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Breach of contract claims filed by New Jersey restaurant tenant

Many people dream of getting into the restaurant business. Unfortunately, sometimes the dream does not live up to the reality. A man has filed suit against the town council of Surfside Beach, New Jersey, on breach of contract claims after the council attempted to pull out of a lease he had with them.

Earlier this year, the man applied to the council to take over an empty restaurant building on the pier owned by the city. According to the suit, he and his business partners drafted a provisional letter of intent, laying out the basic lease terms and presented it to the council.

In March, the council voted to accept the terms as laid out in the letter and authorized the town administrator to present the proposed lease to the council for its approval. The town council voted to accept the lease in April, and agreed to execute that lease contingent upon the results of a background and credit check.

Soon after the April vote, it was reported that the prospective lessee had filed for bankruptcy in a New Jersey court last year. The discovery prompted the town council to revisit their agreement.

According to court records, the man has filed suit against the town for breach of contract and is seeking to have his lease validated and enforced by a court order. The suit alleges that town officials "wrongfully" pulled out of the deal, and urges the court to consider the lease signed in April as a legally binding document.

Additionally, he is asking for damages, to be determined by the court, so he can attempt recoup losses suffered as a result of the rescinding of the lease. The man is also seeking an injunction to prevent the property from being transferred to new ownership while the dispute is ongoing.

Owning your own business can be very rewarding, but it is not without its difficulties. When a contract or legal agreement exists between two parties, they are obligated under the parameters of the law to adhere to it. If one side fails to do so, the other party may be justified in filing a breach of contract claim. Professional legal advice may benefit people who are facing a potential contractual dispute.

Source: WMBF News, "Once-potential tenant sues Surfside Beach over pier space," 05 July 2011

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