SU22Id Module Three Assignment


 Legal Research:  Secondary Authority

 Nancy has lived in her Springfield, Ohio apartment for 6 years, renewing the lease on an annual basis. On August 17th she notified her landlord that she accepted a new job in the State of Maine, and would be moving out at the end of October. This notice was consistent with the terms of the lease which requires a 30 day notice to avoid penalties.  Pursuant to the lease, the landlord was provided with a $900 security deposit to ensure that all terms of the lease were met and to cover any damages resulting from the Nancy’s occupancy. On October 29th, Nancy emptied, cleaned, and vacated the premises, leaving the keys and her new address for the landlord in an envelope on the kitchen counter.

On November 14th and November 25th, Nancy left voicemails for the landlord, inquiring as to when she could expect to receive the return of her security deposit and received no response. On December 2nd, she was finally able to speak with the landlord directly and was informed that she would only be receiving a partial refund due to “the damage made to the apartment.” When Nancy asked about the damages, the landlord told her that there were “a bunch of big holes in the walls” and that “the bathtub was all messed up.” On December 7th, Nancy received a check from the landlord in the amount of $195.

Nancy believes that she should be entitled to a full refund of her security deposit, since she gave more than the required amount of notice that she was vacating the premises.  Video recorded on the day she moved out shows only a cracked label on the hot water tap in the tub which occurred prior to her tenancy, and holes in the walls no larger than what would be required to hang a medium-sized picture, or similar décor. 

Exercise 1

Directions:  Enter the following citation into your search bar on Westlaw to retrieve and review the following article:  

50 Causes of Action 2d 333 

Using this source only, please answer the following questions.

1.    What is the title of this article?

 2.    What general sections are listed under the Article Outline?






3.    According to Section III (A) §16, actions to recover a security deposit will typically be brought in what type of court?

4.    List the elements necessary to establish a prima facie case on Nancy’s behalf as provided in Section II (A) §4 of the article. 

 5.    According to the Practice Guide notes for Section II (B) §10, are landlords generally required to give prior notice to allow a tenant the opportunity to make repairs?   Would the case cited as an example in this Practice Guide be treated as mandatory or persuasive authority for Nancy’s case?

6.    What information does Section V §35 provide?  Use this section to locate authority that would be relevant in Nancy’s case and please list/cite that authority.

 7.    What section would be most helpful if you were asked to interview Nancy and begin the preliminary investigation for this matter?  Why?

8.    What section of this article would assist in preparing the initial pleading you would need to file and serve in order to commence litigation on Nancy’s behalf?  Explain your answer.

 9.    How might the article Index and/or Action Guide be useful in identifying additional search terms for further legal research?

 10.  Please discuss the information provided under Research References for this article. 

Exercise 2

Please briefly discuss how the Causes of Action article above as it relates to the first two levels of legal research as discussed on Pg. 515 of Statsky.

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