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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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FAMILY LAW 37: Referee recommended against changing legal custody or parenting time.

Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.

REAL ESTATE 40: Tax Tribunal denied petitioner’s claim of a principal residence exemption (PRE).

MCL 211.7cc(2) provides that an owner of property can claim the PRE by filing an affidavit that must state that the property is owned and occupied as a principal residence by that owner of the property on the date that the affidavit is signed and shall state that the owner has not claimed a substantially similar exemption, deduction, or credit on property in another state.

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REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition, concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

DIVORCE 29: Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic is subject to modification.

As the name implies, periodic spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis. Periodic spousal support payments are subject to any contingency, such as death or remarriage of a spouse, whereas spousal support in gross is paid as a lump sum or a definite sum to be paid in installments. In addition, one major difference between the two types of spousal support is modifiability. Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic spousal support is subject to modification pursuant to MCL 555.28.1.

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PROBATE 28: Probate court enters a protective order providing support for a community spouse.

A probate court’s consideration of the couple’s circumstances cannot involve an assumption that the institutionalized spouse should receive 100% free medical care under Medicaid or an assumption that a community spouse is entitled to maintain his or her standard of living. Medicaid is a need-based program, and a Medicaid recipient is obligated to contribute to his or her care.

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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