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REAL ESTATE 77: The trial court determined plaintiff was not the real party in interest.

In this dispute over real property in Detroit, plaintiff filed a two-count complaint against defendants asserting that defendants sold property belonging to plaintiff, the Church, without plaintiff’s authorization or consent.

Selling of Property

Defendants countered plaintiff’s assertions by seeking dismissal on the basis that plaintiff was comprised of imposters who were former members of the actual Church that left to form a different church in 2017. Defendants presented evidence to the trial court demonstrating that they had been the officers, directors, and resident agent for the Church since 1978. Defendants also presented evidence showing that certain individuals, who defendants claimed were behind the lawsuit, were public about their departure from the Church.

Summary Disposition

Plaintiff moved for summary disposition, arguing that defendants’ failure to respond to its requests to admit resulted in binding admissions entitling plaintiff to judgment as a matter of law. The trial court denied plaintiff’s motion and granted defendants’ motion, concluding plaintiff was not the real party in interest.

The trial court determined, based on documentary evidence provided by the parties, that plaintiff was not the real party in interest, but was instead comprised of former members of the Church that had joined an affiliated, but legally distinct church.

Documentary Evidence

Through documentary evidence, defendants demonstrated that the Church was formed in 1975, and continued to exist. Defendants also demonstrated that the filings with the State of Michigan listed defendants as the officers, directors, and resident agent of the Church. These official documents were not controverted or disputed by plaintiff, other than through conclusory allegations that the documents were improperly filed with the State.

Real Estate Litigation

Are you involved in a real estate dispute in Michigan? If you are facing a commercial real estate dispute, seek the advice of an experienced and skilled real estate litigation attorney at Aldrich Legal Services.

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PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

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College students and estate planning

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