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A condo unit owner cannot sue a condo association for slipping on a sidewalk in the common area of the condo as he is a "co-owner" of said common areas

Holding that MCL 554.139 did not apply where the plaintiff was the co-owner of a unit in the condo development, and that he was neither a licensee nor an invitee, the court concluded that he was not owed any duty by the defendants under premises liability. Further, he failed to identify any specific contractual language to support his breach of contract claim. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting the defendant-condo association summary disposition. Plaintiff "slipped and fell on an icy, snow-covered sidewalk located in a common area" of the development on a February evening. He alleged that he sustained severe injuries to his hand and wrist, causing severe pain and interfering with his work. On appeal, he argued that the "defendants had a duty under MCL 554.139 to maintain the property in reasonable repair." The court disagreed, noting that "MCL 554.139 imposes such a duty on the lessor of land" and defendants were "not lessors of land leased to plaintiff." He contended that, under MCL 559.136 of the MCA, "he is a tenant in common of the common areas of the development. And because that makes him a 'tenant,' that must make defendant a 'lessor' of the land." The court concluded that it "does no such thing." As to the dismissal of his negligence claim, which the trial court treated as one of premises liability, "neither the parties nor the trial court provide any authority for the proposition that the status" of a condo unit owner "is either an invitee or a licensee with respect to the common areas of the development." The key phrase in the definitions of both terms was "'the land of another.' Plaintiff did not enter upon 'the land of another.'" By his own admission, he was "a co-owner of the common areas of the development." As to his breach of contract claim, he failed to direct the court to any "contract language that would establish a contractual duty that was breached." He only pointed to a document that the defendant sent out about its "snow removal policy." That was "not the same as producing a contract that actually creates a duty, much less providing any evidence that any such duty was breached."

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

What to Do When Homeowners Insurance Denies Your Claim

Since 1955, homeowners insurance has helped owners protect their property and belongings against damages and theft. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over 93% of homeowners in the US have homeowners insurance coverage, paying around...

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

Originally posted on 10/20/2017 If you are charged with a crime, you could face severe penalties that could include financial fines, public service, or even jail time. For those in the Michigan area, hiring an attorney experienced in...

PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

Originally posted on 07/19/2017 While the “right to remain silent” represents one of your most inalienable rights, many people have a few misconceptions about how it works. Many people receive their understanding of this...

Arrests made by tracking cell phones may be illegal

Originally posted on 02/10/2017 Law enforcement agencies are always looking for an edge in fighting crime. As cell phones have become an indispensable part of life for many people, authorities have taken to using these devices to track...

Could I lose my job over a drunk driving arrest?

Originally posted on 01/20/2017 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...

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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