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Providing summaries of opinions as they are released from the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals (published & unpublished), and selected U.S. Sixth Circuit. Over 60,000 cases summarized to date.

 

 

Case Summary


Cases appear under the following practice areas:

  • Consumer Rights (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Real Property

    e-Journal #: 78209
    Case: Harris v. Spot Realty, Inc.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Markey, and Patel
    Issues:

    Whether the parties’ land contract violated Michigan’s Usury Act; MCL 438.31c(6); Interest rate; MCL 438.32; Blending approach to determining the interest rate; Mills v Pesetsky; Balloon payment under 15 USC § 1639; The Michigan Consumer Protection Act’s (MCPA) prohibition against unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive methods, acts, or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce; MCL 445.903(1)(a)-(ll); Declaratory relief; Mettler Walloon, LLC v Melrose Twp; Findings of fact & conclusions of law; MCR 2.517(A)(4); Durant v Stahlin

    Summary:

    The court held that the parties’ land contract was not usurious, that 15 USC § 1639 was not applicable, that there were no violations of the MCPA, and that any request for declaratory relief was moot. Thus, it affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition for defendant. Defendant purchased plaintiff’s property at a sheriff’s sale after plaintiff defaulted on her mortgage. Before “the redemption period expired, plaintiff sold defendant her interest in the property, her redemption rights, and her rights to any surplus from the sheriff’s sale in exchange for an option to buy” the property back. Plaintiff later exercised her option by entering into a land contract with defendant. Plaintiff subsequently defaulted on the land contract, so defendant initiated forfeiture proceedings. Plaintiff filed this action seeking to void or reform the land contract. On appeal, the court first found the language of the land contract unambiguous, noting it was “clear from the face of the document that the land contract was not usurious.” It next found the land contract did not violate § 1639, noting plaintiff “failed to provide the trial court with any evidence that the land contract constituted a ‘high-cost mortgage’” or that its “balloon payment otherwise violated the statute.” The court next found the land contract did not violate the MCPA, noting plaintiff “simply made a vague allegation in her complaint that defendant engaged in ‘unfair and deceptive treatment’ in the subject transaction. And plaintiff has not cited any particular provisions in her brief on appeal.” It further found the trial court was not obliged to issue a declaratory ruling as to the true amount owed under the land contract because “none of plaintiff’s substantive claims survived defendant’s motion for summary disposition,” so any request for declaratory relief was moot. Finally, the court found the trial court did not err in granting defendant’s motion for summary disposition without making any findings of fact or conclusions of law as it was not required to do so.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Contracts (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under School Law

    e-Journal #: 78206
    Case: Guzall v. Michigan State Univ.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – K.F. Kelly, Letica, and Rick
    Issues:

    Governmental immunity; A public university’s entitlement to immunity; MCL 691.1407(1); MCL 691.1401(a) & (g); Vicarious liability; “Governmental function”; MCL 691.1401(b); The proprietary function exception; MCL 691.1413; Herman v Detroit; Breach of contract; Miller-Davis Co v Ahrens Constr, Inc; Whether a claim is time-barred; Condition precedent to filing a claim against the state; MCL 600.6431(1); Defamation; Reighard v ESPN, Inc; Absolute privilege; Eddington v Torrez; Qualified privilege; Rosenboom v Vanek; Leave to amend; Sanders v Perfecting Church; Futility; Wormsbacher v Phillip R Seaver Title Co

    Summary:

