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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summaries of opinions as they are released from the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals (published & unpublished), and selected U.S. Sixth Circuit.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:

  • Business Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Real Property

    e-Journal #: 76404
    Case: Bafna v. Echo Valley Condo. Ass'n
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gadola and Jansen; Dissent – O’Brien
    Issues:

    A condo owner’s request to inspect the nonprofit condo association’s records; MCL 450.2487 of the Nonprofit Corporation Act (NCA); Looking at the complaint to determine if plaintiff stated a “proper purpose” for the requests; Parallel provision in the Business Corporation Act (BCA); North Oakland Cnty Bd of Realtors v Realcomp, Inc

    Summary:

    Extending the approach it applied to an identical provision in the BCA, the court held in this case brought under the NCA that if “a plaintiff seeking records clarifies the purpose of its request in the context of litigation, whether via its complaint or an affidavit it submits in the litigation context,” the trial court should consider those clarifications or reasons, as it did here. It further concluded that plaintiff-condo owner stated a proper purpose under MCL 450.2487 for each of his requests to inspect defendant-condo association’s records. Thus, it affirmed summary disposition for plaintiff. As an owner of a condo in the development, he was a co-owner of defendant. Defendant first argued that the trial court erred in finding that plaintiff stated a proper purpose for his records-inspection requests “based on statements in his complaint rather than what was stated in his record requests.” But the court concluded that it did not err in examining the complaint, together with plaintiff’s initial record requests, in determining that he “had stated proper purposes for his requests.” While there was no case law addressing this issue under the NCA, North Oakland addressed it in the context of the BCA’s parallel provision and considered “an affidavit plaintiff submitted after the filing of its complaint to conclude that plaintiff had stated a proper purpose for its record inspection requests.” Turning to plaintiff’s requests, the court first found that he stated a proper purpose for inspecting “records related to past litigation costs. As plaintiff’s complaint suggested, such costs could affect plaintiff’s dues payments and the records might confirm his more generalized concern that the association was mismanaged. The extent and cost of litigation is certainly a reasonable area of inquiry with respect to anyone with a legitimate interest in the affairs of a corporation, such as” he had here. As to his second request, as a co-owner, he “had an interest in whether defendant was wasting money by changing to a new system for accessing the pool—overpayments by defendant would increase plaintiff’s dues.” Further, like that request, his third request, for a bulb-replacement invoice, “stated a proper purpose.” As a dues-paying co-owner, he had an interest in whether defendant was overpaying for services. His requests for board meeting minutes also stated a proper purpose.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Constitutional Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under School Law

    e-Journal #: 76458
    Case: Resurrection Sch. v. Hertel
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Sutton, Moore, Cole, Clay, Gibbons, Griffin, Kethledge, White, Stranch, Donald, Thapar, Bush, Larsen, Nalbandian, Readler, and Murphy
    Issues:

    Mask mandate in schools; Mootness; Denial of a preliminary injunction; Free-exercise claim; Equal protection claim; Substantive due process claim; Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS)

    Summary:

    [This appeal was from the WD-MI.] The court voted for rehearing en banc and vacated the prior decision and judgment (see e-Journal # 76075 in the 8/26/21 edition), in which the court had held that plaintiffs’ challenges to the MDHHS’s Orders requiring school children to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were not moot just because they had been rescinded. Applying rational basis review, it had also held that they were “rationally related to a legitimate government interest”—controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. The mandate was stayed and the case was restored to the court’s docket as a pending appeal.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Criminal Law (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 76422
    Case: People v. Boozer
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Stephens, Sawyer, and Servitto
    Issues:

    Sentencing; Use of interactive video technology; MCR 6.006(A); People v Heller; Felony sentencing; Waiver; People v Palmerton

    Summary:

