Landlord wants Lakin firm out of Wood River office by June 30

Steve Korris May 23, 2007, 10:00am

Landlords of the Lakin Law Firm want the firm out by June 30.

Amoco Remediation Management Services Corporation moved May 16 to dismiss a Lakin lawsuit seeking to extend the lease at 301 Evans Avenue in Wood River.

Amoco attorney Michelle Rousseau of Swansea wrote, "Plaintiff does not have an absolute right to extend the lease."

Amoco and the Lakins signed a 10-year lease effective July 1, 1997.

The lease provided for renewal every five years if Amoco consented in writing.

Last year the Lakins notified Amoco that they would extend the lease for five years. Amoco did not consent.

The Lakins sued on the miscellaneous remedies docket, claiming Amoco violated a covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Associate Judge Richard Tognarelli took the case. In Madison County, claims for miscellaneous remedies go to unelected associate judges.

Rousseau argued in her motion to dismiss that Amoco was certainly entitled to decline to consent to an extension.

She wrote, "…parties may not impose new obligations in an agreement, under the guise of an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing."

She wrote that an implied covenant does not allow a party to read an obligation into a contract that does not exist.

"Parties are entitled to enforce the terms of their negotiated agreements to the letter without being punished for lack of good faith," Rousseau wrote.

"It is well settled law in Illinois that when the terms of a contract are clear, they must be enforced as written and no court can rewrite a contract to provide a better bargain to suit one of the parties…"

She wrote that the lease did not obligate Amoco to consent or respond to the option notice of the Lakin firm in a specified time or at all.

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