    The court held that the Court of Claims did not err by granting defendants-university, board of trustees, and affiliate (Franz) summary disposition of plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff sued defendants alleging a variety of contract and tort claims related to an employment relationship. The Court of Claims granted summary disposition for defendants and denied plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend. On appeal, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the Court of Claims erred by finding his tort claims against the university defendants were barred by governmental immunity, noting he “did not plead any facts to avoid application of governmental immunity,” and even if he had, the university defendants were entitled to immunity. The court also rejected his claim that the trial court erred by finding his contract claims were time-barred, holding that because he untimely filed his notice of intent his “breach of contract and specific performance claims relating to the alleged promise for full-time” employment were properly dismissed, as was his breach of contract claim relating to unapproved invoices. Next, the court rejected his contentions that Franz was not entitled to the application of privilege as to his tort claims because she knew he did not commit a crime, and that there was a genuine issue of fact as to whether Franz acted with actual malice. First, “Franz’s police report was absolutely privileged and could not give rise to an actionable defamation claim.” Second, there was no factual basis for the claim that Franz’s statements were false or inaccurate. Finally, the court rejected his argument that the Court of Claims abused its discretion by denying his motion for leave to amend the complaint to include additional factual background and legal claims, noting it “correctly concluded that the proposed amendment was futile.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Litigation

    e-Journal #: 78204
    Case: US Framing Int'l, LLC v. Continental Real Estate Cos.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Gadola, and Yates
    Issues:

    Interpretation & application of the parties’ contract; Motion for clarification of the trial court’s order granting summary disposition; Mootness

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court erred by interpreting ¶ 15.2 of the parties’ contract as a time bar to defendant-Continental’s counterclaim. Thus, the court reversed the trial court’s order granting plaintiff-US Framing summary disposition of Continental’s counterclaim, affirmed the trial court’s order denying US Framing’s motion for clarification, and remanded. The case involved “a contract dispute arising from a project to build mixed-use commercial retail and off-campus student housing in Ann Arbor.” Another defendant owned “the property in question and hired Continental to serve as general contractor for the project. Continental subcontracted with US Framing to provide wood-framing labor and materials for the project. The contract between Continental and US Framing detailed the parties’ respective rights and obligations.” The parties disagreed whether US Framing fulfilled its obligations under the contract as to timeliness and work quality. US Framing maintained that “it fully performed its obligations under the contract, while Continental maintains that US Framing performed untimely and substandard work resulting in considerable costs to Continental.” At issue was the interpretation and application of ¶ 15.2 of their contract. The parties did “not dispute that under ¶ 15.2 the applicable time limit for initiating a lawsuit was three months from the time US Framing last performed work on the project, which” they agreed was 4/11/18. Thus, under ¶ 15.2 the parties were required to commence suit, if at all, by 7/11/18. “US Framing filed the current suit within the requisite period. Continental filed its counterclaim in [11/18], outside the three-month window of ¶ 15.2.” The court held that giving “meaning to both the first and last sentences in the paragraph, it is apparent that the word ‘suit’ in ¶ 15.2 was not used synonymously with the word ‘claim’ and that ¶ 15.2 should not be read to require each individual claim—or counterclaim or dispute or matter—to be filed within three months of when US Framing stopped work on the project.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Criminal Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Juvenile Law

    e-Journal #: 78217
    Case: In re Tabb
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Markey, and Patel
    Issues:

    Sentencing; Effect of a within-guidelines sentence; MCL 769.34(10); Waiver; Mandatory revocation of probation under MCL 712A.18i(9); Imposition of a life imprisonment maximum sentence for second-degree murder where a term of years was imposed as the minimum sentence; MCL 769.9(2); Parolable life sentence for a defendant who commits second-degree murder while a juvenile; People v Stovall

    Summary:

    While the court rejected respondent-former juvenile’s appellate arguments and affirmed his 225-month minimum sentence for second-degree murder, it reversed and remanded as to his maximum life sentence. That sentence was not available where a term of years was imposed as his minimum sentence. Further, under Stovall, “‘a parolable life sentence for a defendant who commits second-degree murder while a juvenile’” constitutes cruel or unusual punishment. Respondent was 16 years old when he shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend. He pled guilty to second-degree murder and under guidelines calculated in 2017, received “a delayed adult sentence with a minimum of 225 months in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment” and probation. He violated probation and committed new crimes, leading to imposition of the sentences at issue here. His guidelines range was 270 to 450 months or life imprisonment but the prosecution indicated it “would not challenge ‘any sentencing that would be at 225 months.’” The court noted he did not raise any claim of scoring error, or “assert that the trial court relied on inaccurate information;” thus, affirming his minimum sentence was appropriate under MCL 769.34(10). Further, his “attorney requested a minimum sentence ‘toward the lower end of the sentencing range.’ Under the 2017 guidelines range, the very bottom end of the range was 225 months’ imprisonment; consequently, respondent received exactly as requested, rendering the appellate arguments waived.” The court also noted that to the extent he now asserted “the trial court should have contemplated extending respondent’s probation instead of imposing a prison sentence,” MCL 712A.18i(9) mandated that the trial court revoke probation. But under MCL 769.9(2), it “could not impose a minimum sentence of a term of years with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.” Finally, in light of “Stovall, the trial court no longer has the authority to impose a life sentence on respondent because it would constitute cruel or unusual punishment.” As a result, the court was compelled to reverse his life imprisonment maximum sentence “and remand for resentencing for imposition of a maximum sentence in the form of a term of years.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Insurance (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Litigation

