Blog

Browse Our Blog for Knowledge on How to Protect Yourself Legally and to See Examples of How We've Achieved Results


REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition, concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

DIVORCE 29: Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic is subject to modification.

As the name implies, periodic spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis. Periodic spousal support payments are subject to any contingency, such as death or remarriage of a spouse, whereas spousal support in gross is paid as a lump sum or a definite sum to be paid in installments. In addition, one major difference between the two types of spousal support is modifiability. Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic spousal support is subject to modification pursuant to MCL 555.28.1.

How to Dispute an Insurance Adjustment

When something drastic happens, many people need to take extra steps to rebuild your home, recover property, or pay medical bill collectors. Unfortunately, most people believe they have no backup plan if their insurance company refuses their claim...

PROBATE 28: Probate court enters a protective order providing support for a community spouse.

A probate court’s consideration of the couple’s circumstances cannot involve an assumption that the institutionalized spouse should receive 100% free medical care under Medicaid or an assumption that a community spouse is entitled to maintain his or her standard of living. Medicaid is a need-based program, and a Medicaid recipient is obligated to contribute to his or her care.

REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

LITIGATION 6: The terms of the agreement prevails over the course of performance.

The trial court determined that under the UCC, the express terms of the parties’ agreements prevailed over the course of their performance and course of dealing. Although a course of performance may show that parties have waived a specific contractual term under MCL 440.1303(6), the statute does not similarly provide that a course of dealing may demonstrate waiver.

PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Starting a Business

So, you have a great idea and the experience to back it up. You are in a great starting place, but you have some work to do before jumping into forming your own business. Consider the following steps before you begin the process of starting your...

FAMILY LAW 32: Trial court committed error in failing to address whether there was an established custodial environment.

On appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court failed to make any findings regarding (1) the child’s established custodial environment, (2) the child’s best interests regarding the grant of primary physical custody to defendant, (3) the child’s best interests with respect to parenting time, and (4) the child’s best interests pertaining to the parties’ dispute over daycare.

PROBATE 25: Daughter removed as personal representative of the estate.

the probate court determined that Daughter J had managed the estate in a manner that promoted her own interests as a beneficiary over the interests of the estate. The probate court found that such management demonstrated mismanagement of the estate and that removal of Daughter J was therefore in the best interests of the estate.

4 Last Minute Ways to Avoid Foreclosure

One tough break seems to lead to another. If you get behind on mortgage payments, you could be in danger of having your house foreclosed upon by the bank. Lenders foreclose on real estate to recoup their losses. But this means you won’t have a...

5 Necessary Sections Your Prenuptial Agreement Needs

Many big decisions come with getting engaged. Planning for marriage can be exciting and romantic, although the thought of adding a prenuptial agreement may not stoke your passion, they can help you now and in the future. Prenuptial agreements are...

REAL ESTATE 32: Plaintiffs and defendants executed a second easement.

Plaintiffs requested that the trial court, either through reformation of the First Easement or interpretation of the Second Easement, quiet title in favor of plaintiffs and declare them to be the owners of an easement to access Lake Superior through the ravine on defendants’ property, enjoin defendants from interfering with their use of the easement, and order compensation for damages to the stairs.

LITIGATION 4: Plaintiff claimed installation of hardwood flooring breached the condo bylaws.

Defendants completed the project. Plaintiff did not pay for any of the costs of the project. Defendants moved to compel plaintiff to pay one-half of the costs under the agreement. Plaintiff responded that defendants had materially breached the agreement in several ways, including by denying her the right to supervise the project, by refusing to give her an installation schedule, and by starting work before plaintiff approved of the start date.

FAMILY LAW 30: Discretionary trust assets cannot be reached to satisfy claims for child support and alimony.

The key difference between discretionary trusts, support trusts, and spendthrift trusts is that creditors cannot compel the trustee of a discretionary trust to pay any part of the income or principal in order that the creditors may be paid. The opposite is true of spendthrift and support trusts, which allow trust assets to be reached to satisfy creditors, including creditors seeking to satisfy claims for child support and alimony.

An Easy Guide to Navigate the Probate Process

Families can help each other through life’s toughest moments. However, issues come up when the strain of losing a loved one combines with the stress of honoring their last wishes. Probate protects beneficiaries best interests. Though...

Top 3 Misconceptions on Power of Attorney

Considering leaving the country for a long time while maintaining a business or selling a home in the US? Were you recently diagnosed with a terminal or degenerative disease? For these and many other issues, it may become necessary for someone...

FAMILY LAW 29: Quitclaim deed signed after prenuptial agreement prevails.

The court ruled that title to the land prevails and that once the deed was signed, the property became the undivided whole interest for both the decedent and appellee and became appellee’s property upon the decedent’s death. Consequently, the court concluded that the prenuptial agreement did not have any impact on the property rights of appellee in this case.

Know the Differences between Annulment and Divorce

  Marriage can end through two ways: divorce and annulment. Though both of these options have the same result, each has different requirements. There are many similarities and differences between a divorce and an annulment, so many...

Understanding Vaping Laws for Minors

  Vaping is a fad that is quickly solidifying into a stable industry of products around the world. Vaping and electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) use have dramatically increased from roughly “seven million [users] in 2011 to 35...

Michigans New Marijuana Laws

The 2018 ballot initiative titled “the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) passed with 56% of the vote. Michigan joins nine states and D.C. in legalizing some form of recreational marijuana use.  Due to the...

Cyberbullying Is Now A Punishable Crime In Michigan

Beginning in March 2019, cyberbullying will now be illegal in the state of Michigan. The House Bill 5017 now makes cyberbullying a punishable crime by Michigan law, meaning that those who harass others online could face potential jail...

The Difference Between Theft, Robbery and Burglary

Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of someone’s personal property by...

Do I Have To Go To Court If I Get A Divorce?

If you’re contemplating a divorce in Michigan, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the most intimidating aspects of getting a divorce in Michigan or anywhere else is the idea of having to appear in court. The laws for getting a...

Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is not only for the wealthy people in society, like Hollywood celebrities and the like but also for any couple that brings personal assets, property, debts or children from a former relationship into the marriage. This...

PROBATE 19: Respondent argues she did not receive notice of hearing until five days before.

