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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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MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE 95: Property owners did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves.

When the delivery of a deed is contingent upon the happening of some future event, title to the subject property will not transfer to the grantee until the event has occurred. However, in this case A and J did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves, then deposited the deed with their attorney with the instruction to record the deed only upon the happening of a future event, thereby placing a condition only upon the recording of the deed.

MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

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.

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