    Holding that the trial court violated MCR 6.006(A) in sentencing defendant for a felony via videoconference, and there was no evidence he or defense counsel waived the right to be present, the court affirmed his convictions but reversed his sentences and remanded for resentencing. It retained jurisdiction and issued an order as to the proceedings on remand. Defendant pled guilty to breaking and entering a motor vehicle to steal property worth $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 and stealing another’s financial transaction device. He was sentenced as a fourth-offense habitual offender to 5 to 30 years for the former and 5 to 15 years for the latter. “MCR 6.006(A) identifies the criminal proceedings in which two-way interactive video technology may be used without first obtaining a waiver of a defendant’s physical presence at the proceeding. Because felony sentencing is not” on this list, conducting “felony sentencing by video conference without a waiver of a defendant’s physical presence at the proceeding plainly contravenes MCR 6.006(A).” In this case, there was “no indication on the record by defendant, defense counsel, or the trial court that defendant specifically knew of his right to be physically present during the sentencing hearing and expressly waived” it. The fact he appeared at sentencing via videoconference was “never addressed. Considering that a valid waiver cannot be established from a silent record, no waiver occurred.” The court noted that no affidavit by “defendant or argument by counsel would have been able to ascertain the difference between an allocution on a small screen and an in person articulation to the judicial officer. Allocution is the only opportunity a defendant has to directly address the court. The right to allocute in person is a substantial right, and failure to honor that right is not susceptible to objective measurement. Failure to afford the defendant this right impacts the actual integrity of the judicial system’s obligation to protect the rights of the accused.”

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 76416
    Case: People v. Craighead
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Stephens, Sawyer, and Servitto
    Issues:

    Successive motion for relief from judgment; MCR 6.502(G); MCR 6.508(D)(3); Newly discovered evidence; People v Cress; Admissibility; Other acts evidence; MRE 404(b)(1); People v Denson; People v VanderVliet; MRE 608(b); Probability of a different result on retrial; The trial court’s factual finding

    Summary:

    The court held that MCR 6.502(G) and 6.508(D)(3) did not procedurally bar defendant’s successive motion for relief from judgment, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that he was entitled to a new trial based on new evidence under the Cress test. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and felony-firearm. He asserted that new evidence about an investigator’s (S) “history of misconduct” undermined S’s trial testimony and revealed “a pattern of eliciting false confessions.” On appeal, the court rejected the prosecution’s argument that his motion was procedurally barred by MCR 6.502(G) because he did not offer newly discovered evidence about S’s misconduct. Defendant relied on “potential impeachment evidence that did not exist” when he filed his initial motion for relief from judgment in 2009, including 2019 affidavits from two individuals (J and M) who attested that S’s “misconduct led to their wrongful convictions” and excerpts from three civil complaints filed by J, M, and J’s codefendant in federal district court in 2018 and 2019. He also relied on depositions taken in those cases, and excerpts from S’s trial testimony in another civil case against her and others. The court found that while information about S’s “misconduct existed before defendant filed his initial motion for relief from judgment, it” did not appear that this information could have been used to effectively impeach S’s testimony at his trial. Further, his successive motion was not barred under MCR 6.508(D)(3) for the same reason it was not procedurally barred by MCR 6.502(G). The court also concluded that the first three prongs of the Cress test were met, and then considered whether the newly discovered other acts evidence was admissible. The prosecution’s argument was limited to whether it was relevant. The court found that there was “a striking similarity between” S’s acts in both M’s case and J’s case to those in defendant’s case. It held that the evidence of S’s acts in both cases “was admissible as evidence of a scheme, plan, or system to obtain false confessions under MRE 404(b). In addition, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it held that the newly discovered evidence proffered by defendant could be” used to show S’s “character for untruthfulness.” The court further concluded that the evidence made a different result on retrial probable. Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Employment & Labor Law (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Workers' Compensation

    e-Journal #: 76409
    Case: Doe v. General Motors, LLC
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray and Riordan; Dissent - Jansen
    Issues:

    The intentional-tort exception to the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act (WDCA); MCL 418.131(1); Bagby v Detroit Edison Co; “Certain to occur” & “willfully disregards” requirements; Discovery; MCR 2.116(G)(5)