Respondent argues that she was denied her right to due process of law because she did not receive notice of the hearing until five days before it took place. Respondent argues that the five-day notice of hearing violated her right to due process. Due process generally requires that notice be reasonably calculated to apprise interested parties of the action and to provide them an opportunity to be heard.

WILLS/TRUSTS 11: Allegations that a trustee violated his fiduciary duties.

MCL 700.7803 states that a trustee shall act as would a prudent person in dealing with the property of another, including following the standards of the Michigan prudent investor rule. If the trustee has special skills or is named trustee on the basis of representation of special skills or expertise, the trustee is under a duty to use those skills. MCL 700.7810 states that a trustee shall take reasonable steps to take control of and protect the trust property.

How Is Probation Violated?

If you are on probation, it means you have the judge's trust and have been allowed some level of freedom. Now you must work on ensuring you don’t violate your probation. You will need to abide by every term that the criminal court judge...

REAL ESTATE 25: Foreclosure and sheriff’s sale, redemption period expired.

In lieu of an answer, defendants filed a motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8) and (C)(10), arguing essentially that plaintiff lacked standing to bring claims related to the Property because plaintiff’s legal interest in the Property was extinguished through properly conducted foreclosure proceedings and the redemption period had expired and that none of plaintiff’s claims had legal merit.

I Was Arrested- Can I Question The Cop?

There are things that the police wouldn’t want people to know, and this is for the apparent reason that their investigations wouldn’t yield many convictions as they would like. The role of a police officer is to make arrests followed by...

REAL ESTATE 24: Court dismissed defendant’s counterclaim for failure to join third party.

Defendants’ counter-complaint sought a declaration, among other things, that defendants had acquired a legal right to use the Drive as a means to access their property. But defendants did not add the LLC, the owner of the Drive, as a party to their suit. Consequently, the trial court dismissed defendant’s counterclaim for easement rights because of the failure to join LLC—a necessary party.

Can Your Marriage Be Annulled?

An annulment officially erases a marriage. In Michigan, it is harder to get your marriage annulled than it is to get a divorce. The annulment procedure is very similar to the divorce process, and you need filing of the right documents and service...

Estate Planning- What Errors You Should Avoid?

Estate planning is a task financial experts say you should never neglect. Despite this, according to a 2017 survey, 6 in 10 Americans don't have a will. While not doing any estate planning is the biggest mistake of all, here are three...

REAL ESTATE 22: Court found denial of rezoning from multiple-family to commercial invalid.

Plaintiff brought suit, alleging that the rezoning denial deprived it of its constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive due process. The parties filed competing motions for summary disposition. The briefs largely focused on whether defendant had treated the Property differently from other properties in the downtown area and whether it had legitimate reasons for doing so.

FAMILY LAW 24: Plaintiff-mother denied her motion to change parenting time.

The Child Custody Act of 1970, MCL 722.21 authorizes a trial court to issue custody and parenting-time orders that are in the child’s best interests. A showing of proper cause or change of circumstances is required to modify a parenting-time order. The movant has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that either proper cause or a change of circumstances exists.

Custody of Pets In A Divorce

Divorce comes with confusion and mixed emotions. The question of who gets custody of pets may be even more confusing- especially since pets can begin to feel like family. Courts often look out for the interest of human children and allow for shared...

PROBATE 14: Trial court found involuntary mental health treatment appropriate.

To receive involuntary mental health treatment under the Mental Health Code, MCL 330.1001, a petitioner is required to establish that respondent has a mental illness and who as a result of that mental illness can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure himself, herself, or another individual, and who has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of the expectation.

BUSINESS LAW 6: Membership dispute in a LLC.

Based on the testimony, the trial court ordered the dissolution and liquidation of the assets of the LLC. The trial court also directed the LLC to make a distribution to plaintiff, which represented the 49% share owed to him to compensate for defendant’s distribution.

WILLS/TRUSTS 8: What makes a will irrevocable?

The parties agreed that the decedent properly executed the 2005 will with his wife, but the probate court was asked to rule on whether the terms of that will made it irrevocable, which would mean that the decedent could not change his estate plan by way of the 2015 will.

Windows Tint Laws- Is Window Tinting Legal?

Some of the reasons why people tint their car windows include to enhance safety, achieve a good level of privacy and to prevent their skin from the damaging effects of UV rays. Despite these benefits, window tinting can affect a driver’s...

DIVORCE 10: For an agreement to be unconscionable, there must be both procedural unconscionability and substantive unconscionability.

Despite having signed the proposed divorce judgment, defendant filed an answer to the divorce complaint on February 28, 2017, and on March 2, 2017, she filed a response to plaintiff’s motion for entry of proofs and judgment, along with a motion to restore her possession of the marital home. Defendant claimed arguments premised on unconscionability.

What Happens If a Minor Is Caught Underage Drinking?

Even if you don't believe underage drinking is a big deal, the police in Michigan take it serious. The penalties can include fines or even a potential criminal record. What Happens for a First Underage Drinking Offense? Under Michigan law,...

REAL ESTATE 18: If contract is silent as to time of performance, the law will presume a reasonable time.

The absence of an explicitly stated time for performance or payment does not render a contract invalid or unenforceable. One party’s substantial breach of a contract may relieve the other party of its obligation to perform under the contract. Substantial breach may be found in cases where the breach has effected such a change in essential operative elements of the contract that further performance by the other party is thereby rendered ineffective or impossible.

Why Does Crime Spike In The Summer?

Summer is here. While most people are dreaming about relaxing and taking a well-earned vacation, others are getting ready for their busiest time of year. According to a report by the US Department of Justice, the crime rate can increase more than...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends on the prevailing circumstances. Also, the...

REAL ESTATE 17: To sustain a breach of contract, plaintiff must show that the other party breached the contract, not that it will breach the contract.

Plaintiff failed to properly allege a cause of action for breach of contract, plaintiff’s claim for injunctive relief necessarily fails. An injunction is an equitable remedy rather than an independent cause of action. It is not the remedy that supports the cause of action, but rather the cause of action that supports a remedy. Thus, without a cause of action, injunctive relief is not warranted, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff further injunctive relief.

