“Apartment Managers Can’t Turn a Blind Eye to Crime,” says Apartment Crime Lawyer Memphis,TN Knows and Trusts.

As an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN  knows and trusts, I can tell you that in Tennessee, the law requires property owners to take reasonable measures to protect their tenants and guests from foreseeable criminal attacks.  Many apartment managers and owners fail to do this, and in some cases, innocent people living in or visiting apartment complexes or communities are injured as a result.

What is a foreseeable crime?

Tennessee case law states that the degree of foreseeability needed to establish a duty by an apartment owner to protect against criminal acts will almost always require that prior instances of crime have occurred on or in the immediate vicinity of the property. Courts will consider the location, nature, and extent of previous criminal activities and their similarity, proximity, or other relationship to the crime that resulted in personal injuries to an innocent victim.

Assessing Crime at an Apartment Complex

So, what is a property owner or apartment manager in Memphis TN supposed to do? The owner or manager can start by assessing the level of crime within the apartment complex and surrounding neighborhood. How is management supposed to know about crime? Many apartment managers commute to work from some other neighborhood and don’t even live in the apartment complex they manage, so they are disconnected from the community.  Even if a manager does live on site, the manager might claim he or she never observed any crime occurring, and thus had no reason to know security measures were necessary. Good enough? Not by a long shot. There are many tools available today for property owners and managers to use to assess crime as the first step in developing a reasonable security plan for an apartment community.

Reviewing and Monitoring Crime Levels apartment crime lawyer memphis, tn

As an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN counts on, I regularly obtain the following information while representing victims of apartment violence and shootings, so we  know that the same information is available to apartment owners and managers.

  • CAP Index® Reports– According to the company’s website, CRIMECAST Reports are designed to identify the risk of personal and property crimes at a particular location.
  • Crime Analysis Reports. In the City of Memphis, a property manager or owner can submit a Crime Analysis Search Request to the Memphis TN Police Department and receive a Crime Analysis Report.  Information can be requested for a specific address, apartment complex, police district, or radius around an address.  The Report generated identifies the number and types of crimes for the time period requested, the specific location of each crime, and the corresponding incident report numbers for each crime.
  • Review Police Incident Reports. In Memphis, TN, an apartment manager can request copies of police reports in order to understand the types of crimes being committed on or near a property.
  • Calls for Service. In Memphis, TN,  a property owner or manager can request the calls for service made to a particular address or apartment complex.
  • Statistics from Local Police Precinct.  A property owner or manager can also visit the local precinct, discuss crime in the neighborhood, and request and obtain information concerning crime statistics for the area.

Are you the Victim of an Apartment Crime or Apartment Shooting? If so, call the apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN knows and respects! 

If you are the victim of a serious injury due to apartment crime, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003. We’ve helped others like you, and we can help YOU recover if apartment management failed to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks.  Wiseman Bray PLLC is an apartment crime lawyer Memphis, TN  knows and trusts. We will meet or speak with you and discuss whether you might have a case at no charge.  Let us get to work for you.

Here are the experienced Memphis apartment crime lawyers at our law firm who will work on your case:

 

Wiseman Bray Wins on Motion to Dismiss

motion to dismiss

Victory for Wiseman Bray!

Wiseman Bray PLLC is happy to announce a victory in a business litigation case. Our strategy? A Rule 12 Motion to Dismiss. Our client, a former officer and employee of a factoring corporation, was wrongfully sued in his individual capacity by a former customer of his employer. Our client served as Chief Financial Officer, and had merely signed agreements on behalf of the company. The Plaintiff alleged that our client’s employer had misapplied payments and committed other improper acts in connection with their Factoring and Buyout Agreements.

Our Strategy

The Complaint contained numerous allegations against the factoring corporation, but its only mention of our client was that he was an officer of the company, and that, as an officer he was somehow responsible for implementing the policies and procedures that damaged Plaintiff.

After our firm was hired to represent the former officer, we carefully analyzed the Complaint filed against him in Federal Court. In our judgment, the claims in the lawsuit were neither valid nor properly stated, so we filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. See Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12.

What is a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim?

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is filed at the very beginning of a case which argues, essentially, that a plaintiff’s claim is either not legally correct, or that insufficient facts have been alleged to suppose an otherwise valid legal claim.

When such a motion is filed, the judge must assume that all the allegations of the plaintiff’s complaint are true, resolving any and all doubts in favor of the plaintiff. For obvious reasons, then, such motions are usually very difficult to win. The corresponding benefit is equally obvious, though, because dismissal at this early stage allows the client to avoid most of the costs of litigation.

The Court’s Ruling in Our Case

The Federal District Court judge agreed with our argument and granted the Motion to Dismiss filed on behalf of our client. In dismissing the breach of contract claim, the Federal District Court Judge said:

A corporate officer cannot be held liable for a corporation’s debts merely because he exercises dominion or control over the organization. Schlater v. Haynie, 833 S.W.2d 919, 924 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1991). Likewise, a corporate officer signing a contract on behalf of corporation does not bind himself to the contract. Bill Walker & Associates, Inc. v. Parrish, 770 S.W.2d 764, 770 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1989). Instead, a court will only hold an officer liable on a contract if it appears that the officer signed the contract in his personal capacity.

Here, Plaintiff has alleged no facts showing that [the former officer] was a party to the Factoring Agreement in his personal capacity. The Factoring Agreement’s signature page clearly shows that [his] signature was in his capacity as CFO. (ECF No. 1-1 at 3.) Additionally, he is not even a signatory to the Buyout Agreement. Plaintiff’s Complaint instead apparently attempts to hold [the former officer] liable because he exercised control over [the corporation’s] actions.  However, Tennessee law does not allow this. See Schlater 833 S.W.2d at 924. Therefore, its breach of contract claim against [the former officer] fails.

In dismissing the Plaintiff’s additional claims of conversion and fraud, the Judge went on to say:

A director or officer of a corporation does not incur personal liability for its torts merely by reason of his official character; he is not liable for torts committed by or for the corporation unless he has participated in the wrong.’” Cooper v. Cordova Sand & Gravel Co., Inc., 485 S.W.2d 261, 271–72 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1971).

Here, the only allegation against [the former officer] himself is that he “was responsible for implementing the policies and procedures that damaged Plaintiff,” or, in other words, acted as an officer of the corporation. Because Plaintiff’s Complaint lacks any reference to any tortious conduct on the part of [the former officer], it fails to state a claim against him for both conversion and fraudulent inducement.

This case was handled by Civil Litigation Attorneys Chris Patterson and Erin Shea.

Need a Business Litigation Attorney?

Call us at 901-372-5003 or visit our website to learn more about our services as business litigation attorneys.

We handle other kinds of cases as well, including: personal injury, apartment crime injuries, auto accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, contract drafting and review, general civil litigation, estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, business planning, and business entity formation.