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court properly granted summary disposition for defendant-employer because plaintiffs-employee and his wife failed to show that the intentional-tort exception to the exclusive-remedy provision of MCL 418.131(1) applied. It also held that the trial court was not required to permit discovery before ruling on defendant’s motion. The employee was seriously injured while working at defendant’s manufacturing plant. He and his wife sought damages for personal injuries and loss of consortium. They alleged defendant committed an intentional tort, and thus, the WDCA did not provide the exclusive remedy for their injuries. The trial court found plaintiffs’ allegations failed to meet the requirements for the intentional-tort exception to the WDCA. On appeal, the court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that the trial court erred by granting summary disposition because their allegations met the requirements for the intentional-tort exception. It noted that, “even assuming that plaintiffs met the ‘actual knowledge’ requirement,” they did not “meet [the] ‘certain to occur’ and ‘willfully disregards’ requirements.” By his own concession, the injured employee “never witnessed the ejection of [storage] blocks before, which indicates that this was not a continuous dangerous condition. Accordingly, there was not a certainty that injury would occur to [him]. Merely showing that something has happened before is insufficient to invoke the intentional-tort exception.” In addition, “[t]here was no certainty that the storage blocks would be left in the press, would be ejected, and would cause injury to an employee. There was only the probability that it could happen, which” suggested negligence on the part of the plant supervisor “for his alleged failure to warn plaintiff . . . but fails to rise to the level of culpability required under the intentional-tort exception to the WDCA.” The court also concluded that “discovery did ‘not stand a reasonable chance of uncovering factual support’ for plaintiffs’ position, and the trial court did not err by refusing to allow it.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Litigation

    e-Journal #: 76426
    Case: Card v. Principal Life Ins. Co.
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – McKeague and Nalbandian; Concurrence – Murphy
    Issues:

    Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); Disability benefits under an ERISA-governed plan; Appellate jurisdiction; Whether the district court order was a “final decision” for purposes of appeal; Whether the district court retained jurisdiction over the case when it was remanded to the plan administrator

    Summary:

    The court held that a district court retains jurisdiction over an ERISA case when an appellate court remands the case to a plan administrator; thus, the district court here erred by ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to consider plaintiff-beneficiary’s (Card) motions filed after that remand. Card was denied disability benefits under an ERISA-governed plan administered by defendant-Principal Life Insurance Company. The court previously held that the denial was arbitrary and remanded the case to the administrator. After remand, Card filed motions to reopen and for attorney’s fees with the district court, but it held that it lacked jurisdiction because the court had remanded the case directly to the administrator. The court first held that the district court’s jurisdictional ruling was a “final decision” that was appealable. It then held that the district court had jurisdiction to consider Card’s motions. Under Sixth Circuit precedent, when an administrator’s decision is “arbitrary and capricious for a procedural reason . . . . a court should ‘remand’ the beneficiary’s claims to the plan administrator for a second benefits determination.” The court concluded that “[a]s in every other ERISA case in this procedural posture, we interpret our prior decision as remanding to the district for it to retain jurisdiction while Principal Life engaged in the new benefits determination.” Thus, it vacated the district court’s order and remanded for consideration of Card’s motions.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Freedom of Information Act (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Open Meetings Act

    e-Journal #: 76415
    Case: Rotta v. Miller
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam - Ronayne Krause, Cameron, and Rick
    Issues:

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) & the Open Meetings Act (OMA); Action to compel compliance with the OMA’s quorum requirement; MCL 15.267(1); Reasons for a closed session; MCL 15.268(e); Principle that separate minutes must be taken at closed sessions; MCL 15.267(2); Request for records or information specifically described & exempted from disclosure by statute; MCL 15.243(1)(d); Exemption for minutes of a closed meeting conducted under the OMA; Traverse City Record-Eagle v Traverse City Area Pub Schs Bd of Educ; Reenactment procedure; MCL 15.270(5)

