Calculating Late Penalty According to Contract or Law – part IV
The plaintiff (=pl) bought property from a building company (=def), which was supposed to complete construction by 20.06.2014. After negotiations, the contract included a penalty of 2,800 shekels a month against def for lateness, starting from two months after the target date. Pl received the apartment more than 18 months late. According to a new law, a buyer is compensated for more than 60 days of lateness (retroactively from the beginning) according to the following schedule – 150% of the apartment’s rental value for the first 8 months; 125% of the value after that. Buyers cannot waive their legal rights. Pl claims that the apartment’s value is 4,200 shekels and claims 105,275 shekels. Def claims the payment should be reduced on two general grounds. Since the contract included an arbitration agreement to beit din, Halacha, which recognizes the sides’ agreement, rather than the law, should be binding. Therefore: 1. The monthly rate is 2,800. 2. Payments start only after two months. 3. The contract gives a two month extension for the buyer’s requesting building changes, which pl did. Furthermore, the following delays, which were beyond def’s control, push off the target date: 4. (Arab) workers could not come to the site during the fighting in the summer of 2014. 5. The water authority illegitimately delayed connecting the water supply, which delayed by months receipt of a Tofes 4, needed for legal occupancy. 6. The fire department improperly delayed approval for several weeks. 7. Pl refused to receive control of the apartment for 42 days after it was ready.
Suing for a Car Accident in Beit Din or in Secular Court
The plaintiff (=pl) sued the defendant (=def) in beit din for causing a traffic accident that damaged his car. Def says that he is not a party to adjudication, as pl can sue his insurance company, who accepts responsibility for damages, but pl wants to sue def personally. Def complains that since the insurance company rejects adjudication in beit din, any award made in beit din will have to come personally from him.
The defendant (=def) and the plaintiff (=pl) were embroiled in a dispute over real estate during the course of seven years in various levels of secular court. The final ruling was not to pl’s liking, and he refused to pay according to the judgment. As enforcement efforts significantly raised the amount due, pl began writing extremely inflammatory letters against def (pashkivilim). Pl spread over 10,000 copies in strategic places throughout the country in which he felt it would hurt def. Def sued pl for defamation, and the matter arrived for adjudication at our beit din. The arbitration agreement with which they empowered Eretz Hemdah-Gazit related specifically to the matter of defamation and not to the original monetary dispute. During deliberations, pl complained about the fact that he was sued in secular court and now demanded that beit din rule that def had acted against halacha in so doing. Def said that after seven years of adjudicating in secular court without complaining about the venue, pl cannot complain at this point or use it as an excuse to justify his defamation campaign. Beit din said that due to the limited nature of their present arbitration agreement, if pl wanted to extend the scope, he would have to open a new case. He did so, and def declined to take part in it, prompting the involvement of a special tribunal of three heads of branches of our beit din to deal with this matter of precedent regarding the scope of Eretz Hemdah-Gazit’s judicial mandate.
Rabbi Shimon’s Painful Return to the “Physical World”
Ein Aya Shabbat Chapter B Paragraph 279-281
[After Rabbi Shimon left the cave], his son-in-law, Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair, came out to greet him. R. Pinchas brought him to a bathhouse and was massaging his skin. R. Pinchas saw that there were cracks in the skin throughout his body. R. Pinchas cried, and his tears caused R. Shimon to scream out in pain. R. Pinchas said: “Woe is to me that I have to see you in this state.” R. Shimon answered: “Fortunate are you to see me in this state, for if you had not seen me, you wouldn’t be able to receive from me to the same degree.”
A Renter’s Responsibility for an Exploded Water Tank – part I
The defendants (=def) rented an apartment from the plaintiff (=pl) for an extended period of time. As the rental came to an end, def informed pl by text message that they had left. Workers were to work on renovations before new renters came in. The morning after def left, claimed pl, he and his workers found a major leak from the roof, which turned out to be from an exploded hot water tank, which, he saw by the indicator, had been left on. Leaving on an electric heated hot water tank is negligence, as the accumulated gases of boiled water is likely to cause an explosion, and according to the contract, def is obligated to pay for damages to the apartment that were not caused by normal use. He demands 2,200 shekels for a new tank (he is not suing for other slight damages from the leak). Def claims that they checked that all the electricity in the house was off when they left the apartment and in fact they had not used it in weeks, because in the summer, when they left, the solar heated water sufficed. They dispute the claim that pl found the problem on the morning after they left, because they communicated that day and pl said nothing. Rather, it was the second day, and in the meantime, pl’s workers worked and slept in the apartment, and one of them could have lit the boiler. In any case, def claims that a proper boiler does not explode when left on indefinitely because there are the double protections: a thermostat to shut the electricity when the water is hot enough and a gas-releasing valve to prevent over pressure. Pl says that malfunction of the boiler is not his fault since he replaced it 1-2 years ago.
(based on ruling 74020 of the Eretz Hemdah-Gazit Rabbinical Courts)
The plaintiff (=pl) rented an apartment to the defendants (=def) for a year and renewed it for another year, until June 30, 2014. Several of def’s rental checks bounced, and in Sept. 2013, pl informed def that he was ending the rental unilaterally and setting def’s exit date as the end of Dec. 2013. On Dec. 3, def informed pl that he had vacated the apartment. Pl made it to the apartment on Dec. 18 and found that it was not left in proper order. It was dirty and there was mold on the ceiling, which was caused by a neighbor’s leak. Since def had not reported it, it was too late to make the neighbor pay, and the necessary paint job was more expensive (3,000 shekels) than it would have needed to be (2,500 shekels). Def also had a debt to the va’ad bayit, which he attributed to a rightful refusal to pay due to unfair treatment by the neighbors. Pl had receipts that he paid the va’ad bayit instead of def. For most of the time until the end of the contract, pl was unable to find renters, and so they are also demanding payment of lost rent, which became necessary due to def’s lack of payment. Pl is also demanding 1,000 shekels for work he missed plus 300 shekels for the roundtrip to travel the great distance from his home to the apartment for each of four days to deal with damages and the turnaround to a new renter.