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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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