    e-Journal #: 78216
    Case: Collins v. Allstate Ins. Co.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Cavanagh, Garrett, and Yates
    Issues:

    No-Fault Act (NFA); Violation of the trial court’s order compelling the production of letters of authority for plaintiff to act on behalf of the estate; Dean v Tucker (Dean factors); Personal representative (PR)

    Summary:

    The court vacated the trial court’s order dismissing the case with prejudice for plaintiff-Collins repeatedly violating its order compelling the production of letters of authority for him to act on behalf of the estate, without providing reasoning or evaluating lesser sanctions, and remanded. Collins, in his capacity as PR of the estate of the decedent, sued defendant-Allstate, alleging breach of contract for refusing to pay benefits under the Michigan NFA. “The trial court’s order of dismissal with prejudice merely stated that the case was dismissed for ‘failure to provide Letters of Authority pursuant to the Court’s [7/9/21] Order.’” It was “undisputed that Collins did not comply with the trial court’s order granting Allstate’s second motion to compel letters of authority. But in dismissing Collins’s case with prejudice, the trial court never ‘explain[ed] its reasons for imposing such a grave sanction in order to allow for meaningful appellate review.’” The court held that the trial court “did not explain why dismissal with prejudice was a more just sanction than the less severe sanction of dismissal without prejudice. The trial court also made no factual findings about whether Collins’s conduct was willful and deliberate, or whether Collins’s noncompliance with discovery orders prejudiced Allstate—findings that could have supported the drastic sanction of dismissal with prejudice.” Allstate asserted that “although the trial court analyzed none of the Dean factors before dismissing the case, dismissal was clearly appropriate if the trial court had considered the factors. Allstate then goes on to, itself, analyze the Dean factors and explain why, having considered the factors, the ‘only appropriate sanction was dismissal with prejudice.’” The court concluded that while it appreciated “Allstate’s well-reasoned analysis, our duty is to review the trial court’s reasoning, not a litigant’s view of what the trial court might have found had the court provided any record of its decision. The trial court abused its discretion by failing to provide any reasoning or consideration of lesser sanctions on the record. On remand, ‘[t]he record should reflect that that the trial court gave careful consideration to the factors involved and considered all its options in determining what sanction was just and proper in the context of the case before it.’”

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Litigation

    e-Journal #: 78229
    Case: Dakhlallah v. Progressive Marathon Ins. Co.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Markey, and Patel
    Issues:

    Action for personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits under the No-Fault Act; Causal connection requirement for an injury arising from an assault in a motor vehicle to be compensable; McKenzie v Auto Club Ins Ass’n; Injury sustained while alighting from the vehicle; Kemp v Farm Bureau Gen Ins Co of MI; Failure to comply with a scheduling order as to filing a required response to a summary disposition motion; MCR 2.401(B)(2)(a)(ii); MCR 2.119(E)(3); MCR 2.504(B)(1); MCR 2.116(G)(4); Mootness

    Summary:

