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A party challenging authenticity of signatures is an insufficient argument to avoid summary disposition - a party must produce evidence supporting such a contention

The court concluded that the plaintiffs failed to provide any admissible evidence to sufficiently counter the defendants' evidence that they electronically signed the contract for home inspection services, and that the plaintiffs' breach of contract claim was barred by the shortened limitations period contained in the contract. Thus, it reversed the trial court's order denying defendants' summary disposition motion, and remanded for entry of an order granting them summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(7). The home inspection report was prepared on 3/15/10. Plaintiffs claimed that they purchased the home in reliance on the report, and later discovered "significant" defects. They sued defendants on 2/20/14. Paragraph 10 of the contract provided that any legal action had to be brought within 1 year from the date of the inspection. Defendants contended that one of the plaintiffs electronically signed the written contract. Plaintiffs argued that they never agreed to its terms and that their agreement with Big Moose was an oral one containing no limitations period. Defendants supported their summary disposition motion with an affidavit from the president of the company that provided Big Moose with its home inspection services software. The affidavit explained "how the software's electronic signature function operates." The court held that the affidavit and supporting documentation (including a document indicating that notifications were sent and the inspection agreement was agreed to by a user profile that was associated with the e-mail address of one of the plaintiffs on 3/12/10) constituted sufficient evidence to support defendants' motion for summary disposition. The process outlined in the affidavit met "the definition of an electronic signature under the UETA. Clicking the button imposed on the inspection agreement evidences the intent to sign the contract." In response, plaintiffs only offered their own affidavits, and "mere conclusory statements" about the "authenticity of a signature are insufficient to avoid summary disposition" - a party "must produce evidence supporting such a contention." 

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

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What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

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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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