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REAL ESTATE 28: Condo association recovers costs and attorney fees.

Defendant resides in a condominium in Michigan, at which a smart meter was installed by DTE Energy. Shortly after installation of the new meter, defendant began experiencing negative health symptoms that she attributed to exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitting from the smart meter. After engaging in a prolonged disagreement with DTE about the effects of the meter, defendant eventually replaced the smart meter with a traditional analog meter, resulting in termination of the electrical services to her property. In order to deliver energy to her home, defendant installed solar panels, a wind turbine, and a generator.

After installation of some, but not all, of the alternative energy sources, plaintiff’s (homeowners association) president spoke with defendant about her difficulties with DTE and advised her that the external improvements to her property required approval by plaintiff’s board of directors.

Plaintiff began receiving complaints from other residents about the noise caused by defendant’s generator. Accordingly, plaintiff began sending defendant periodic written notices indicating that the unauthorized improvements violated plaintiff’s bylaws and would result in fines.

In December 2015, plaintiff initiated action to enforce its bylaws, seeking injunctive relief requiring removal of the wind turbine and generator. The trial court granted summary disposition in plaintiff’s favor.

The trial court subsequently granted plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees, costs, and fines and entering a judgment against defendant in the amount of $30,538.31.

In an action arising from an alleged default by a condominium co-owner, a successful association of co-owners shall recover the costs and reasonable attorney fees associated with the action, as determined by the court, to the extent the condominium documents expressly so provide.

Under both MCL 559.206(b) and the terms of the bylaws, plaintiff was entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees.

To schedule a free consultation with an Aldrich Legal Services real estate litigation attorneys, contact our law office in Plymouth, Michigan. We understand that litigation can be costly and time-consuming. We are focused on helping our clients resolve disputes in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, consistent with their objectives.

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REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

LITIGATION 6: The terms of the agreement prevails over the course of performance.

The trial court determined that under the UCC, the express terms of the parties’ agreements prevailed over the course of their performance and course of dealing. Although a course of performance may show that parties have waived a specific contractual term under MCL 440.1303(6), the statute does not similarly provide that a course of dealing may demonstrate waiver.

PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

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FAMILY LAW 32: Trial court committed error in failing to address whether there was an established custodial environment.

On appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court failed to make any findings regarding (1) the child’s established custodial environment, (2) the child’s best interests regarding the grant of primary physical custody to defendant, (3) the child’s best interests with respect to parenting time, and (4) the child’s best interests pertaining to the parties’ dispute over daycare.

PROBATE 25: Daughter removed as personal representative of the estate.

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REAL ESTATE 32: Plaintiffs and defendants executed a second easement.

Plaintiffs requested that the trial court, either through reformation of the First Easement or interpretation of the Second Easement, quiet title in favor of plaintiffs and declare them to be the owners of an easement to access Lake Superior through the ravine on defendants’ property, enjoin defendants from interfering with their use of the easement, and order compensation for damages to the stairs.

LITIGATION 4: Plaintiff claimed installation of hardwood flooring breached the condo bylaws.

Defendants completed the project. Plaintiff did not pay for any of the costs of the project. Defendants moved to compel plaintiff to pay one-half of the costs under the agreement. Plaintiff responded that defendants had materially breached the agreement in several ways, including by denying her the right to supervise the project, by refusing to give her an installation schedule, and by starting work before plaintiff approved of the start date.

FAMILY LAW 30: Discretionary trust assets cannot be reached to satisfy claims for child support and alimony.

The key difference between discretionary trusts, support trusts, and spendthrift trusts is that creditors cannot compel the trustee of a discretionary trust to pay any part of the income or principal in order that the creditors may be paid. The opposite is true of spendthrift and support trusts, which allow trust assets to be reached to satisfy creditors, including creditors seeking to satisfy claims for child support and alimony.

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