    The court held that plaintiff’s failure to comply with the scheduling order as to filing a required response to defendant-insurer’s summary disposition motion justified the dismissal of his case. The court also held that he did not have a viable claim for PIP benefits as a matter of law. Thus, it affirmed summary disposition for defendant. The case arose from “an alleged assault committed against plaintiff” after he got into an argument with another person while in his own vehicle. As plaintiff tried to step out of his car, the other person “slammed the door several times into plaintiff’s leg, breaking it in two places.” On appeal, the court first determined that his argument about the disqualification of his attorney (who was also his wife) on the basis she was a necessary witness was moot. It then addressed his due process claim, concluding the trial court did not deprive him “of a hearing; rather, plaintiff failed to comply with the scheduling order regarding the filing of a required response to the summary disposition motion, effectively forfeiting or waiving his opportunity to argue his case at the scheduled hearing. There is nothing in the record suggesting that plaintiff would not have been allowed to present oral argument had he filed a response as was required.” The court noted that the scheduling “order expressly stated that dismissal could result from a compliance failure. And plaintiff’s noncompliance did not merely entail an untimely response to the summary disposition motion. Rather, plaintiff did not file any response at all. Aside from the violation of the scheduling order, MCR 2.116(G)(4)” also justified dismissal of his case for failing to counter the (C)(10) motion. Finally, the court found that summary disposition was appropriate on a substantive basis. The “assault and resulting injury just happened to occur when plaintiff was attempting to alight from the vehicle. Taken to its logical extreme, a person shot while alighting from a vehicle could recover PIP benefits under a ruling in plaintiff’s favor—this is not the law.” Further, the other person involved in the altercation “wielded the car door as a weapon in injuring plaintiff. Therefore, the injury was not closely related to the transportational function of the motor vehicle, which is necessary to support an award of PIP benefits.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Juvenile Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Criminal Law

    e-Journal #: 78217
    Case: In re Tabb
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Markey, and Patel
    Issues:

    Sentencing; Effect of a within-guidelines sentence; MCL 769.34(10); Waiver; Mandatory revocation of probation under MCL 712A.18i(9); Imposition of a life imprisonment maximum sentence for second-degree murder where a term of years was imposed as the minimum sentence; MCL 769.9(2); Parolable life sentence for a defendant who commits second-degree murder while a juvenile; People v Stovall

    Summary:

    While the court rejected respondent-former juvenile’s appellate arguments and affirmed his 225-month minimum sentence for second-degree murder, it reversed and remanded as to his maximum life sentence. That sentence was not available where a term of years was imposed as his minimum sentence. Further, under Stovall, “‘a parolable life sentence for a defendant who commits second-degree murder while a juvenile’” constitutes cruel or unusual punishment. Respondent was 16 years old when he shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend. He pled guilty to second-degree murder and under guidelines calculated in 2017, received “a delayed adult sentence with a minimum of 225 months in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment” and probation. He violated probation and committed new crimes, leading to imposition of the sentences at issue here. His guidelines range was 270 to 450 months or life imprisonment but the prosecution indicated it “would not challenge ‘any sentencing that would be at 225 months.’” The court noted he did not raise any claim of scoring error, or “assert that the trial court relied on inaccurate information;” thus, affirming his minimum sentence was appropriate under MCL 769.34(10). Further, his “attorney requested a minimum sentence ‘toward the lower end of the sentencing range.’ Under the 2017 guidelines range, the very bottom end of the range was 225 months’ imprisonment; consequently, respondent received exactly as requested, rendering the appellate arguments waived.” The court also noted that to the extent he now asserted “the trial court should have contemplated extending respondent’s probation instead of imposing a prison sentence,” MCL 712A.18i(9) mandated that the trial court revoke probation. But under MCL 769.9(2), it “could not impose a minimum sentence of a term of years with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.” Finally, in light of “Stovall, the trial court no longer has the authority to impose a life sentence on respondent because it would constitute cruel or unusual punishment.” As a result, the court was compelled to reverse his life imprisonment maximum sentence “and remand for resentencing for imposition of a maximum sentence in the form of a term of years.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Litigation (3)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Insurance

    e-Journal #: 78216
    Case: Collins v. Allstate Ins. Co.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Cavanagh, Garrett, and Yates
    Issues:

    No-Fault Act (NFA); Violation of the trial court’s order compelling the production of letters of authority for plaintiff to act on behalf of the estate; Dean v Tucker (Dean factors); Personal representative (PR)

