Now Accepting New Clients!

MICHIGAN CONTRACTS 23: After defendant did not receive payment, it recorded a claim of lien against plaintiff’s property.

Defendant is a wholesale supplier of HVAC and plumbing-related equipment to licensed mechanical and plumbing contractors. Plaintiff, a commercial developer, contracted with defendant to deliver 90 HVAC units for installation in a new facility plaintiff planned to construct.

Claim of Lien

Defendant delivered the units. Defendant charged $243,238 for the units, but after defendant did not receive payment, it recorded a claim of lien against plaintiff’s property for $243,238, plus costs, a contractual time-price differential service charge of 1.5% a month, and actual attorney fees. Subcontractors also filed a construction lien.

Subcontractors filed a lien foreclosure action in circuit court. Defendant then filed a third-party claim to foreclose its lien. Overall, a significant number of disputed issues arose between the parties in the underlying litigation. Plaintiff challenged the markup placed on the units. Instead of charging defendant’s sales price of $243,238, subcontractor sought to charge plaintiff $375,000, which included overhead, storage costs, and a markup on the units.

Settlement Agreement

Although subcontractors, plaintiff, and defendant attempted to negotiate a joint settlement, only defendant and plaintiff reached a final settlement agreement. Specifically, defendant agreed to discharge its construction lien in exchange for plaintiff’s payment of $185,000, and defendant was then to deliver the 90 HVAC units that remained in the subcontractors warehouse, along with component parts, to plaintiff’s warehouse.

Plaintiff paid defendant $185,000, and defendant discharged its lien in accordance with the agreement. After plaintiff requested delivery of the HVAC units, defendant arranged to deliver the units to plaintiff, but the subcontractor refused to release the units from its warehouse without plaintiff first satisfying subcontractor’s lien. Consequently, defendant was unable to deliver the units.

Breach of Settlement Agreement

Plaintiff thereafter filed suit against defendant for breach of contract and conversion, claiming that defendant had materially breached the settlement agreement by failing to deliver the units within three days of plaintiff’s request.

Plaintiff moved for summary disposition of its claims under MCR 2.116(C)(10). After a hearing, the trial court denied plaintiff’s motion, held the case in abeyance pending further proceedings in the underlying case, and ordered defendant to place the $185,000 at issue into an escrow account. Plaintiff and defendant both moved for reconsideration of the trial court’s order. Defendant also filed an emergency motion for relief from the trial court’s order, arguing that the subcontractor had now agreed to allow defendant to retrieve the units for delivery to plaintiff but that plaintiff was refusing delivery.

Motion for Reconsideration

The trial court entered an order granting defendant’s motion for reconsideration regarding the necessity of placing the $185,000 in escrow, denying the remainder of defendant’s reconsideration motion, and denying plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration. The order also required defendant to deliver the HVAC units and required plaintiff to complete its outstanding obligations under the settlement agreement.

Litigating Breach of Contract

If you are a business owner facing litigation, obtaining the right legal representation is essential. At Aldrich Legal Services, you will work with an attorney who has the extensive litigation experience necessary to help you reach an effective resolution that protects your interests.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000

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.

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