Theresa Phelps recently obtained a favorable judgment for longtime client Ace Storage in a lawsuit filed in Madison County, Illinois. The suit was filed against Ace by a disgruntled former tenant after the tenant’s account became delinquent and Ace conducted an auction of the tenant’s storage unit to enforce its storage lien under the rental agreement and the Illinois Self-Storage Facilities Act. Ace attempted to work with the tenant and allowed the tenant extra time to bring his account current. However, after months of additional time, it became clear that the tenant was not going to bring his account current, and Ace initiated auction proceedings. The tenant’s storage unit was sold at auction to the highest bidder.
After the auction, the tenant claimed that Ace failed to follow the terms of the contract and the statutory procedure for enforcing the storage lien and asserted claims against Ace for breach of contract, conversion, and violations of the Illinois Self-Storage Facilities Act, the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages. Newly-appointed Circuit Judge David Dugan, in one of his first decisions from the bench, granted dismissal and summary judgment against the tenant in Ace’s favor on all counts of the tenant’s complaint, finding a total lack of evidence on the plaintiff’s part. Judge Dugan also granted summary judgment in Ace’s favor on Ace’s counterclaim against the tenant for the outstanding balance due on the tenant’s account, giving Ace a complete victory in the lawsuit.