    Summary:

    The court vacated the trial court’s order dismissing the case with prejudice for plaintiff-Collins repeatedly violating its order compelling the production of letters of authority for him to act on behalf of the estate, without providing reasoning or evaluating lesser sanctions, and remanded. Collins, in his capacity as PR of the estate of the decedent, sued defendant-Allstate, alleging breach of contract for refusing to pay benefits under the Michigan NFA. “The trial court’s order of dismissal with prejudice merely stated that the case was dismissed for ‘failure to provide Letters of Authority pursuant to the Court’s [7/9/21] Order.’” It was “undisputed that Collins did not comply with the trial court’s order granting Allstate’s second motion to compel letters of authority. But in dismissing Collins’s case with prejudice, the trial court never ‘explain[ed] its reasons for imposing such a grave sanction in order to allow for meaningful appellate review.’” The court held that the trial court “did not explain why dismissal with prejudice was a more just sanction than the less severe sanction of dismissal without prejudice. The trial court also made no factual findings about whether Collins’s conduct was willful and deliberate, or whether Collins’s noncompliance with discovery orders prejudiced Allstate—findings that could have supported the drastic sanction of dismissal with prejudice.” Allstate asserted that “although the trial court analyzed none of the Dean factors before dismissing the case, dismissal was clearly appropriate if the trial court had considered the factors. Allstate then goes on to, itself, analyze the Dean factors and explain why, having considered the factors, the ‘only appropriate sanction was dismissal with prejudice.’” The court concluded that while it appreciated “Allstate’s well-reasoned analysis, our duty is to review the trial court’s reasoning, not a litigant’s view of what the trial court might have found had the court provided any record of its decision. The trial court abused its discretion by failing to provide any reasoning or consideration of lesser sanctions on the record. On remand, ‘[t]he record should reflect that that the trial court gave careful consideration to the factors involved and considered all its options in determining what sanction was just and proper in the context of the case before it.’”

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Insurance

    e-Journal #: 78229
    Case: Dakhlallah v. Progressive Marathon Ins. Co.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Markey, and Patel
    Issues:

    Action for personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits under the No-Fault Act; Causal connection requirement for an injury arising from an assault in a motor vehicle to be compensable; McKenzie v Auto Club Ins Ass’n; Injury sustained while alighting from the vehicle; Kemp v Farm Bureau Gen Ins Co of MI; Failure to comply with a scheduling order as to filing a required response to a summary disposition motion; MCR 2.401(B)(2)(a)(ii); MCR 2.119(E)(3); MCR 2.504(B)(1); MCR 2.116(G)(4); Mootness

    Summary:

    The court held that plaintiff’s failure to comply with the scheduling order as to filing a required response to defendant-insurer’s summary disposition motion justified the dismissal of his case. The court also held that he did not have a viable claim for PIP benefits as a matter of law. Thus, it affirmed summary disposition for defendant. The case arose from “an alleged assault committed against plaintiff” after he got into an argument with another person while in his own vehicle. As plaintiff tried to step out of his car, the other person “slammed the door several times into plaintiff’s leg, breaking it in two places.” On appeal, the court first determined that his argument about the disqualification of his attorney (who was also his wife) on the basis she was a necessary witness was moot. It then addressed his due process claim, concluding the trial court did not deprive him “of a hearing; rather, plaintiff failed to comply with the scheduling order regarding the filing of a required response to the summary disposition motion, effectively forfeiting or waiving his opportunity to argue his case at the scheduled hearing. There is nothing in the record suggesting that plaintiff would not have been allowed to present oral argument had he filed a response as was required.” The court noted that the scheduling “order expressly stated that dismissal could result from a compliance failure. And plaintiff’s noncompliance did not merely entail an untimely response to the summary disposition motion. Rather, plaintiff did not file any response at all. Aside from the violation of the scheduling order, MCR 2.116(G)(4)” also justified dismissal of his case for failing to counter the (C)(10) motion. Finally, the court found that summary disposition was appropriate on a substantive basis. The “assault and resulting injury just happened to occur when plaintiff was attempting to alight from the vehicle. Taken to its logical extreme, a person shot while alighting from a vehicle could recover PIP benefits under a ruling in plaintiff’s favor—this is not the law.” Further, the other person involved in the altercation “wielded the car door as a weapon in injuring plaintiff. Therefore, the injury was not closely related to the transportational function of the motor vehicle, which is necessary to support an award of PIP benefits.”