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court did not err by granting defendants-city and city council members summary disposition of plaintiff’s FOIA/OMA action. Plaintiff sued the city in an underlying action. The city agreed to settle the matter after entering a closed session, and the parties signed the settlement. Despite the settlement, plaintiff asserted “that the decision to go into closed session had been improper.” The city council subsequently “unanimously voted to go into closed session to ‘re-enact a potentially violated decision.’” It then again voted to agree to the settlement. Plaintiff claimed “a legitimate purpose existed for the first closed session but not a proper quorum, whereas a legitimate quorum existed for the second closed session, but not a proper purpose.” He submitted a FOIA request for the separate minutes taken at the closed portions of the meetings, which was denied. The trial court found that because the OMA was not violated, defendants properly denied the FOIA request. On appeal, the court noted that the trial court correctly held that the “OMA violation of the procedurally-erroneous vote to enter closed session” at the first meeting was cured by defendants’ subsequent vote, at the second meeting, to re-enact the decision. It further concluded that the trial court correctly held that the second vote “to enter closed session was not a violation of the OMA, because it was proper for defendants to cure the prior violation and because it was proper for defendants to be concerned about the financial effect of the settlement being potentially voidable. Because no violation of the OMA ultimately occurred, the trial court correctly granted summary disposition in favor of defendants as to all claims.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Litigation (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Malpractice

    e-Journal #: 76421
    Case: Estate of Patterson v. St. Joseph Mercy Hosp. Ann Arbor
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Rick, Ronayne Krause, and Letica
    Issues:

    Wrongful death action alleging medical malpractice; Dismissal for failure to comply with court rules or a court order; MCR 2.504(B)(1); Whether a lesser sanction would better serve the interests of justice; Dean v Tucker; Distinguishing Marquette v Village of Fowlerville & Bass v Combs; Notice of intent (NOI); Tyra v Organ Procurement Agency of MI; Tolling; MCL 600.2912b(1). Trowell v Providence Hosp; Affidavit of merit (AOM); MCL 600.2912d; Expert qualifications; MCL 600.2169; Woodard v Custer; Whether plaintiff’s attorney derived a reasonable belief that plaintiff’s expert & defendant-doctor matched specialties on the basis of the then-available information; Geralds v Munson Healthcare

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court abused its discretion by dismissing plaintiff-estate’s complaint without expressly considering the Dean factors on the record, including consideration of why plaintiff’s attorney was not present and whether a lesser sanction than dismissal without prejudice might better serve the interests of justice. It also held that plaintiff’s NOI and its proposed expert’s AOM were adequate. Plaintiff sued defendants-hospital and medical providers for the wrongful death of the decedent. The trial court dismissed the complaint after plaintiff’s counsel failed to appear, as ordered, for a hearing. The court held that the trial court’s dismissal of the case was an abuse of discretion. It rejected defendants’ argument that, under the circumstances, “dismissal was so clearly appropriate that the trial court’s failure to consider the Dean factors should be excused.” It noted that although the record “certainly does not foreclose the possibility that dismissal was” appropriate, it was “not persuaded that the circumstances were so egregious that [it] should usurp the trial court’s role.” The court found it “somewhat disingenuous for defendants’ attorneys to have failed to ensure that the trial court knew plaintiff’s counsel had not simply decided not to show up for no reason at all. That plaintiff’s attorney was suffering from a communicable and potentially-serious disease, and thus really should not have been exposing others to such contagions in any event, should have been expressly considered by the trial court before it imposed the sanction of dismissal.” The court also rejected defendants-doctor and medical practice’s argument on cross appeal that they were entitled to summary disposition because the limitations period and the wrongful-death saving period expired before they were served with a NOI, noting plaintiff complied with the statute. “[I]t seems reasonable that plaintiff should not be faulted for the [defendants’] own error in reporting their address to the state. [Their] failure to receive the NOI was essentially self-inflicted.” Finally, the court rejected their contention that because the doctor specializes in internal medicine, but plaintiff’s proposed expert (A) specializes in cardiology, plaintiff’s attorney could not have reasonably believed that A was qualified. “Regardless of whether [A’s] statement in the [AOM was] sufficient to definitively establish his qualification to testify under § 2169(b), it support[ed] the reasonableness of plaintiff’s attorney’s belief that” A was qualified. Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court retained jurisdiction.

