We won in the Appellate Court!
The landlord had no right to evict and destroy the Perk Hill Coffeehouse!
Below are some of the highlighted statements from the court.
For a full document of Court of Appeals Decision, CLICK HERE to download PDF.
Click here to see the Colorado Legal Services' Amicus Curiae brief.
Click here to see Perk Hill's Appeals Court brief.
AUDIO RECORDING AVAILABLE NOW:::::
The audio recording (from April 10th) is available online, if anyone wants to listen. My brilliant lawyer, Dan Culhane, talks for the first 20 minutes, and opposing counsel speaks over the next 20 minutes. Dan closes out with a great conclusion....enjoy! To listen to an audio stream from the court, click here for the MPEG file (30MB download).
"Thank you to all of the Perk Hill regulars who made our neighborhood coffeehouse a center of the community.
It was a pleasure serving the Park Hill neighborhood for 7 years, and I miss seeing my friends and neighbors gathering together at "The Perk".
I fought hard to keep this neighborhood treasure alive, and I sincerely thank you for your support during these trying times."
22nd and Fairfax
A LITTLE BACK STORY...
In 2004, I signed a lease that allowed me to operate a coffeehouse at 2202 Kearney Street. The lease was for 5 years, and provided me with 2 five-year options to extend the lease at a clearly defined rent. When I exercised the first option in late 2008, my landlord (Pappas Alstad Partnership; Operating Partner Eric Alstad) told me I could not exercise my option because I owed him several thousand dollars. He had allegedly paid an attorney to go to public meetings in 2007 regarding a citizen’s campaign to create a pocket-park on public land on Kearney street. I responded that the lease does not allow him to pass such costs on to me. He stated that since I did not pay the money, I had "permanently defaulted" on my lease, and that I was now a month-to-month tenant....and my tenancy could be ended with ten days notice on the 20th of any month. He also raised my rent above the clearly defined level per the lease.
I overpaid the incorrect rent "under protest" for several months while simultaneously reaching out to him to come to an agreement regarding the lease and my tenant’s rights. He was unyielding. I knew that if I continued overpaying rent, and allowing Eric to assert that I had no lease, that over time I would have "waived" my tenant rights. With my back against the wall, I filed a "Declaratory Judgment" lawsuit in December of 2009. In short, I proactively sued my landlord to protect my lease. In a declaratory judgment action, I am in effect saying to the judge: "I think the law and the lease provide me certain tenant rights, and my landlord thinks the law and the lease state the opposite....who is right?"
After 16 months of grueling and incredibly expensive and draining litigation, District Court Judge Brian Whitney ruled with my landlord, and stated that the landlord could continue with what we argued was an unlawful eviction. We filed an "emergency stay of execution" that would allow Perk Hill Coffeehouse to continue operating and (over)paying rent while the case was being considered by the appellate court. Judge Whitney denied our request. We asked both the Appellate Court and the Colorado Supreme Court for emergency stays, and we were denied. We were evicted on May 18th, 2011.
After another year of legal work, we were victorious in the Appellate Court on 4/26/12. The court stated that Perk Hill’s “lease was still in full force and effect” at the time of the eviction, and the landlord had no right to evict Perk Hill Coffeehouse. The case is going back to the District Court where the Judge will “determine the appropriate remedy for this situation”.
"Perk Hill Coffee House, an opportunity rich environment that's been instrumental in bringing my business back to Denver. Much of my client relationships have been born here.
You've been missed! "