3 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Estate planning is no easy task. It can be a daunting, overwhelming and leave you with more questions than answers. Many people can benefit from having an estate plan and this article breaks down the top 3 mistakes to avoid when planning your...

FSBO: 3 Tips to Help Effectively Sell Your Home

Many homeowners are taking real estate matters into their own hands, especially when it comes to their own homes. Some of the most difficult tasks FSBO sellers encounter are selling their home at the right price, understanding paperwork and selling...

How Is Debt Split Up In A Divorce?

For some, debt is inevitable. Many individuals have some form of debt whether it’s credit card debt or student loans. You and your spouse may have accumulated debt over the years and this raises a huge question. How is debt split up in a...

What Are Some Post Legal Divorce Issues?

Once a divorce is finalized, there still may be a few legal issues that can happen after the divorce proceeding. It’s even possible that new issues can arise after the divorce. In either event, a divorce lawyer can help guide you through these...

For Sale by Owner: Do You Need an Attorney?

  For sale by owner (FSBO) homes can be a daunting task. However, if you want to do it correctly and smoothly, it’s best done with some assistance from a real estate lawyer. A real estate attorney has the knowledge and experience to...

Michigan Marijuana Statutes

In the state of Michigan, the possession of marijuana is illegal unless you have a medical condition that is debilitating. Below we discuss the marijuana statutes in Michigan. Medical Marijuana The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act states that...

The Most Common Reasons for Real Estate Litigation

Real estate litigation can happen to anyone, from buyers and sellers to real estate agents, there’s always a potential for a lawsuit. With a lot of money on the line, it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney who has a great...

Refusing A Blood Alcohol Test in Michigan

In the state of Michigan, the law requires you to take either a blood, breath or urine test if arrested for an OWI. Michigan has an “implied consent” law which states that if someone lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause...

Do Background Checks Show Misdemeanors?

  Misdemeanors are often considered a less serious criminal offense compared to their felony counterpart. Common misdemeanors include reckless driving, petty theft, public intoxication, trespassing and more. Although misdemeanors don’t...

REAL ESTATE 11: Homeowner association wins in paint color dispute.

Under this section, a homeowner must seek prior approval from the Association before he or she can change the exterior color of his or her home. If that requirement is violated, the Association is entitled to have the color changed and the home repainted a different color at the homeowner’s expense.

REAL ESTATE 7: Even without an express contract, there can be an implied contract.

Contracts can be divided into two categories: express contracts and implied contracts. An express contract is one where the intention of the parties and the terms of the agreement are declared or expressed by the parties, in writing or orally. Alternatively, a contract may be implied from the conduct of the parties, language used or things done by them, or other pertinent circumstances attending the transaction.

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime, you could be facing some severe penalties that could include financial fines, public service, or even jail time. For those that are in the Michigan area, hiring an attorney that is experienced in criminal defense...

PROBATE 2: Can you remove a guardian that holds power of attorney?

Under the EPIC, a “suitable” guardian is one who is qualified and able to provide for the ward’s care, custody, and control. When a preponderance of the evidence weighs against the suitability of the ward’s current choice for guardian, the probate court must remove that person as guardian.

PROBATE 1: Probate court jurisdiction versus business court jurisdiction.

In this case involving a Living Trust, the husband, appeals as of right the probate court’s order granting partial summary disposition to their daughter. The order resolved claims relating to two family businesses, declared the wife disabled, and pursuant to the terms of the trust, removed the husband as successor trustee of the trust.

REAL ESTATE 3: Can you take your neighbor’s land by Adverse Possession?

To prevail on a claim of adverse possession, plaintiffs must show that they possessed the disputed property openly, adversely, exclusively, and continuously for at least 15 years. A party making an adverse possession claim can meet the time requirement by tacking their possessory period to that of their predecessors in interest with whom they are in privity of estate.

The Basics of a Plea Bargain

A plea bargain is an agreement made between the prosecutor and the defendant in which the accused person agrees to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for the prosecutor dropping the charges or recommending a lower sentence to the judge or...

REAL ESTATE 2: Property dispute, intent is not required for a trespass.

In instances of trespass where injunctive relief and actual damages are not warranted, a plaintiff nevertheless is entitled to nominal damages. Because a trespass violates a landholder’s right to exclude others from the premises, the landholder could recover at least nominal damages even in the absence of proof of any other injury.

Bail: Getting Out of Jail After an Arrest

Being arrested in Michigan is certainly not going to be a fun experience no matter what, but it can be easier when you understand exactly what will happen and why. Find out more about how you can get out of jail by posting bond.  What are...

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

While the “right to remain silent” represents one of your most unassailable rights, many people have a few misconceptions about how it works. A lot of people receive their understanding of this particular right from media and...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another important issue that people need to think...

Is an IRA marital property subject to division?

Plaintiff, age 67 at the time of divorce, and defendant, age 59 at the time of divorce, were married for 23 years. The judgment of divorce provides for a division of property. Defendant appeals arguing that the trial court erred in determining the...

Digital assets and estate planning

Since the first smartphones were introduced nearly a decade ago, there has been a gradual shift from widespread use of traditional paper documents to digital documents. If you need proof, consider that most people have plane tickets on their phones,...

Child Support Modification

Plaintiff sought an increase in child support, claiming the defendant-father's income had increased substantially, which constituted a change in circumstances. In July 2015, plaintiff filed a motion to modify child support. In that motion,...

A divorce shouldn't thwart your estate planning goals

We all know that divorce is not easy, no matter how ready you may be to get out of a troubled marriage. There are certainly emotional hurdles to overcome as you move on with life, and the financial hurdles may take longer to get over than you may...

Are you required to provide ID as a passenger?

Being stopped by the police is not usually a pleasant experience. Even with the most benign of infractions, the encounter can be adversarial. Indeed, the notion of authority can lead to citizens doing things that they are not required to do out of...

Creditor's Rights Against Estates and Trusts

The probate court denied a petition for formal proceedings. The petition further identifies the petitioner as a "creditor" of the estate and states that "Litigation against the Estate is pending." Appellee is the widow and was...

What to know about will contests

You create an estate plan to make sure your heirs and beneficiaries are taken care of in the event you are no longer able to. You may also do so to minimize the bickering and infighting that may come between surviving family members who may have...

