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Proposal for construction work functions as contract where parties perform under and rely on it

The court held that the trial court erred in applying unjust enrichment to matters that were covered by a valid contract, express or implied, and in assessing what was owed to defendants-Draeger, KD Equipment Leasing, and AIC (collectively referred to as defendant) "by relying on pay estimates to the exclusion of any final measurements, and in holding defendant responsible for the full amounts of payment bond claims that plaintiff in fact settled for lesser amounts." However, it did not err in piercing the corporate veil. The case was a contractor-subcontractor dispute. Plaintiff was the general contractor on a portion of a sanitary sewer system project. Defendant "encouraged plaintiff to bid on the project, and provided plaintiff with a unit-price proposal covering all the projected work." Defendant "arranged with two subcontractors of its own to work on the project. The parties entered into a written subcontract for work to be performed by defendant in two sections of the project. Defendant and its subcontractors worked on other sections as well, but no additional subcontracts were executed." The court noted that while AIC's proposal that formed the basis for plaintiff's bid on the project was not styled as a contract, and not signed by any party, the record provided "bases for recognizing that the proposal, as supplemented by undocumented understandings, functioned as a contract between the parties, in light of the parties' performance under, and reliance on, it. That a separate contract was executed for two sections does not necessarily indicate that defendant's work on other sections took place without any express contract. The separate arrangement for two sections came about partly to allow two subcontractors of defendant to begin work on those sections, while retaining the pricing terms of the original proposal. The parties thus continued to treat the original proposal, including as adapted by plaintiff for purposes of submitting its bid on the project, as setting forth express contract terms." Actual performance occurring "in mutual reliance on the master bid, as informed by the express contract for sections 10 and 15, suggests that the parties were operating under an implied contract which incorporated by mutual understanding the terms set forth in defendant's proposal as transformed into plaintiff's bid for the job." Reversed and remanded with instructions to determine what aspects of the parties' relationship came under contract, express or implied, and reevaluate the evidence and decide the competing contract claims under contract law where applicable.

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.

What to Do When Homeowners Insurance Denies Your Claim

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What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

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PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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