County’s request to terminate lease is denied

A Southeast District judge has denied a request by Griggs County to terminate its lease with the Griggs County Building Authority.

At this time, the two sides are locked in a battle regarding which one is responsible for failing to complete the construction phase of the $2.2 million courthouse, which is part of a larger project.

Last year, Griggs County filed a lawsuit, claiming breach of contract, against the Building Authority. In it, the county said that the authority "failed and refused to complete the courthouse facility."

The judge noted the following:

"The Building Authority disputes that it had sole responsibility for failure of the project, contending that the County failed in certain of its obligations to bring the courthouse project to completion, and that the County wrongfully interfered with the Building Authority's efforts to complete the project, which may make this attempt to enforce the lease subject to an unclean hands defense."

At this time, no additional hearings have been scheduled. For the meantime, the courthouse project, which stopped construction in May 2014, remains at a standstill.

When there are a lot of hands in a project, such as is the case with this one, it can be difficult for all parties to remain on the same page. This is particularly true when so much money is being spent.

It is never easy for these types of cases to be worked out in court, as one party always feels that they are being slighted. However, anybody who is involved in a lease or construction dispute has the right to take legal action.

Source: The Bismarck Tribune, "Judge denies lease termination in battle over courthouse," Kevin Bonham, Forum News Service, Jan. 04, 2016

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