Now Accepting New Clients!

CONTRACTS 10: The bankruptcy court order did not require the trial court to do anything.

The parties entered into a contract for plaintiff to repair fire and water damage to defendant’s home. Defendant was dissatisfied with plaintiff’s work and terminated the contract. Plaintiff filed a breach of contract action to recover $13,580.08 that it believed it was owed. Four months later, defendant filed for bankruptcy and this action was stayed.

Plaintiff initiated an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court, and the bankruptcy court subsequently entered an order (the bankruptcy court order) against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiff.

The bankruptcy court order reflected that it was entered “upon stipulation of the parties” and provided in relevant part that judgment shall enter against Defendant in the amount of $29,000 if the Oakland County Circuit Court case settles; or $35,000 if the case has to go to trial.

The bankruptcy court also lifted the stay in this case to allow Plaintiff to proceed with prosecution of its claim.

This case then was reopened, and plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Judgment. The motion represented that the bankruptcy court had signed an order that settled the case and entered a judgement against Defendant in favor of Plaintiff. It further represented that defendant had signed a stipulation to the order and judgement.  And on that basis plaintiff requested that the trial court enter the $29,000 judgement against Defendant and close circuit court case. Plaintiff attached the bankruptcy court order as the sole exhibit in support of its motion.

Defendant argued in part that the bankruptcy court order was not for defendant to pay a judgment in the trial court, but merely ordered that the case pending in the trial court should proceed, and provided for a judgment to be entered in the bankruptcy court’s adversary proceeding, contingent upon the outcome of proceedings in the trial court.

The bankruptcy court is a division of the federal district court. Although state courts are bound by the decisions of the United States Supreme Court construing federal law, there is no similar obligation with respect to decisions of the lower federal courts.

The trial court therefore was not bound by the bankruptcy court order. Moreover, the bankruptcy court order did not require the trial court to do anything; it merely provided for a future judgment in the bankruptcy court as informed by later results in the trial court proceeding.

The language of the order explicitly lifted the stay in the trial court so that plaintiff could proceed with the prosecution of its claim against defendant. Read as a whole, it is clear that the parties did not agree to the entry of a judgment in the trial court, but instead agreed to the entry of a judgment in the bankruptcy court, with the amount contingent on the outcome of future proceedings in this case in the trial court.

If you are facing litigation, obtaining the right legal representation is essential. At Aldrich Legal Services, you will work with an attorney who has the extensive litigation experience necessary to help you reach an effective resolution that protects your interests.

From our law firm in Plymouth, Michigan, we represent individuals and business owners throughout Wayne County and the surrounding region.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

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.

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000