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The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting the defendant's motion for summary disposition without considering either the plaintiff's written response to the motion or oral argument at the motion hearing.

The parties were in a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff sued defendant, claiming to have sustained a serious impairment of a body function as a result of the accident. Defendant moved for summary disposition on the basis plaintiff did not suffer an objectively manifested impairment of an important body function that affected her general ability to lead her normal life. Plaintiff argued that the trial court erroneously granted defendant's motion without considering either plaintiff's written response or oral argument at the hearing on the motion. The court disagreed. On appeal, plaintiff admitted that she filed her responsive brief on 4/1/15, after the deadline set forth in trial court's order, but argued that it was filed within the time limits imposed by MCR 2.119(C)(2). However, the trial court's order set forth a definite date by which a responsive brief had to be filed and plaintiff did not argue that the trial court lacked authority to issue such a mandate. "MCR 2.119(C)(3) specifically provides that a court-by separate order-may set a different time for filing motions or responses, which occurred in this case. Further, it is well-established that a court may enter scheduling orders and impose time periods that differ from time periods set forth in particular court rules." Also, "even when the opposing party fails to submit a timely responsive brief to a motion for summary disposition brought under MCR 2.116(C)(10), the trial court must still determine whether the moving party established entitlement to judgment as a matter of law." Here, the trial court determined that defendant's proofs established that she was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Affirmed.

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.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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