Why the disdain for the estate tax

With the federal income tax filing deadline coming this week, it is a good time to talk about taxes and how they may apply to estates. While federal estate tax applies to few estates (i.e. those valued at more than $3.5 million), it continues to be...

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical given the stigma against...

Considerations in evaluating the prosecution's case

If you have been charged with a crime, it is essential to know how strong the government’s case is against you. Indeed, you may think the state has a flimsy case and has a snowball’s chance to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,...

Should college students have wills?

If your child is getting ready to graduate from high school this spring, you are probably amazed with how quickly the years have gone by since they first started kindergarten. This also means that you are getting older too, and you have probably...

The benefits of home health care providers

While the Affordable Health Care Act is poised to be amended or replaced completely, the law still has a number of useful provisions that some legislators are uncomfortable parting with. For instance, the current version allows states to create...

What to know about bail conditions

If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and proving your innocence. Under state and...

More spent on aging parents than on raising children

Much has been reported on the escalating costs parents face in raising a child. From birth to age 18, it is estimated that parents spend an average of $234,000 to raise a child. But when it comes to caring for an elderly parent, the costs are...

Trial court enters divorce default judgment.

Plaintiff filed divorce action after a nearly 20-year marriage. Although defendant apparently participated in various pretrial conferences and discussed the terms of the divorce judgment, he did not answer the complaint, a default was entered, and...

Prescriptive easement or an easement by necessity?

In 2014, plaintiff purchased a parcel of land ("Parcel C") at a sheriff's sale. Previous owner was the sole owner of the property from 1988 until he lost the property to foreclosure for non-payment of taxes. There is a building on the site, which...

More Americans creating pet trusts

If you haven’t noticed by the commercials and networks devoted to them, America has definitely become a pet nation. It is estimated that two-thirds of all American households own a cat or a dog.  With some pets being considered cherished family...

Arrests made by tracking cell phones may be illegal

Law enforcement agencies are always looking for an edge in fighting crime. As cell phones have become an indispensible part of life for many people, authorities have taken to using these devices to track suspects' locations and movements without...

Using an incentive trust in estate planning

People work hard to build up their estate during their lives and when they pass they may desire to hand down their estate to their friends and family. Leaving property to a loved one in an estate plan can be troubling for some parents who have...

What you need to compliment your will

Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone, many men around the country are making new weight loss goals. According to a survey by NutriSystem, the average NFL fan packs on 10 pounds during the season. With the final game of season in the books,...

What estate administration costs are tax deductible?

The period between the end of January and the second week of April is widely known as “tax season.” Most people anticipate receiving a refund after filing their federal income tax returns. However, there are a number of scenarios that may bring...

Estate planning is important for childless couples

There is a great deal of information available on the internet concerning the issues that parents may face that require a solid estate plan. The volume of storylines addressing estate planning for young parents may seem to suggest that married...

Practical ways to reduce estate taxes

If you have been paying attention to recent headlines regarding tax law, you likely have heard that tax season has officially begun. This means that the Internal Revenue Service is ready to start accepting federal income tax returns. In all, the...

Could I lose my job over a drunk driving arrest?

When potential clients ask us questions about criminal defense representation (particularly for drunk driving offenses) one of the most common is whether they will lose their job.  Naturally, this depends on a number of factors, including how much...

Basic responsibilities of an executor

The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. It is especially hard at this time of year, where life is supposed to be consumed with optimism for a New Year. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount;...

College students and estate planning

With college semesters ending in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly, especially in the throes finishing finals and having opportunities to let off steam. However, parents should do their best to teach their...

How to approach parents about estate planning

The approaching holidays may bring about fond memories for some people. They also represent a chance for people to reconnect with family members who have aged another year, especially parents. For those with older or elderly parents, the topic of...

Guardianship laws in the U.S.

Any person named in a will or chosen by the court of law to make important decisions for another person is called a guardian. The person who the guardian is responsible for is known as the 'ward' and cannot make certain decisions. Guardians might...

Court affirmed termination of father's parental rights.

Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed that termination of father's parental rights was in the child' best interests.The caseworker testified that the father never met the child because he was continually incarcerated during the child's entire life....

Michigan's laws and penalties relating to drunk driving

People who live and drive in Plymouth, Michigan should learn the state's laws and penalties for drunk driving offenses and related charges. People who live and drive in Plymouth, Michigan know that the state takes any charge of drunk driving very...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the right to remain silent..." This phrase is a part...

Four ways to be ready with long-term healthcare plans

The older we get, the faster time seems to go. Often people are too busy with the needs of today to think about planning for the future. By the time you retire or need extensive medical care, you may be ineligible for long-term health insurance...

The court held that the plaintiff created a triable question of fact that the defendant complex management company violated its statutory covenant that the common area where plaintiff slipped and fell on ice was "fit for the use intended by the parti

Thus, it affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. Plaintiff sued defendant for injuries she sustained when she slipped and fell on ice in a common area of the apartment complex where she resided. The trial court summarily dismissed her...

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-adoptive grandmother's parental rights to the child where at least one statutory ground for termination existed and it was in the child's best interests.

The trial court terminated respondent's parental rights on the basis that she exposed the child to harm, including allowing improper contact with adult guests, including the child's biological mother, who had previously violently abused the child,...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this becomes a reality, having someone designated...

Holding that the plaintiff complied with the notice requirements of MCL 691.1404(1) , the court reversed the trial court's order granting the defendants summary disposition on the basis of governmental immunity, and remanded.

Plaintiff alleged that she was injured "when she fell over the sheer edge of an excavated hole created by defendants." The trial court found that her failure to personally sign the notice letter was a "fatal defect." On appeal, the court concluded...

Why you should face your fears in custody disputes

Whether you a father seeking more parenting time and decision-making power in  your child’s life, or you are a mother who is fearful of losing a child, custody battles bring out the worst fears (and sometimes, simply the worst) in...

The court held that the trial court did not err in its distribution of the marital property, its spousal support order, or its decision to impute income to the plaintiff to calculate the amount of child support the defendant was required to pay.

The parties divorced and the trial court handled the distribution of property as well as spousal and child support. On appeal, the court rejected plaintiff's argument that the trial court's distribution of the marital property was not equitable....

