734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

REAL ESTATE 47: Governmental entity can be sued if case falls within a statutory exception.

This case involves the disposal of sewage at a single-family residence located in a city in Michigan.

Plaintiffs purchased the property from defendants. During the sale process, plaintiffs were provided with a disclosure statement which they allege indicated that the property was connected to the City’s sewer system. According to plaintiffs, after moving into the home, they began experiencing respiratory difficulties, eye infections, and skin irritations related to sewage gases therein. Plaintiffs hired a plumber, whom they claim confirmed that sewer gases were escaping into plaintiffs’ basement.

The plumber allegedly also discovered that the property was not connected to the municipal sewer as indicated on the disclosure statement, even though the City was billing plaintiffs for sewage disposal. Rather, the property was connected to an Onsite Sewage Disposal System (OSDS), which, according to plaintiffs, was later determined to be in such disrepair that it was completely failing. Plaintiffs claimed that they were advised to abandon the OSDS and connect to the municipal sewer system.

Plaintiffs alleged that they attempted to address the issue with the City, but the City did not take any action. Plaintiffs claimed that representatives of the City verbally acknowledged to them that the City knew that the property was not connected to the municipal sewer and that at least one seller of the property had previous communications with the City regarding the same issue. Plaintiffs alleged that, despite its knowledge that the property was not connected to the municipal sewer, the City continued to bill them for sewage on quarterly invoices.

Ultimately, plaintiffs filed a five-count complaint in the circuit court against several defendants. Counts III and IV of this complaint were against the City. In Count III, plaintiffs alleged that that the City violated Wayne County Ordinance 99-527 by failing to facilitate a connection of the property to the municipal sewer and by failing to keep accurate records regarding the existence of the OSDS. In Count IV, plaintiffs alleged that the City over billed them for sewer services that it knew were not being provided and that the City was unjustly enriched by its retention of plaintiffs’ payment of these charges.

The City filed a motion for summary disposition arguing that it was immune from suit and that plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before filing suit.

The circuit court denied of the City’s motion.

Governmental entities are generally immune from tort liability. A governmental entity can only be subject to suit if a plaintiff’s case falls within a statutory exception. As such, it is the responsibility of the party seeking to impose liability on a governmental agency to demonstrate that its case falls within one of the exceptions.

A plaintiff pleads in avoidance of governmental immunity by stating a claim that fits within a statutory exception or by pleading facts that demonstrate that the alleged tort occurred during the exercise or discharge of a nongovernmental or proprietary function.

Are you involved in a real estate dispute in Michigan? Are you seeking an efficient and effective resolution to a property litigation matter?

If you are facing a residential or commercial real estate, seek the advice of an experienced and skilled real estate litigation attorney at Aldrich Legal Services in Plymouth.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

A basic introduction to wills

Originally posted on 10/31/2016 It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health. However, lives can change at any moment, so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many...

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405