Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Judge Gleeson grants summary judgment in case alleging rental fraud

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Jul 28, 2015

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson granted default judgment on July 24 in a woman’s lawsuit against a property owner who allegedly inflated rental fees and then refused to perform the required work to make the property inhabitable.

Catherine A. Duree filed her lawsuit on June 8 against Dennis H. Alberts, alleging the defendant owns real property at 225 Country Meadow Lane in Belleville.

Duree claims the defendant agreed to rent the land and residence to the plaintiff’s daughter, Nicole Duree, and required two months’ advance rent plus a one-month deposit.

The complaint states that the plaintiff paid Alberts $2,550 on June 3. The next day, the defendant allegedly told the plaintiff that he had changed his mind; and on June 5, informed her that he would rent it to Nicole Duree after all, but at a higher rate than agreed and with additional deposit funds.

After a property inspection allegedly revealed that the property needed roughly $10,000 worth of repair work before it could be inhabited, the defendant allegedly refused to make repairs and refused to refund the Duree’s money.

The plaintiff alleges false representation, fraudulent concealment and intent to defraud.

Duree filed a motion for default judgment on July 24. She argues that Alberts was served with summons on June 10 but has failed to answer the complaint or enter his appearance in the case.

Alberts appeared at attorney David M. Duree’s office on June 20 and paid $2,500 to the plaintiff’s attorney, but Duree claims that doesn’t cover the full amount. The defendant was told that the plaintiff would pursue default judgment, but he still failed to enter his appearance or answer the complaint.

Gleeson scheduled a hearing to address the default judgment on Sept. 8 at 9 a.m.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-336

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