734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

CONTRACTS 12: The court held joint venture agreement was a valid oral agreement.

This action involves an alleged joint venture agreement between plaintiff, defendant, and non-party R with regard to commercial real property in Detroit.

Quitclaim Deed

Plaintiff learned from a friend that a large commercial property in Detroit was for sale for $20,000. According to plaintiff, he talked to defendant and R about purchasing the property and they discussed possible uses. Plaintiff considered leasing the property as a warehouse for his own business and they also discussed using it as a location for a medical-marijuana facility.

Plaintiff explained that the three of them decided to purchase the property and jointly operate or sell it for a profit. He contributed $5,000 toward the purchase price, and defendant and R each contributed $7,500. They were each to have a one third interest. Plaintiff testified that although he contributed less cash, he was to receive an equal share because he found the property. At the time of the purchase, the seller executed a quitclaim deed conveying the property to defendant only.

According to plaintiff, their plan was to have the property held by a new entity in which they would each have a one-third interest, but the entity had not been organized at the time the property was purchased, so the property was placed solely in defendant’s name, with the intent of transferring ownership to the new entity after it was formed. R later sold his interest to defendant, giving defendant a two-thirds interest.

Plaintiff explained that they wanted defendant involved in the project because he had experience rehabilitating and remodeling properties. Per plaintiff’s testimony, it was expected that defendant would initially assume the cost of securing and rehabilitating the property, but plaintiff acknowledged that he would remain liable for one-third of the expenses. Soon after the property was purchased, defendant performed work to secure, clean, and repair it. Defendant estimated that he spent about $30,000.

Operating Agreement

Plaintiff prepared documents, including a proposed operating agreement, for the formation of a new entity that would hold title to the property. However, defendant refused to sign the documents and the parties were unable to work out their differences.

Defendant denied that plaintiff ever acquired any interest in the property. According to defendant, plaintiff was only interested in a business that they might operate at the property, and it was contemplated that plaintiff would receive a one-third interest in that business entity, but not the property.

At the time of trial, defendant had located a buyer who was willing to purchase the property for $265,000.

Trial

The court found that the parties’ agreement included that defendant would have the deed in his name. The court did not award plaintiff an interest in the real property itself but ruled only that plaintiff had a one-third interest in the joint venture that pertained to the operation, development, or ultimate sale of the property.

The trial court found that the parties had formed an agreement for a joint venture to own the subject property and form a business. The court held that the joint venture agreement was valid as an oral agreement. The court found that upon a sale of the property, plaintiff was entitled to one-third of the net sales proceeds, less $30,000 in expenses already advanced by defendant.

Business Formation

Aldrich Legal Services lawyers serve clients throughout southeast Michigan who are interested in starting businesses. Our attorneys and staff can assist you with all legal work while you focus getting your business up and running.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000

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
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405