attorney’s fees and costs.

Five days later, CCC filed a motion to amend the Circuit Court’s findings or make additional findings of fact, or, alternatively, for a new trial or evidentiary hearing on the issue of the form of the deed, which was denied.

Stephen L. Thompson, the escrow agent, filed a petition for interpleader on April 21, 2017, seeking a ruling on the distribution of funds held and on June 15, 2017, the Circuit Court held a hearing upon the petition. 

"Because of the delay in closing, petitioner argued that it was entitled to lease payments for the additional time that respondent still had the benefit of the property," the decision states. "Respondent, however, 'argued that [petitioner] should not benefit from its wrongful action and refusal to comply' with the Circuit Court’s prior orders."

Ultimately, the Circuit Court ruled that the petitioner “shall not be entitled to any of the funds held by this Court for unpaid rents” and that the payments would be paid to Real Corp LLC in the care of Thompson.

CCC then appealed.

"On appeal, petitioner argues that in denying its request for rent payments for the period of January of 2017 through April of 2017, the Circuit Court 'levied additional sanctions against [petitioner]' for the same issues that it previously awarded sanctions in its March 3, 2017, order," the decision states. "We note, however, that petitioner’s argument in support of this assignment of error fails to comply with this Court’s rules."

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Case No. is 17-0660.

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