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12/03/75 UNION OIL COMPANY CALIFORNIA v. NEWTON

December 3, 1975

UNION OIL COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA
v.
NEWTON



Appeal from Ingham, James T. Kallman, J.

Leave to appeal applied for.

McGregor, P. J., and D. E. Holbrook, Jr. and M. J. Kelly, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Contracts -- Evidence -- Parol Evidence -- Written Instruments -- Ambiguities -- Words.

The legal effect of a written instrument complete in itself and unambiguous in its terms cannot be changed by parol evidence; a court must look to the words in the instrument as used in their normal sense to determine whether any ambiguity exists.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holbrook

Complaint by Union Oil Company of California against Edward F. Newton for summary possession of leased premises for violation of the lease agreement. Judgment for defendant. Plaintiff appeals.

Plaintiff instituted suit in district court for summary possession of premises due to unpaid rent owing plaintiff from defendant under the provisions of the parties' service station lease. On defendant's motion the cause was removed to circuit court where another action was pending between the parties. *fn1 Following a hearing the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in the eviction proceedings. This judgment was amended to make it a final judgment in favor of the defendant. From this judgment plaintiff appeals as of right.

The dispute centers around a provision in the service station lease between the plaintiff and the defendant concerning rental payments. The provision states:

"RENTAL

Fixed $50.00 per calendar month

Motor Fuel Gallonage 1-1/2 cents a gallon

(one & one-half cents)

Minimum Rent ...


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