Jones v. Cost Mgmt., Inc.Annotate this Case
Edwina Jones rented a residence that she vacated in 2010. Because Jones did not replace heating oil in the residence’s oil tank at the end of her tenancy under the terms of the lease, Cost Management, Inc., the landlord, told Jones that it would return to Jones the $1,500 deposit minus $448, the cost of filling the oil tank. Jones filed a complaint against Cost Management asserting that she was entitled to $1,500, plus statutory double damages, attorney fees, interest and costs. Cost Management counterclaimed for the $448 it paid to fill the tank. The district court found in Jones’s favor on her complaint, found in favor of Cost Management on its counterclaim, and denied Jones’s claims for costs, double damages, and attorney fees under the wrongful-retention statute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly found that Jones was entitled to receive $1,052 from Cost Management; and (2) because Cost Management overcame the presumption that it wrongfully withheld Jones’s security deposit, the district court did not err by not awarding court costs, double damages, and attorney fees.