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REAL ESTATE 81: Plaintiff’s requests to inspect records of condominium association.

Defendant, EV Condominium Association, denied plaintiff’s record-inspection requests because, according to defendant, the requests did not state a proper purpose. This led plaintiff to file a complaint in the trial court to compel his record inspection requests.

Record Inspection

This case arises out of plaintiff’s requests to inspect seven records: (1) bills or invoices showing the cost of past litigation; (2) records relating to orders for wrist bands that were given to co-owners to allow them access to the condominium’s pool; (3) work orders or invoices for bulb replacement done in plaintiff’s building; (4) Board minutes from April 2019 until September 2019; (5) records relating to plaintiff’s checks from approximately June 2019 through September 2019 were received by defendant and posted to plaintiff’s account; (6) Board minutes for 2018; and (7) financial statements for 2017 and 2018.

Defendant denied plaintiff’s requests, which led to the lawsuit.

Defendant Denies Request

In the motion, defendant argued that plaintiff had to state a proper purpose to inspect documents when his inspection request was made. Defendant attached numerous correspondences between plaintiff and defendant, and argued that, based on those correspondences, it was impossible to determine what documents plaintiff was requesting to inspect and for what purpose he was requesting the inspection. Defendant contended that, for this reason, plaintiff’s inspection requests were made without a proper purpose, so defendant was justified in denying the requests.

Plaintiff asserted that if defendant read plaintiff’s requests properly then plaintiff’s proper purpose for his inspection requests would be clear and argued that defendant had the burden to prove that plaintiff’s purposes for his requests were improper under MCL 450.2487. He also asserted that he was entitled to inspect the records by virtue of MCL 559.157, which did not require him to state a proper purpose.

Court Opinion

At issue is plaintiff’s requests to inspect records of defendant, a nonprofit condominium association. The books, records, contracts, and financial statements concerning the administration and operation of the condominium project shall be available for examination by any of the co-owners and their mortgagees at convenient times

In its opinion, the trial court repeated the record-inspection requests from plaintiff’s complaint and noted that they were difficult to follow, but ultimately concluded that they were clear enough to inform defendant of what records Plaintiff is seeking, and why. Accordingly, the trial court denied defendant’s motion for summary disposition and granted summary disposition to plaintiff insofar as he sought to inspect defendant’s records.

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MICHIGAN WILLS/TRUSTS 33: Trustees required to provide notice informing recipients that they may challenge the validity of a trust and the period allowed for bringing such a challenge.

The notice sent clearly advised her that if she wanted to contest the validity of the Trust in a judicial proceeding, the law required her to do so within six months from the date of the letter. Nothing in the statute requires a trustee to inform the recipients of the specific legal consequences of not acting during the time allowed.

MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE 97: The court imposed a constructive trust on defendant’s one-half interest in the property in favor of plaintiff.

The trial court found that plaintiff sustained her burden of establishing that a constructive trust was necessary to prevent defendant from being unjustly enriched. Accordingly, the court imposed a constructive trust on defendant’s one-half interest in the property in favor of plaintiff and ordered defendant to convey his interest in the property to plaintiff.

MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE 95: Property owners did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves.

When the delivery of a deed is contingent upon the happening of some future event, title to the subject property will not transfer to the grantee until the event has occurred. However, in this case A and J did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves, then deposited the deed with their attorney with the instruction to record the deed only upon the happening of a future event, thereby placing a condition only upon the recording of the deed.

MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

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