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.
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