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Man's fraud case against landlord is summarily dismissed

Anthony Gates was convicted of illegal entry into an apartment occupied by DonnaKay Owusu-Agyei.  In attempting to defend himself, he argued that he was entitled to be in the apartment because he was "on the lease" and had been given a key by the landlord.  When he wrote the landlord requesting a copy of the lease, the landlord told him he was "not on the lease."  More than a year later, when he heard that Owusu-Agyei was claiming that Gates was, in fact, an "occupant" in the lease, he filed a lawsuit against the landlord for fraud.

The landlord argued that he was entitled to summary disposition because the statute of limitations had expired.  Gates responded that he should have six years to sue for fraud and that in any event, he was prevented from discovering the content of the lease by the landlord's claim that Gates was not "on it."  The Court held that since Gates had originally said he was on the lease, he could not use the landlord's response to justify failing to act sooner.  It also held that he could not prove fraud because he couldn't show that he acted in reliance on the landlord's misrepresentations.

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