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DIVORCE 72: Defendant asserts the trial court failed to acknowledge the seven-day rule.

In January 2019, plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce, asking for the trial court to dissolve the parties’ marriage.

Entry of Proposed Judgment

Plaintiff moved for entry of the proposed judgment of divorce on December 3. Defendant opposed the motion, and, initially, the trial court scheduled a hearing on plaintiff’s motion for entry of the judgment. However, after notifying the parties, the court entered the proposed judgment. Defendant subsequently moved for relief from the judgment.

Defendant argued that the trial court committed clear legal error by entering the judgment of divorce without consideration of the seven-day rule.

Seven-Day Rule

Defendant asserts that at the hearing on his motion for relief from judgment, the trial court failed to even acknowledge the seven-day rule. MCR 2.602(B)(3), the so-called seven-day rule, allows a party to serve a copy of the proposed judgment or order on the other parties, with a notice to them that it will be submitted to the court for signing if no written objections to its accuracy or completeness are filed with the court clerk within 7 days after service of the notice.

Plaintiff, however, did not seek entry of the proposed judgment under the seven-day rule. Indeed, defendant acknowledged as much both in his motion for relief from judgment and at the hearing on that motion. Nevertheless, defendant asserted that by moving for entry of the proposed judgment, the seven-day rule was triggered.

Court Ruling

A party seeking to have a proposed judgment or order entered under the seven-day rule must do so within 7 days after the granting of the judgment or order. Plaintiff, however, did not seek entry of the proposed judgment under the seven-day rule. Assuming arguendo that the rule was, in fact applicable, no violation of MCR 2.602(B)(3) occurred. The seven-day period started on December 4, the day after she filed her motion, and ran until the end of the day on December 10. Defendant filed his response to her motion on December 11, the eighth day. Therefore, even if the seven-day rule was applicable, no violation of it occurred.

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REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

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.

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