Judge sides with brewery in landlord, tenant case

MARQUETTE — “This court concludes that Cognition is not and was not in default in terms of the lease.”

With that decision from Judge Karl Weber, Cognition Brewing Company owner Jay Clancey became emotional, as one of his legal battles with his landlord, the Mather Inn, ended in his favor.

“So many emotions happening right now,” said Clancey. “Gratitude for the judge’s decision of course, a huge sense of relief and a great sense of optimism going forward,” he added.

The two sides have been embroiled in legal proceedings for a majority of the year. Discrepancies in funds owed brought both sides to a bench trial last month.

In the end, Judge Weber rendered his decision in favor of the brewery.

“This court concludes that any late fees, interests and costs are waived because there was no default,” said Judge Weber.

In late January, Clancey made arrangements to meet with Robin Baird, president of Mather Inn, to hand over two checks worth $6,400 to cover rent. Baird never showed up for those meetings.

On February 1st, Clancey found out that amount had gone up to $24,000, which he will not have to pay.

“It seemed that the judge wanted to exhaust every chance for both sides to get all of the evidence they had in, which meant to me he was determined to come to the right decision,” said Clancey.

Clancey says Cognition is currently without a lease; their last one with the Mather Inn expired in May.

“I really don’t know how we’re going to figure out how the lease gets handled from here on out,” said Clancey. “We’ll just have to take our time and see if we can get something worked out that works for everybody.”