Judge rules Candy Lady must move by end of February

Posted at: 01/22/2014 8:03 AM
Updated at: 01/22/2014 6:29 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's been a hot spot for candy lovers for more than 30 years, but the Candy Lady has to find a new home soon.

A judge decided Wednesday morning that store owner, Debbie Ball, has until the end of February to pack up. Ball was facing eviction because her landlord said she wasn't paying her rent in full and didn't sign a new lease.

"We're simply seeking vacation of the premises," said Robert Simon, who has been the landlord since 2001.

Ball's store was already in the building when Simon took over. At that time her rent was higher than it is now. Simon said she was paying $2,700 a month. Ball is currently paying $2,050. 

Simon said Ball's rental agreement has been a month-to-month verbal deal. "We didn't have any problems at the very beginning," said Ball. 

Simon said he drafted a new lease, raising the rent a few hundred dollars, after realizing a candy Ball made and sold was becoming a hit worldwide. "She was making a blue meth candy and people were coming to the store to buy those candies," added Simon.

But Simon said he never heard from Ball after sending her the new lease agreement, which Ball said isn't true.

After hearing both sides, the judge ruled Ball now has until February 28, 2014 to leave.

The judge also made a quick "Breaking Bad" reference to what he called their "poor communication". "Excuse the pun. It sounds like you all just broke bad," said Judge Frank Sedillo. 

The landlord said he already has a new tenant who signed the lease and is ready to move in. As for the Candy Lady, Ball said she already has meetings with 2 different landlords who own buildings near the plaza.