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Contracts

    e-Journal #: 78204
    Case: US Framing Int'l, LLC v. Continental Real Estate Cos.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Gadola, and Yates
    Issues:

    Interpretation & application of the parties’ contract; Motion for clarification of the trial court’s order granting summary disposition; Mootness

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court erred by interpreting ¶ 15.2 of the parties’ contract as a time bar to defendant-Continental’s counterclaim. Thus, the court reversed the trial court’s order granting plaintiff-US Framing summary disposition of Continental’s counterclaim, affirmed the trial court’s order denying US Framing’s motion for clarification, and remanded. The case involved “a contract dispute arising from a project to build mixed-use commercial retail and off-campus student housing in Ann Arbor.” Another defendant owned “the property in question and hired Continental to serve as general contractor for the project. Continental subcontracted with US Framing to provide wood-framing labor and materials for the project. The contract between Continental and US Framing detailed the parties’ respective rights and obligations.” The parties disagreed whether US Framing fulfilled its obligations under the contract as to timeliness and work quality. US Framing maintained that “it fully performed its obligations under the contract, while Continental maintains that US Framing performed untimely and substandard work resulting in considerable costs to Continental.” At issue was the interpretation and application of ¶ 15.2 of their contract. The parties did “not dispute that under ¶ 15.2 the applicable time limit for initiating a lawsuit was three months from the time US Framing last performed work on the project, which” they agreed was 4/11/18. Thus, under ¶ 15.2 the parties were required to commence suit, if at all, by 7/11/18. “US Framing filed the current suit within the requisite period. Continental filed its counterclaim in [11/18], outside the three-month window of ¶ 15.2.” The court held that giving “meaning to both the first and last sentences in the paragraph, it is apparent that the word ‘suit’ in ¶ 15.2 was not used synonymously with the word ‘claim’ and that ¶ 15.2 should not be read to require each individual claim—or counterclaim or dispute or matter—to be filed within three months of when US Framing stopped work on the project.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Negligence & Intentional Tort (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 78213
    Case: Milske v. Kalamazoo Props., LLC
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray, O’Brien, and Redford
    Issues:

    Premises liability; Breach of duties to keep the apartment property safe for the tenants; Causation; Whether the assailant gained access to the basement through the door because of a faulty locking mechanism

    Summary:

    The court concluded that plaintiff’s “theory that her assailant gained access to the basement through the north door because of the faulty locking mechanism ‘is, at best, just as possible as another theory,’ and is otherwise conjecture insufficient to establish a question of fact.” Thus, it affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of defendant-Lukeman Property Management. The case stemmed “from an incident in which plaintiff was assaulted by an unknown assailant” while leaving the laundry room in the basement of her apartment building, which was managed by Lukeman. Plaintiff argued that “she presented sufficient evidence from which a factfinder could reasonably infer that the defective locking mechanism on the north door caused her injuries.” The court held that she “presented evidence that sets forth an explanation consistent with known facts—but not deducible from them as a reasonable inference—for how her assailant gained access to the building, leading to her assault.” Relatedly, her evidence failed “to exclude, with a fair amount of certainty, other reasonable explanations for how her assailant gained access to the basement.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Real Property (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Consumer Rights

    e-Journal #: 78209
    Case: Harris v. Spot Realty, Inc.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gleicher, Markey, and Patel
    Issues:

    Whether the parties’ land contract violated Michigan’s Usury Act; MCL 438.31c(6); Interest rate; MCL 438.32; Blending approach to determining the interest rate; Mills v Pesetsky; Balloon payment under 15 USC § 1639; The Michigan Consumer Protection Act’s (MCPA) prohibition against unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive methods, acts, or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce; MCL 445.903(1)(a)-(ll); Declaratory relief; Mettler Walloon, LLC v Melrose Twp; Findings of fact & conclusions of law; MCR 2.517(A)(4); Durant v Stahlin