Concluding that the trial court clearly erred in finding that a latent ambiguity existed in the deed and in reforming the deed, the court reversed the order granting the intervenor's petition to reform the deed & remanded for entry of summary disposi

A residence was conveyed to the decedent, Lyle F. Steiner, and the intervenor, Steven M. Steiner (Lyle's son). Years later, when Lyle passed away, Steven was appointed PR of Lyle's estate. "DHHS filed a claim against the estate for unpaid Medicaid...

What to consider if you inherit someone's home

If you have elderly relatives who still live in their homes, they probably rely on you for a number of things; whether it is to help them to doctor’s appointments or to ensure that they don’t sign off on dubious documents. For as much help as...

The role of an advance health care directive in a will

When considering estate planning, you are probably aware of the role of a will. While the traditional thought associated with a will is how property is handled after death, it can also be used to plan for medical treatment if you cannot make...

Applying the Dairyland/Workman factors, the court held that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the plaintiff was not domiciled with the defendant's insured (plaintiff's mother) at the time of the accident.

At age 22, Plaintiff moved to Florida with her boyfriend in 6/12. "During her testimony, plaintiff repeatedly referenced 'moving' to Florida and 'visiting' in Michigan." She signed a lease for a duplex in Florida "and lived there with her boyfriend...

Holding that the uneven pavement on which the plaintiff tripped and fell was open and obvious as a matter of law, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting the defendant summary disposition in this premises liability action.

Plaintiff fell when exiting defendant's store, tripping on "what she described as 'uneven' pavement." The court noted that she made no effort "to identify any unique circumstances that would render such an open and obvious condition unreasonably...

A basic introduction to wills

It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health, but lives can change at any moment so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many benefits of a last will and testament, studies have...

The court held that the circuit court improperly awarded sole custody of the parties' child to the father absent a best-interest analysis, and should have continued the child protective proceedings as the mother pleaded to jurisdictional grounds.

As the mother's case proceeded, the circuit court placed the child in the father's custody, and instead of continuing the matter so respondent could engage in services and work toward reunification, it completely dismissed the child protective...

Agreeing with defendant-Allstate that the trial court erred in granting plaintiff-Ruben's motion for relief from the final judgment's no-appeal provision, the court vacated the portion of the order granting Ruben relief, and remanded.

Intervening plaintiff-Badgett was entitled to no-fault benefits from Allstate. After a "jury trial involving a dispute over Ruben's charges to Allstate for medical services and products provided to Badgett, the parties entered into a final judgment...

After remand, in which the court instructed the trial court to reevaluate its best-interests determination in light of the children's placement with a relative, the court held that the trial court complied with its remand instructions, and affirmed.

On appeal, the respondent offered two claims of error as to the trial court's decision to terminate respondent's parental rights to CC and AC. First, respondent argued that the trial court clearly erred by finding that termination was appropriate...

Holding that the jury's decision to award the plaintiff no noneconomic damages was grossly inadequate and against the great weight of the evidence, the court reversed the trial court's order denying her noneconomic damages and remanded for a new tria

Plaintiff was seriously injured when she and the defendant collided while skiing. The jury declined to award either economic or noneconomic damages, even though it found defendant 50% negligent. The trial court found that the verdict as to economic...

Holding that the trial court committed clear legal error by failing to make findings as to several disputed issues, the court vacated the trial court's PT modification and remanded the case for reconsideration of the contested best-interest and PT fa

Plaintiff-mother appealed a final order closing the case in this child support and parenting time dispute. However, her issues on appeal related to the trial court's prior order granting the defendant-father out-of-state parenting time. Plaintiff...

Holding that a custody agreement existed between the plaintiff-father and the defendant-mother, but that the trial court failed to adequately consider the child's best interests before it entered the custody judgment, the court vacated and remanded.

The parties had a child together, but never married. They entered into a mediated parenting time and custody agreement. Defendant later objected to the agreement and requested a best interests hearing, which the trial court denied. On appeal, the...

The court rejected the plaintiff-ex-husband's challenges to the trial court's property division and orders relating to insurance policies, but agreed that remand was required as to the award of attorney fees and costs to the defendant-ex-wife.

Thus, it vacated the order awarding attorney fees and remanded for further proceedings on this issue, but otherwise affirmed. As to the application of the Sparks factors, while "defendant received significantly more property than plaintiff" under...

After remand to the trial court for further proceedings, the court held that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that terminating the respondent-mother's parental rights was in the best interests of her five children.

On remand, the trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing and "provided a clear ruling explaining why it found termination" was in the children's best interests. It considered the appropriate factors and found that respondent "was not compliant...

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-father's parental rights to the three children where the statutory grounds were established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in their best interests.

Given the length of the case and his "noncompliance, lack of accountability, and his substance abuse issues-including multiple relapses when he was close to reunification- there was not a reasonable expectation that he would be able to provide...

Holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying defendant-Norman's (father) motion to change custody and allowing plaintiff-Curtis (mother) to retain primary physical custody of the parties' minor daughter (S), the court affirmed

Norman argued that the trial court's finding of an ECE with Curtis was against the great weight of the evidence, meaning that the trial court erred by applying a clear and convincing standard as opposed to a preponderance of the evidence standard....

The court held that the probate court did not clearly err in ruling that the decedent's bank accounts did not have rights of survivorship and in ordering the appellants to disgorge funds they withdrew from his bank accounts shortly after his death.

The decedent maintained checking and savings accounts. Shortly before his death, while he was hospitalized and unable to communicate, appellant-Claudette Greenhoe deposited an inheritance check that the decedent received in his savings account. The...

Concluding that Marin properly interpreted a former version of § 19b(1) as not requiring the child be in foster care for a termination petition to be considered, the court rejected father's request to declare a "but for" conflict under MCR 7.215(J)(2

Before the child was born, respondent (at the age of 18) pleaded guilty to CSC I. The victim was his nine-year-old cousin. Petitioner testified that she learned the facts of respondent's conviction after she gave birth to the child, and broke off...

In an issue of first impression in a published opinion, the court held that a defendant's consent to search her home was not an "incriminating statement" under the Fifth Amendment because it was "not testimonial or communicative evidence."

