REAL ESTATE 39: Defendant argues genuine issues of material fact regarding ownership of property.

Defendant argues that the trial court erred by granting plaintiff summary disposition because there were genuine issues of material fact regarding the legal ownership of property located in Detroit, Michigan (the Property), and because discovery was not yet complete. Defendant also argues that summary disposition was inappropriate because plaintiff had unclean hands.

In 2002, defendant sold the Property to F Company (F Company). F Company financed the purchase by obtaining a mortgage from CIT. F Company failed to pay property taxes in 2007, and in 2009, the Wayne County Treasurer (County Treasurer) forfeited the property and sought a judgment of foreclosure. The trial court entered a judgment of foreclosure in 2010, which vested absolute fee simple title to the County Treasurer and extinguished the mortgage.

The judgment of foreclosure was recorded with the Wayne County Register of Deeds. In December 2010, the County Treasurer quitclaimed the property to plaintiff, and the quitclaim deed was recorded with the Wayne County Register of Deeds.

However, in 2012, F Company quitclaimed the property to defendant, and the quitclaim deed was recorded with the register of deeds in 2015. In 2017, defendant paid outstanding property taxes from 2013, which were ultimately refunded. These bills raised concern with the County Treasurer regarding the ownership of the property. Thus, plaintiff filed a complaint to quiet title, as well as a motion for summary disposition. The court granted plaintiff summary disposition and entered a judgment quieting title in its favor.

A motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10) should be granted if the evidence submitted by the parties fails to establish a genuine issue of a material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment or partial judgment as a matter of law. A genuine issue of material fact exists if, after viewing the record in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, reasonable minds could differ on an issue.

Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of title to the Property. The County Treasurer recorded the notice of the judgment of foreclosure with the Wayne County Register of Deeds on September 18, 2010, thereby extinguishing any claims to the Property. On December 18, 2010, the County Treasurer quitclaimed the Property to plaintiff, which was recorded with the Wayne County Register of Deeds the same day.

Defendant fails to present any evidence to demonstrate a superior right or title in itself.

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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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