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Magic City Capital, LLC v. Twickenham Place Partners, LLC

Supreme Court of Alabama

October 25, 2019

MAGIC CITY CAPITAL, LLC
v.
TWICKENHAM PLACE PARTNERS, LLC

         Appeal from Madison Circuit Court (CV-17-900921)

Page 275

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 276

          Bill D. Bensinger of Christian & Small LLP, Birmingham, for appellant.

          Benjamin L. McArthur and Michael W. Rich of Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C., Huntsville, for appellee.

         STEWART, Justice.

         Magic City Capital, LLC ("Magic City"), appeals from a summary judgment entered by the Madison Circuit Court ("the trial court") in favor of Twickenham Place Partners, LLC ("Twickenham"). Because events that occurred during the trial-court proceedings rendered the action moot and the trial court, therefore, was divested of subject-matter jurisdiction, we dismiss the appeal.

         Facts and Procedural History

         The following facts are undisputed. On August 15, 2014, Twickenham executed a lease agreement with Huntsville Asian Rim, LLC ("HAR"), in which HAR agreed to lease certain property from Twickenham for the purpose of opening a restaurant in Huntsville. Section 5.4 of the lease provided, among other things:

"OWNERSHIP OF IMPROVEMENTS. All trade fixtures, equipment and other property placed on the Premises by and any alterations or replacements thereof, including, but not limited to, all bars, booths, decorative light fixtures, stoves, ovens and other restaurant equipment, shall remain the property of, and may be removed by, [HAR]. Upon the expiration or earlier termination of this Lease, any such property belonging to [HAR] which [HAR] has failed to remove from the Premises within thirty (30) days of said expiration or termination shall become the property of [Twickenham]. [Twickenham] may thereafter elect to remove and dispose of such property at [HAR'S] reasonable cost and expense. Should [HAR] remove any such fixture, or any alteration or replacement thereof, affixed to the Premises that was placed on the Premises by [HAR], [HAR], at its sole cost and expense shall repair any damage to the Premises caused by such removal."

         The lease also provided in § 14.3:

"[Twickenham] hereby expressly subordinates any and all claim, right, lien (including, without limitation, any common law or statutory landlord's lien), title and security interest in and to all furniture, goods, equipment and personal property of the security interest of [HAR'S] lender, if any, either existing as of the execution date of this Lease or hereafter."

         On November 17, 2014, HAR executed a security agreement in favor of Magic City in exchange for a $250,000 loan. Pursuant to the security agreement, Magic City was granted a security interest in HAR's personal property used in operating the restaurant. In September 2015, HAR defaulted on its lease obligations to Twickenham, and, thereafter, HAR removed some of, but not all of, its personal property from the restaurant. On October 5, 2015, ...


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