After being arrested during a traffic stop, defendant-Calvetti signed her Miranda warnings, acknowledging that she knew her rights and indicating that she "did not want to answer questions." She argued that the DEA agent's continued questioning...

The court held that the trial court did not err by setting off receiver fees and support arrearages owed by the ex-husband to the ex-wife from plaintiff's obligation to pay defendant 50% of the equity in the marital home.

In the divorce judgment, plaintiff was awarded the home, and defendant was awarded a 50% equity interest in the home. The judgment also covered the parties' various other obligations. Shortly before the divorce, defendant entered into a written fee...

The trial court did not err by finding that the defendant was not entitled to claim immunity under § 4 of the MMMA where the marijuana "cuttings" he placed in "grow material" had developed to the point of becoming "plants" under the statute.

It also held that the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress the evidence merely because the affidavit did not establish that defendant was not entitled to the immunity defense. He was convicted of possession with intent to deliver...

The trial court's determination that the defendant-father failed to show proper cause was not against the great weight of the evidence. Also, his argument that he was entitled to another evidentiary hearing was without merit.

Defendant argued that the trial court erred when it made its threshold determination that proper cause or a Change Of Circumstance did not exist to warrant revisiting the issue of custody. The last custody order was entered on 10/8/14 by consent of...

The court held that the plaintiff-mother failed to establish grounds to change the child's domicile pursuant to MCL 722.31(4). However, the court vacated the award of attorney fees and remanded for further proceedings as to calculation of the fees.

The court held that the plaintiff-mother failed to establish grounds to change the child's domicile pursuant to MCL 722.31(4). Thus, the trial court did not have to reach her motion to take primary physical custody or analyze the statutory best...

The court held the trial court did not err by allocating assets to the defendant-ex-husband without including their value in the marital estate. The court could not determine whether the estate was equitably divided without findings on the Sparks fac

The court held that the trial court did not err by allocating two assets to the defendant-ex-husband without including their value in the marital estate. However, it noted that based on the trial court's failure to make findings on the Sparks...

Concluding that there was no evidence to support that the property at issue was the petitioner's principal residence in 2014, the court affirmed the Tax Tribunal's order affirming the respondent's denial of a Principal Residence Exemption.

The Talamore for Three Trust became an owner of the property in 1/14. Petitioner was the trustee of the Trust and co-owner of the property. His 2/14 documents only showed that he rented a trailer that was delivered to Muskegon. His 4/14 receipts...

The defendant's conviction of receiving and concealing stolen property valued at $20,000 was supported by sufficient evidence. The trial court properly denied his motion to suppress, as the search warrant for his home was supported by probable cause.

The basis of his conviction was the seizure of hundreds of GM knockdown containers from his warehouse. He argued that there was no evidence that the containers were stolen because "(1) 52 of the containers recovered were provided by GM and (2)...

The trial court properly awarded the defendant a 24-ft wide easement over an alley on the plaintiff's property, and properly denied defendant's request for an easement for access to a water line running under plaintiff's property.

During a repair to its water line, plaintiff discovered that the line also served defendant's property. Plaintiff sought a declaratory ruling that defendant had no right to its water line and that plaintiff could remove defendant's connection. The...

Holding that the arresting officer (C) had a reasonable suspicion that a traffic law was being violated, and that the defendant was detained for a reasonable time, the court reversed the trial court's order granting the motion to suppress and remande

C stopped the car defendant was driving because it did not have a metal registration plate. When he pulled the car over, he saw a piece of paper on the left side of the rear window, but he could not read it. Asked to produce his identification,...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of the defendant's other acts of domestic violence and he was not denied the effective assistance of counsel. In light of the evidence provided Defendant was not entitled to resentenc

He was convicted of domestic violence, third offense. The other acts involving defendant's wife (N) fell within the scope of MCL 768.27b, as the described conduct easily fell within the definition of domestic violence. Similarly, the other acts...

Concluding that the plaintiff established a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of causation, the court held that the trial court erroneously granted summary disposition in favor of defendant-State Farm under MCR 2.116(C)(10).

She was hit from behind by a pickup truck. Plaintiff argued that (1) she proffered documentary evidence that showed a genuine issue of material fact for trial, (2) the trial court failed to view the evidence in the light most favorable to her, (3)...

Plaintiffs were entitled to judgment as a matter of law under the doctrine of equitable subrogation, the court remanded to the trial court with instructions to enter judgment for plaintiffs for $90,931.32 plus interest, costs, and attorney fees.

The case arose from the plaintiffs' sale of three commercial lots to defendant-RAAW Enterprises by land contracts. Defendant-RAAW Management later executed a promissory note to a bank. Guaranty agreements were also executed. As security for the...

In this case involving conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act, the court held that the EPA was entitled to restitution under MVRA § 3663A(c) (an offense against property) when the government had no possessory interest in the land.

Defendant-Sawyer was prosecuted for failure to comply with the NESHAP for asbestos when salvaging a former industrial site. The court first determined that he waived his right to appeal his sentence under the terms of his plea agreement; thus, it...

Holding that the no-duty-to-advise rule from Harts as to the adequacy of coverage also applies to an independent agents, the court concluded that the trial court properly applied Harts and granted the defendants- agent summary disposition.

Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants were negligent for failing to advise them as to the adequacy of their renter's insurance, specifically as it related to the plaintiff-husband's tool collection. The policy at issue, under the heading "Special...

Holding that the trial court's factual findings were not clearly erroneous and that they supported its ruling that the defendant's confession was voluntary, the court concluded that the trial court did not err in denying his motion to suppress.

He was convicted of second-degree murder, Felon In Possession, and felony-firearm. He argued that his confession was not voluntary and thus, was inadmissible. However, the court disagreed. Defendant told the officers that he was 25 years old and...

The court held that the trial court properly found the child's ECE was with the plaintiff-mother alone. It did not find the trial court's conclusion that sole custody with plaintiff was in child's best interests to be against the weight of the eviden

The defendant-father challenged the trial court's findings that child's Established Custodial Enviornment (ECE) was with plaintiff alone. The trial court correctly articulated the standard, set forth in MCL 722.27(c). There was no dispute that the...

The trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the children where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the children's best interests.

As to § (c)(i), the record reflected that more than 182 days elapsed between the entry of the initial dispositional order and the termination hearing. It likewise reflected that respondent failed to adequately address the conditions that led to...

