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Meers v. Semonin Realtors

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

August 4, 2017

GREYSON MEERS APPELLANT
v.
SEMONIN REALTORS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE CHARLES L. CUNNINGHAM, JR., JUDGE ACTION NO. 15-CI-004663

          BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Eric E. Ashley Louisville, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Jason C. Vaughn Louisville, Kentucky

          BEFORE: CLAYTON, J. LAMBERT, AND THOMPSON, JUDGES.

          OPINION AFFIRMING

          LAMBERT, J., JUDGE

         Greyson Meers has appealed from the order and judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court confirming an arbitration award related to unpaid brokerage and agent fees arising from a real estate transaction. Finding no error, we affirm.

         Semonin Realtors filed a complaint in September 2015 seeking confirmation of an arbitration award and entry of a judgment against Meers in the amount of $7, 950.00. The arbitration award entered August 25, 2015, is the only evidence of record concerning the underlying arbitration, [1] and it provides as follows:

I, THE UNDERSIGNED ARBITRATOR, having been designated in accordance with the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors Agreement, and its Rules on Mediation and Arbitration, as agreed by the Parties, and having been duly sworn, and having duly heard the proofs and allegations of the Parties, do hereby, find and AWARD, as follows:
This case involves a claim by Semonin Realtors ("Semonin") for unpaid brokerage and agent fees allegedly earned for the sale of a residence located at 3914 Druid Hills, Louisville, Kentucky 40207 (the "Property"). Semonin asserts its claim against Respondent Greyson Meers ("Meers") for breach of contract in failing to close on the purchase of the Property. Claimant refers to section 22 of the GLAR Residential Sales Contract, which states in relevant part: "At closing of this transaction, Seller shall pay the above listing Company's commission as per Listing Contract. This commission is deemed earned upon acceptance of his offer, but subject to any contingencies specified herein. If the closing is not completed because of failure of Buyer and/or Seller to perform his/her respective obligations hereunder, the defaulting party shall [pay] the commission.["] (emphasis added)
Thereafter, Semonin filed this Demand for Arbitration with GLAR. This demand followed a failed attempt at mediation as required.
The amount claimed as set forth in the Damages is the Commission of $15, 929.16 as set forth in the Listing Contract, plus attorney fees as set out by Claimant's counsel.
A Hearing on this matter took place at the offices of Goldberg Simpson, LLC on July 14, 2015. All parties and counsel being present; evidence was taken and witnesses were presented by each party.
A Motion in Limine was filed by Claimants [sic], attempting to limit certain defenses of impossibility being raised by the Respondent, apparently following certain correspondence or discussions leading to the Hearing. The Arbitrator took this Motion under advisement pending responsive pleadings by Respondent and a Reply by Claimant. Per this Award, that Motion is denied, and all testimony given at the Hearing will be considered.

         FINDINGS:

1. Claimant provided testimony setting forth the existence of the Listing Contract, the development of the offer and counteroffers by the parties to the transaction, and the failure of Meers to effectuate the closing.
2. It was also established that Meers had been pre-approved with financing for the acquisition, and that the lending institution was prepared to ...

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