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Triple T-Bar, LLC v. DDR Southeast Springfield, LLC

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 2, 2015

TRIPLE T-BAR, LLC et al.
v.
DDR SOUTHEAST SPRINGFIELD, LLC

Guaranty. Gwinnett State Court. Before Judge Brown.

Judgment affirmed.

Robert C. Newcomer, for appellants.

Stanley, Esrey & Buckley, Marlie A. McDonnell, for appellee.

MILLER, Judge. Doyle, P. J., and Dillard, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 587

Miller, Judge.

DDR Southeast Springfield, LLC (" DDR" ), as successor-in-interest, filed suit to recover the outstanding balance on a

Page 588

lease agreement executed by Triple T-Bar, LLC, and guaranteed by Todd and Barbara Blackwell. After the trial court entered a consent judgment against Triple T-Bar, DDR moved for summary judgment on the ground that the Blackwells were personally liable under the guaranty. The trial court granted DDR's motion, and the Blackwells appeal, contending that the trial court erred in granting DDR's motion for summary judgment because DDR failed to establish that the lease agreement and guaranty were admissible business records and there were questions of fact as to whether the guaranty was enforceable.[1] For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

" Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. We review the grant of summary judgment de novo, construing the evidence in favor of the nonmovant." (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Angel Business Catalysts v. Bank of the Ozarks, 316 Ga.App. 253, 254 (728 S.E.2d 854) (2012).

So viewed, the evidence shows that in November 2006, Triple T-Bar entered into an agreement with Inland Southeast Springfield, LLC (" Inland" ), to lease a commercial property in Lawrenceville until February 2012. The lease was signed by both Blackwells as representatives of Triple T-Bar, the Blackwells were identified in the lease as the guarantors, and the Blackwells' personal guaranty was attached to the lease and incorporated therein by reference. The guaranty cross-referenced the lease agreement, again identified the Blackwells as the guarantors, and also identified Inland as the landlord and Triple T-Bar as the tenant. In February 2007, DDR acquired Inland and became the landlord of the property.

In April 2007, Triple T-Bar's rent payment check was returned for insufficient funds. Triple T-Bar then failed to pay rent for the months of April 2008 and September 2008, and it made its last rent payment in October 2008. In February 2009, Triple T-Bar closed its business operations and vacated the premises without DDR's consent, in violation of the lease agreement. When Triple T-Bar failed to re-open for business and pay past due rent as DDR requested, DDR filed suit against the Blackwells and Triple T-Bar.

[330 Ga.App. 848] 1. The Blackwells contend that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to DDR because DDR did not lay a foundation to admit the lease and ...


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