The court held that the probate court did not abuse its discretion in finding the appellant had not pled a claim for reimbursement or in denying his request to amend the pleadings where there was undue delay and a repeated failure to cure the deficie

The parties-siblings disagreed as to the terms of their father's trust, which included a 300-acre farm. During their dispute, Daniel claimed that a settlement agreement between them did not preclude him from seeking compensation and reimbursement...

The court affirmed the trial court's rulings as to the disposition of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, the award of attorney fees to the defendant-ex-wife, and the denial of the plaintiff-ex-husband's request for attorney fees.

Plaintiff argued that the trial court clearly erred when it awarded defendant $5,700 for her share of the Harley. He contended that the parties had an agreement as to the Harley, pursuant to which he would be awarded the Harley and defendant would...

While the respondent-trustee (Juzenas) violated MCL 700.7814, the court concluded that the probate court abused its discretion in charging her for insurance and tax obligations that she paid from her own pocket and denying her request for reimburseme

Walter and Yvonne Massie established the trust in 1995. The only asset in the trust was their home. Petitioners charged that Juzenas was required to provide them an accounting every year beginning in 2009, and was required to provide notification...

The defendant failed to establish a change in circumstances to alter the child's established custodial environment or that the move was in the child's best interests, so the Court affirmed the trial court's denying his motion for sole custody.

First, he incorrectly argued that he was not required to present evidence as to PC or a CIC because the trial court's initial custody decision was based on an agreement between the parties. "A negotiated settlement agreement 'does not diminish the...

Holding that the property division was fair and equitable, but that remand was necessary for the trial court to recalculate the parties' income and recalculate the child support award, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

The parties raised several issues as to whether certain property was separate property or marital property subject to division. The defendant-ex-wife argued that her premarital Gentex stock was erroneously classified as marital property. The trial...

Holding that the trial court did not err in finding that statutory grounds supported terminating the respondent-mother's parental rights, or in finding that doing so was in the child's best interests, the court affirmed the order terminating her righ

She argued on appeal that there was insufficient evidence to support a statutory ground for termination due to the failure to offer her services and parenting time. The DHHS "sought termination at the initial dispositional hearing." Thus, it was...

Holding that willful absence is a factual question that may concern more than physical proximity & the court's decision to remove appellant as PR & replace her with a neutral 3rd party within possible outcomes, the court affirmed.

James died intestate 2012. He was survived by his spouse, appellee-Maggie, and 10 children. These consolidated appeals involved a dispute over the assets remaining in his estate. The primary issue in Docket No. 323387 concerned whether Maggie, who...

The court held that the probate court erred in construing MCL 700.2801(2)(e)(i) "to require proof that a spouse intended to give up his or her marital rights before he or she will be deemed not to be a surviving spouse" under the statute.

At the time of his death, Lyle was living with a woman with whom he had a long-term extramarital affair. The court agreed that "the phrase '[w]as willfully absent,' as used in MCL 700.2801(2)(e)(i), refers to physical absence." The physical...

The Court of Appeals held that the defendants weren't entitled to an affirmative defense under § 8 because neither of them served as a "primary caregiver" or "patient" when they operated the cooperative growing operation & medical marijuana dispensar

Thus, it affirmed the trial court's orders denying their motions to dismiss and preventing them from raising the defense. The trial court found Bylsma "failed to establish that he was entitled to immunity under § 4, and because his entitlement to...

Holding that the trial court properly found at least one statutory ground for termination and that termination was in the best interests of the children (JW and AW), the court affirmed termination of the respondent-mother's parental rights.

The trial court terminated her parental rights under § (g) after finding that she physically abused the children throughout the proceedings and that further services would not cure the problem. The record reflected that in 6/13, when "AW was about...

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the children, and the respondent-father's parental rights to one of the children, where at least one statutory ground for termination existed.

It rejected the father's argument that the trial court erred by not holding the DHHS in contempt for failing to provide him with free therapy. It noted there was "no indication that the caseworker willfully defied the court's order to provide...

The Sixth Circuit held that Defendant, who assaulted his neighbor with a machete over "uncollected dog deposits," unsuccessfully challenged his five-year sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release when he admitted to violating a state

The Sixth Circuit Court rejected Walker's argument that he was entitled to rely on Alabama's self-defense law because he "admitted that he violated the terms of his supervised release by 'committ[ing] a state law violation[.]'" Once he...

The trial court properly terminated the respondent-father's parental rights to the child where at least one statutory ground for termination was established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the child's best interests

In 5/14, the trial court ordered him to comply with a PAA. At the first review hearing in 7/14, he "admitted to relapsing into drug use and tested positive for cocaine." The trial court warned him that his "parental rights would be terminated if he...

Because the respondent-mother was found to be unfit as a parent and because her rights yielded to the State's interest in protecting the child, her constitutional rights as to the child were not violated, and there was no plain error.

Respondent's sole argument on appeal was that she has a constitutional right to parent her child. Although she was generally correct that "parents have a fundamental right to parent their children," the trial court did not err in terminating her...

Concluding that the evidence did not support the claim that the victim (M) was in the process of breaking or entering when the defendant shot her, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying his request for a self-defense jury instruction

Thus, the court affirmed his convictions. However, as to his sentencing, it remanded for Crosbyproceedings pursuant to Lockridge. He was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 15 to 30 years for the murder conviction and 7 to 15 years for the...

Concluding that the appellate record was insufficient to determine whether the underlying support agreements were valid, the court could not determine whether the trial court abused its discretion by denying modification of the agreements.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's orders denying appellant-Ellis's (mother) motions, and remanded the case to the trial court for clarification of the validity of the agreements. It also reversed the trial court's award of $750 in...

The trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the children where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the children's best interests.

As to § (c)(i), more than 182 days elapsed between the issuance of the initial disposition order and the termination decision, and the conditions that led to adjudication, namely her mental health problems, her failure to obtain adequate housing,...

Holding that the totality of the circumstances indicated that the photo lineup was not unduly suggestive, the court upheld the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion to suppress the victim's in-court identification and affirmed his conviction

He was convicted of carjacking, armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, felonious assault, CCW, FIP, felony-firearm, and fourth-degree child abuse related to the carjacking and robbery of a cab driver (S). Defendant argued that S was exposed to an...

