In this case, the township filed a complaint against defendant regarding her real property, alleging that she was in violation of an ordinance prohibiting blight and one prohibiting dangerous structures, as well as statutory provisions against maintaining dangerous buildings. The township asserted that there was substantial debris in defendant’s yard, along with junk vehicles, and that defendant’s home was in a dilapidated and dangerous condition. The township further alleged that defendant was notified of the violations and given a reasonable time to bring her property into compliance with the ordinances and state statutes, but defendant had failed, neglected, and/or refused to do so.
Defendant did not file an answer to the complaint.
The township then filed a motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10), arguing that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the property was in a blighted condition, that the house was dilapidated and dangerous, and that defendant had not denied the alleged violations set forth in the complaint.
Defendant, acting propria persona, in her answer to the township’s motion, argued that the township had no standing, no jurisdiction, and no sufficiency in their pleadings. Defendant further contended that there were issues of material fact, although she attached no supporting documentation to her response. At the hearing on the motion for summary disposition, defendant was disruptive, uncooperative, defiant, and disrespectful from the start. After the township presented its argument, the trial court allowed defendant to advance her position, placing her under oath. Ultimately, defendant failed to provide a valid argument.
The court ruled that because the township’s motion for summary disposition was based on MCR 2.116(C)(10), defendant was required to submit documentary evidence to counter the motion and she had failed to attach or otherwise properly submit any documentary evidence. The court awarded the township the requested relief, including taxable costs.
It is not enough for a defendant to announce a position or assert an error and then leave it up to the Court to discover and rationalize the basis for his/her claims and then search for authority either to sustain or reject his/her position.
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