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Employment & Labor Law

    e-Journal #: 76426
    Case: Card v. Principal Life Ins. Co.
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – McKeague and Nalbandian; Concurrence – Murphy
    Issues:

    Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); Disability benefits under an ERISA-governed plan; Appellate jurisdiction; Whether the district court order was a “final decision” for purposes of appeal; Whether the district court retained jurisdiction over the case when it was remanded to the plan administrator

    Summary:

    The court held that a district court retains jurisdiction over an ERISA case when an appellate court remands the case to a plan administrator; thus, the district court here erred by ruling that it lacked jurisdiction to consider plaintiff-beneficiary’s (Card) motions filed after that remand. Card was denied disability benefits under an ERISA-governed plan administered by defendant-Principal Life Insurance Company. The court previously held that the denial was arbitrary and remanded the case to the administrator. After remand, Card filed motions to reopen and for attorney’s fees with the district court, but it held that it lacked jurisdiction because the court had remanded the case directly to the administrator. The court first held that the district court’s jurisdictional ruling was a “final decision” that was appealable. It then held that the district court had jurisdiction to consider Card’s motions. Under Sixth Circuit precedent, when an administrator’s decision is “arbitrary and capricious for a procedural reason . . . . a court should ‘remand’ the beneficiary’s claims to the plan administrator for a second benefits determination.” The court concluded that “[a]s in every other ERISA case in this procedural posture, we interpret our prior decision as remanding to the district for it to retain jurisdiction while Principal Life engaged in the new benefits determination.” Thus, it vacated the district court’s order and remanded for consideration of Card’s motions.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Malpractice (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Litigation

    e-Journal #: 76421
    Case: Estate of Patterson v. St. Joseph Mercy Hosp. Ann Arbor
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Rick, Ronayne Krause, and Letica
    Issues:

    Wrongful death action alleging medical malpractice; Dismissal for failure to comply with court rules or a court order; MCR 2.504(B)(1); Whether a lesser sanction would better serve the interests of justice; Dean v Tucker; Distinguishing Marquette v Village of Fowlerville & Bass v Combs; Notice of intent (NOI); Tyra v Organ Procurement Agency of MI; Tolling; MCL 600.2912b(1). Trowell v Providence Hosp; Affidavit of merit (AOM); MCL 600.2912d; Expert qualifications; MCL 600.2169; Woodard v Custer; Whether plaintiff’s attorney derived a reasonable belief that plaintiff’s expert & defendant-doctor matched specialties on the basis of the then-available information; Geralds v Munson Healthcare

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court abused its discretion by dismissing plaintiff-estate’s complaint without expressly considering the Dean factors on the record, including consideration of why plaintiff’s attorney was not present and whether a lesser sanction than dismissal without prejudice might better serve the interests of justice. It also held that plaintiff’s NOI and its proposed expert’s AOM were adequate. Plaintiff sued defendants-hospital and medical providers for the wrongful death of the decedent. The trial court dismissed the complaint after plaintiff’s counsel failed to appear, as ordered, for a hearing. The court held that the trial court’s dismissal of the case was an abuse of discretion. It rejected defendants’ argument that, under the circumstances, “dismissal was so clearly appropriate that the trial court’s failure to consider the Dean factors should be excused.” It noted that although the record “certainly does not foreclose the possibility that dismissal was” appropriate, it was “not persuaded that the circumstances were so egregious that [it] should usurp the trial court’s role.” The court found it “somewhat disingenuous for defendants’ attorneys to have failed to ensure that the trial court knew plaintiff’s counsel had not simply decided not to show up for no reason at all. That plaintiff’s attorney was suffering from a communicable and potentially-serious disease, and thus really should not have been exposing others to such contagions in any event, should have been expressly considered by the trial court before it imposed the sanction of dismissal.” The court also rejected defendants-doctor and medical practice’s argument on cross appeal that they were entitled to summary disposition because the limitations period and the wrongful-death saving period expired before they were served with a NOI, noting plaintiff complied with the statute. “[I]t seems reasonable that plaintiff should not be faulted for the [defendants’] own error in reporting their address to the state. [Their] failure to receive the NOI was essentially self-inflicted.” Finally, the court rejected their contention that because the doctor specializes in internal medicine, but plaintiff’s proposed expert (A) specializes in cardiology, plaintiff’s attorney could not have reasonably believed that A was qualified. “Regardless of whether [A’s] statement in the [AOM was] sufficient to definitively establish his qualification to testify under § 2169(b), it support[ed] the reasonableness of plaintiff’s attorney’s belief that” A was qualified. Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court retained jurisdiction.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Open Meetings Act (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Freedom of Information Act