The court held that because established Michigan law does not recognize the purported "cousins by marriage" relationship between the plaintiff and the insured, the trial court erred in holding that Plaintiff was entitled to PIP benefits.

Thus, it reversed and remanded for entry of an order granting summary disposition in favor of defendant. The case arose out of plaintiff's claim for PIP benefits-under a no-fault policy issued by defendant to plaintiff's purported "relative,"...

Concluding that the trust at issue was unambiguous, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting summary disposition to the appellees on their claims that the surviving settlor could not modify the trust at issue after the death of the other s

Otto and Margaret signed trust documents in 1993. They amended the trust the next year. Otto died in 2005. In 2011, "Margaret attempted to amend the trust to provide that, on the death of the surviving spouse," a piece of real property would go to...

Given the trial court's reliance on record evidence supporting its findings under the best-interest factors of MCL 722.23, the Court of Appeals found no abuse of the trial court's discretion in granting physical custody to defendant-Govitz (father).

Although Kayko worked fewer hours and had more opportunity to tend to KKG "on a daily basis, this did not negate that Govitz equally loved his son and could care for him." Accordingly, the evidence did not preponderate against the trial court's...

Holding that the trial court properly granted the defendants summary disposition under the GTLA as to the plaintiff's tort claims, that there was no question of fact as to whether they were unjustly enriched by collecting the fees at issue.

In 2012, plaintiff's then-wife filed for divorce and paid $230 in filing fees. He later filed a motion as to custody of his child in the divorce action, and paid an $80 FOC fee, collected by the clerk of the court pursuant to the former MCL...

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not commit clear legal error or infringe upon the defendant-mother's Second Amendment right when it considered her actions with her firearm in its findings and analysis under factor (l).

On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court committed clear legal error and violated her Second Amendment right by punishing her for lawful possession of a firearm in its analysis for best-interest factor (l). However, the trial court did not...

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by granting the defendant-putative father's motion to set aside a default judgment establishing his paternity of the plaintiff-mother's child on the ground that it lacked subject-matter jurisdictio

Plaintiff filed a paternity action claiming defendant was the father of her child. He was eventually served, but claimed the trial court lacked jurisdiction. The trial court disagreed and ordered a paternity test. When he failed to comply, it...

Holding that "the common-law affirmative defense of self-defense is available to a defendant charged with CCW for concealing an instrument which is a dangerous weapon only because it is used as a weapon," the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Ap

Defendant was arguing with his wife on the side of the road when two men pulled over. As the situation escalated, one of the men allegedly began choking defendant. Defendant pulled out a utility knife and held it in the air. The men got back in...

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err by awarding spousal support to the defendant-former husband, or by requiring the plaintiff-former wife to pay some of his attorney fees incurred in their divorce action.

The court rejected plaintiff's argument that the award of spousal support was unfair and inequitable under the circumstances. "Although the trial court imputed $35,000 to defendant in annual income," he was unemployed and needed "to secure and...

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not clearly err in concluding there was clear and convincing evidence to support terminating the respondent-mother's parental rights or that it was in the child's best interest to do so.

The case "had been pending for well over 182 days and was initiated" in 11/12 "because of respondent's mental health, improper supervision of the child, and inadequate housing. The goals identified for respondent through these proceedings included"...

The Court of Appeals held that the petitioner, as the decedent's sister, was an "interested person" and had standing to petition for the appointment of a special PR under MCL 700.3614(b) for the purpose of pursuing a wrongful death action.

The Court of Appeals rejected the respondent's claim that laches barred the petition, and concluded that she failed to establish plain error affecting her substantial rights as to her claims of lack of notice and a hearing. Further, she failed to...

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by finding the defendant-mother in criminal contempt of court for having the parties' child baptized without informing the plaintiff-father, and by requiring her to pay plaintiff $9,611 in damages,

Plaintiff alleged that defendant's secret baptism of the child and concealment of the baptism was in violation of their divorce judgment, which required their parent coordinator to decide disagreements in the event they could not agree. The trial...

Holding that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that termination was in the best interests of the children (BB and PC), the court affirmed the trial court's termination of the respondent-mother's parental rights

Respondent-mother argued that BB's life was not improved by the termination of her parental rights when adoption was not a consideration for him. She stated that her relationship with him "could have been legally maintained while preserving his...

The court held that the trial court did not err by granting summary disposition for the defendants on the plaintiff's action under the Whistleblowers' Protection Act because she failed to file within 90 days of the alleged violation

Plaintiff engaged in protected activity and was suspended from employment with full pay and benefits on 10/1/13. She was notified on 10/14/13 that her contract, expiring on 12/1/13, would not be renewed. The court rejected her argument that not...

A court properly found proper cause warranting a change in custody where the mother frequently changed the girls' mental-health providers and continually insisted upon revisiting unsubstantiated sexual-abuse allegations

The court concluded that the trial court properly found proper cause and a change in circumstances warranting reconsideration of the custodial arrangement. Further, its findings on the challenged MCL 722.23 factors were not against the great weight...

A court properly found proper cause warranting a change in custody where the mother frequently changed the girls' mental-health providers and continually insisted upon revisiting unsubstantiated sexual-abuse allegations

The court concluded that the trial court properly found proper cause and a change in circumstances warranting reconsideration of the custodial arrangement. Further, its findings on the challenged MCL 722.23 factors were not against the great weight...

A trial court properly awarded attorney fees in a post-divorce matter as an award of attorney fees is appropriate where fees and expenses were incurred because the other party refused to comply with a previous court order

Rejecting the plaintiff-husband's claim that the trial court, on remand, again failed to make sufficient factual findings to support its attorney fee award to the defendant-wife, the court affirmed the award. The court held in the prior appeal that...

Although it is "correct that fraud requires a plaintiff to show that a party 'reasonably' relied on a supposed misrepresentation," it is "wrong that such reasonable reliance imposes a duty on a plaintiff to perform 'an investigation of all assertions

The trial court acted correctly when it prevented defendant-White from suggesting to the jury that plaintiff-Associated Construction was obligated to investigate his assertions that he could pay for the renovation project. Thus, the court affirmed...