SBM Real Property Law Section eNewsletter

March 2013

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Howard A. Lax, Bodman PLC

Patricia Paruch, Kemp Klein Law Firm

Michigan's New Appraisal Licensing Law: Are You Covered?

By Susan E. Wagner, Bodman PLC

Could your appraisal activities require licensing? PA 505(2012)(effective April 1, 2014) adds a new Article 26A to Michigan's Occupational Code that will require an appraisal management company (AMC) to be licensed before it can operate as an AMC, provide appraisal management services, advertise as an AMC, or call itself an "appraisal management company" or any similar term implying that it is licensed.

The statute defines an AMC as an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, association, corporation, or common law trust that provides appraisal management services. Appraisal management services are performed for a client or clients and include:

  • Managing a network of independent appraisers who perform real estate appraisals;
  • Receiving requests for appraisal services and arranging for independent appraisers to perform those services, for a fee paid by the client; or
  • Acting as a broker or intermediary between persons requesting appraisal services and independent appraisers who provide those services.

Entities that exclusively employ individuals on an employer-employee basis to perform appraisals will be exempt from licensing, as will subsidiaries of federally regulated financial institutions. Individuals or entities that enter into agreements with independent appraisers to perform appraisals, and who co-sign those appraisals with the independent appraisers, are also exempt. As the law currently stands, there is no exemption for an attorney who arranges for an independent appraiser to provide appraisal services for a client who requests those services.

After April 1, 2014, real estate attorneys should utilize the Bureau of Commercial Services' searchable database to verify that any AMC providing an appraisal report is licensed in Michigan. Real estate attorneys should also review their own activities to determine whether those activities fall within the definition of appraisal management services, thereby triggering the state's licensing requirement.

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March 14-16, 2013
Winter Conference 2013
J.W. Marriott, New Orleans

April 18, 2013
"Groundbreaker" Breakfast Roundtable
Dealing with Distressed Properties, Part III- The Lawyer's Guide to Negotiating/Renegotiating Commercial Leases

Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
Roundtables 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit

May 2, 2013
2012-2013 Homeward Bound Series
Condo Basics & Beyond
2:00-5:00 p.m.
Inn at St. John's, Plymouth

July 10-13, 2013
Summer Conference 2013
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa

Interested in writing a future article for the e-Newsletter?
Please contact co-editors:
Howard Lax at or Patricia Paruch at

Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Creep in Summary Proceedings Cases

By Roger B. Chard

In Clohset v. No Name Corp., 296 Mich App 525 (May 15, 2012), the Court of Appeals upheld a $222,102.09 consent judgment entered by the district court in a summary proceedings case. Plaintiff had not asked for equitable relief or money damages, but since the District Court's action "flowed" from its power arising under the summary proceedings act and was within "the scope" of MCL 600.8302(3) (concurrent equitable jurisdiction of district and circuit courts), the Court held that § 8302(3)'s "specific" jurisdiction superseded § 8301(1)'s "general" jurisdiction limit of $25,000. The Court did not explain what "power" flowed to the district court or why granting exclusively equitable jurisdiction to it authorized entering judgments above $25,000 and did not address the $25,000 limit on money claims and counterclaims of MCL 600.5739(1) and MCR 4.201(G)(2)(b). The Court stopped short of saying summary proceedings complaints could claim damages exceeding $25,000.

On January 1, 2013, 2012 PA 338 took effect. It allows circuit courts to adopt concurrent jurisdiction plans under which: "The district court and 1 or more district judges may exercise the power and jurisdiction of the circuit court." § 401(2)(e)(see also §§ 407(2)(e) and 408(2)(e)). Nothing in PA 338 prevents plans empowering district courts to adjudicate an entire summary proceedings case, regardless of the amount in controversy, except for appeals. By the same token, PA 338 does not bar plans that eschew the holding in Clohset and require that MCL 600.8301(1)'s limit of $25,000 apply in summary proceedings.

For a full discussion of subject-matter jurisdiction in summary proceedings, see ICLE, Michigan Lease Drafting and Landlord-Tenant Law, "Summary Proceedings to Recover the Possession of Premises" (2003, 2009, 2013), and Michigan Real Property Review, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Winter 2013), from which this article is adapted.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.