    Summary:

    The court held that the parties’ land contract was not usurious, that 15 USC § 1639 was not applicable, that there were no violations of the MCPA, and that any request for declaratory relief was moot. Thus, it affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary disposition for defendant. Defendant purchased plaintiff’s property at a sheriff’s sale after plaintiff defaulted on her mortgage. Before “the redemption period expired, plaintiff sold defendant her interest in the property, her redemption rights, and her rights to any surplus from the sheriff’s sale in exchange for an option to buy” the property back. Plaintiff later exercised her option by entering into a land contract with defendant. Plaintiff subsequently defaulted on the land contract, so defendant initiated forfeiture proceedings. Plaintiff filed this action seeking to void or reform the land contract. On appeal, the court first found the language of the land contract unambiguous, noting it was “clear from the face of the document that the land contract was not usurious.” It next found the land contract did not violate § 1639, noting plaintiff “failed to provide the trial court with any evidence that the land contract constituted a ‘high-cost mortgage’” or that its “balloon payment otherwise violated the statute.” The court next found the land contract did not violate the MCPA, noting plaintiff “simply made a vague allegation in her complaint that defendant engaged in ‘unfair and deceptive treatment’ in the subject transaction. And plaintiff has not cited any particular provisions in her brief on appeal.” It further found the trial court was not obliged to issue a declaratory ruling as to the true amount owed under the land contract because “none of plaintiff’s substantive claims survived defendant’s motion for summary disposition,” so any request for declaratory relief was moot. Finally, the court found the trial court did not err in granting defendant’s motion for summary disposition without making any findings of fact or conclusions of law as it was not required to do so.

    Full Text Opinion

  • School Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Contracts

    e-Journal #: 78206
    Case: Guzall v. Michigan State Univ.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – K.F. Kelly, Letica, and Rick
    Issues:

    Governmental immunity; A public university’s entitlement to immunity; MCL 691.1407(1); MCL 691.1401(a) & (g); Vicarious liability; “Governmental function”; MCL 691.1401(b); The proprietary function exception; MCL 691.1413; Herman v Detroit; Breach of contract; Miller-Davis Co v Ahrens Constr, Inc; Whether a claim is time-barred; Condition precedent to filing a claim against the state; MCL 600.6431(1); Defamation; Reighard v ESPN, Inc; Absolute privilege; Eddington v Torrez; Qualified privilege; Rosenboom v Vanek; Leave to amend; Sanders v Perfecting Church; Futility; Wormsbacher v Phillip R Seaver Title Co

    Summary:

    The court held that the Court of Claims did not err by granting defendants-university, board of trustees, and affiliate (Franz) summary disposition of plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff sued defendants alleging a variety of contract and tort claims related to an employment relationship. The Court of Claims granted summary disposition for defendants and denied plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend. On appeal, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the Court of Claims erred by finding his tort claims against the university defendants were barred by governmental immunity, noting he “did not plead any facts to avoid application of governmental immunity,” and even if he had, the university defendants were entitled to immunity. The court also rejected his claim that the trial court erred by finding his contract claims were time-barred, holding that because he untimely filed his notice of intent his “breach of contract and specific performance claims relating to the alleged promise for full-time” employment were properly dismissed, as was his breach of contract claim relating to unapproved invoices. Next, the court rejected his contentions that Franz was not entitled to the application of privilege as to his tort claims because she knew he did not commit a crime, and that there was a genuine issue of fact as to whether Franz acted with actual malice. First, “Franz’s police report was absolutely privileged and could not give rise to an actionable defamation claim.” Second, there was no factual basis for the claim that Franz’s statements were false or inaccurate. Finally, the court rejected his argument that the Court of Claims abused its discretion by denying his motion for leave to amend the complaint to include additional factual background and legal claims, noting it “correctly concluded that the proposed amendment was futile.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

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