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Holding that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to which party breached the contract, the court reversed the trial court's order granting the plaintiffs summary disposition and remanded for further proceedings.

The parties entered into a purchase agreement for the defendants to sell the plaintiffs a parcel of land in exchange for $101,000 and a 1950 pickup truck. The trial court found that defendants wrongfully retained possession of the truck after the land purchase agreement fell through. It awarded plaintiffs the value of the truck ($30,075). An "essential element of a breach of contract claim is that the other party breached the contract." The parties disputed who breached the contract-plaintiffs asserted the defendants did "by failing to disclose material facts about the property," and the defendants asserted the plaintiffs "breached it by wrongfully refusing to purchase the property. The parties' motions presented opposing evidence on whether the property was located in a flood plain." Thus, "reasonable minds could differ" as to who breached the contract. Further, even "had the trial court properly granted summary disposition, its remedy was improper." It stated its intent to return the parties to their status quo, which implicated rescission. Rescission "is warranted where there is 'a material breach affecting a substantial or essential part of the contract.'" A trial court "should consider a variety of factors before granting" rescission. The trial court "gave no reason for imposing rescission rather than general contractual damages." The only testimony at the hearing on damages "regarded the value of the truck, leaving the trial court's decision to rescind the contract unsupported. Additionally, a proper rescission restores both parties to their precontractual positions-that is, a rescission would return the truck" to plaintiffs, while the real property remained with defendants. To require defendants "to essentially purchase the truck" from plaintiffs at FMV for "breaching a purchase agreement would be a highly unusual remedy, and the trial court must provide a legal justification for this remedy on remand if it intends to impose it." 

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

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Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

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