    e-Journal #: 76415
    Case: Rotta v. Miller
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam - Ronayne Krause, Cameron, and Rick
    Issues:

    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) & the Open Meetings Act (OMA); Action to compel compliance with the OMA’s quorum requirement; MCL 15.267(1); Reasons for a closed session; MCL 15.268(e); Principle that separate minutes must be taken at closed sessions; MCL 15.267(2); Request for records or information specifically described & exempted from disclosure by statute; MCL 15.243(1)(d); Exemption for minutes of a closed meeting conducted under the OMA; Traverse City Record-Eagle v Traverse City Area Pub Schs Bd of Educ; Reenactment procedure; MCL 15.270(5)

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court did not err by granting defendants-city and city council members summary disposition of plaintiff’s FOIA/OMA action. Plaintiff sued the city in an underlying action. The city agreed to settle the matter after entering a closed session, and the parties signed the settlement. Despite the settlement, plaintiff asserted “that the decision to go into closed session had been improper.” The city council subsequently “unanimously voted to go into closed session to ‘re-enact a potentially violated decision.’” It then again voted to agree to the settlement. Plaintiff claimed “a legitimate purpose existed for the first closed session but not a proper quorum, whereas a legitimate quorum existed for the second closed session, but not a proper purpose.” He submitted a FOIA request for the separate minutes taken at the closed portions of the meetings, which was denied. The trial court found that because the OMA was not violated, defendants properly denied the FOIA request. On appeal, the court noted that the trial court correctly held that the “OMA violation of the procedurally-erroneous vote to enter closed session” at the first meeting was cured by defendants’ subsequent vote, at the second meeting, to re-enact the decision. It further concluded that the trial court correctly held that the second vote “to enter closed session was not a violation of the OMA, because it was proper for defendants to cure the prior violation and because it was proper for defendants to be concerned about the financial effect of the settlement being potentially voidable. Because no violation of the OMA ultimately occurred, the trial court correctly granted summary disposition in favor of defendants as to all claims.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Real Property (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Business Law

    e-Journal #: 76404
    Case: Bafna v. Echo Valley Condo. Ass'n
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Gadola and Jansen; Dissent – O’Brien
    Issues:

    A condo owner’s request to inspect the nonprofit condo association’s records; MCL 450.2487 of the Nonprofit Corporation Act (NCA); Looking at the complaint to determine if plaintiff stated a “proper purpose” for the requests; Parallel provision in the Business Corporation Act (BCA); North Oakland Cnty Bd of Realtors v Realcomp, Inc

    Summary:

    Extending the approach it applied to an identical provision in the BCA, the court held in this case brought under the NCA that if “a plaintiff seeking records clarifies the purpose of its request in the context of litigation, whether via its complaint or an affidavit it submits in the litigation context,” the trial court should consider those clarifications or reasons, as it did here. It further concluded that plaintiff-condo owner stated a proper purpose under MCL 450.2487 for each of his requests to inspect defendant-condo association’s records. Thus, it affirmed summary disposition for plaintiff. As an owner of a condo in the development, he was a co-owner of defendant. Defendant first argued that the trial court erred in finding that plaintiff stated a proper purpose for his records-inspection requests “based on statements in his complaint rather than what was stated in his record requests.” But the court concluded that it did not err in examining the complaint, together with plaintiff’s initial record requests, in determining that he “had stated proper purposes for his requests.” While there was no case law addressing this issue under the NCA, North Oakland addressed it in the context of the BCA’s parallel provision and considered “an affidavit plaintiff submitted after the filing of its complaint to conclude that plaintiff had stated a proper purpose for its record inspection requests.” Turning to plaintiff’s requests, the court first found that he stated a proper purpose for inspecting “records related to past litigation costs. As plaintiff’s complaint suggested, such costs could affect plaintiff’s dues payments and the records might confirm his more generalized concern that the association was mismanaged. The extent and cost of litigation is certainly a reasonable area of inquiry with respect to anyone with a legitimate interest in the affairs of a corporation, such as” he had here. As to his second request, as a co-owner, he “had an interest in whether defendant was wasting money by changing to a new system for accessing the pool—overpayments by defendant would increase plaintiff’s dues.” Further, like that request, his third request, for a bulb-replacement invoice, “stated a proper purpose.” As a dues-paying co-owner, he had an interest in whether defendant was overpaying for services. His requests for board meeting minutes also stated a proper purpose.

    Full Text Opinion

  • School Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Constitutional Law

    e-Journal #: 76458
    Case: Resurrection Sch. v. Hertel
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Sutton, Moore, Cole, Clay, Gibbons, Griffin, Kethledge, White, Stranch, Donald, Thapar, Bush, Larsen, Nalbandian, Readler, and Murphy
    Issues:

    Mask mandate in schools; Mootness; Denial of a preliminary injunction; Free-exercise claim; Equal protection claim; Substantive due process claim; Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS)

    Summary:

    [This appeal was from the WD-MI.] The court voted for rehearing en banc and vacated the prior decision and judgment (see e-Journal # 76075 in the 8/26/21 edition), in which the court had held that plaintiffs’ challenges to the MDHHS’s Orders requiring school children to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were not moot just because they had been rescinded. Applying rational basis review, it had also held that they were “rationally related to a legitimate government interest”—controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. The mandate was stayed and the case was restored to the court’s docket as a pending appeal.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Workers' Compensation (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Employment & Labor Law

    e-Journal #: 76409
    Case: Doe v. General Motors, LLC
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray and Riordan; Dissent - Jansen
    Issues:

    The intentional-tort exception to the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act (WDCA); MCL 418.131(1); Bagby v Detroit Edison Co; “Certain to occur” & “willfully disregards” requirements; Discovery; MCR 2.116(G)(5)

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court properly granted summary disposition for defendant-employer because plaintiffs-employee and his wife failed to show that the intentional-tort exception to the exclusive-remedy provision of MCL 418.131(1) applied. It also held that the trial court was not required to permit discovery before ruling on defendant’s motion. The employee was seriously injured while working at defendant’s manufacturing plant. He and his wife sought damages for personal injuries and loss of consortium. They alleged defendant committed an intentional tort, and thus, the WDCA did not provide the exclusive remedy for their injuries. The trial court found plaintiffs’ allegations failed to meet the requirements for the intentional-tort exception to the WDCA. On appeal, the court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that the trial court erred by granting summary disposition because their allegations met the requirements for the intentional-tort exception. It noted that, “even assuming that plaintiffs met the ‘actual knowledge’ requirement,” they did not “meet [the] ‘certain to occur’ and ‘willfully disregards’ requirements.” By his own concession, the injured employee “never witnessed the ejection of [storage] blocks before, which indicates that this was not a continuous dangerous condition. Accordingly, there was not a certainty that injury would occur to [him]. Merely showing that something has happened before is insufficient to invoke the intentional-tort exception.” In addition, “[t]here was no certainty that the storage blocks would be left in the press, would be ejected, and would cause injury to an employee. There was only the probability that it could happen, which” suggested negligence on the part of the plant supervisor “for his alleged failure to warn plaintiff . . . but fails to rise to the level of culpability required under the intentional-tort exception to the WDCA.” The court also concluded that “discovery did ‘not stand a reasonable chance of uncovering factual support’ for plaintiffs’ position, and the trial court did not err by refusing to allow it.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

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