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Where land contract purchaser breaches contract by transferring property without authorization, remedy for Seller is balance due on land contract

The court held that the trial court did not err by granting summary disposition for the defendants-developers in the plaintiff-trustee's action for breach of a land contract. Plaintiff sued defendants claiming they breached the parties' land contract by transferring property to another developer without her written consent. Defendants counterclaimed, contending that plaintiff failed to comply with the land contract by refusing to accept payment for the remaining parcels. The trial court granted summary disposition for defendants and ordered the parties to close within seven days, noting that if plaintiff refused to close, it would require her to show cause why she should not be held in contempt of court. On appeal, the court rejected her argument that the trial court improperly granted summary disposition for defendants, and the manner in which it did so deprived her of due process. It noted that she "did not assert fraud in the land contract, the amendments, or provide any fact-based allegations of fraud at any of the motion hearings." Instead, she contended that defendants' deeds to the other developer violated the terms of the parties' land contract, and she did not seek monetary damages. "Even presuming the facts in [her] complaint are true - that [defendants] did in fact breach the land contract in the manner [she] asserted in her complaint - the remedy under the contract was payment of the balance due on the contract. This was the exact remedy [she] refused to accept from [defendants]. The trial court properly determined that summary disposition was appropriate in this case, and the extent of the trial court's relief was consistent with the parties' land contract." It also found that plaintiff abandoned her argument that the trial court erred by stating that it would not give her an opportunity to amend her pleadings, noting that she did "not address the trial court's determination that an amendment would have been futile." Further, the proceedings provided her with "sufficient notice and opportunity to be heard." Finally, the court rejected plaintiff's argument that the trial court's decision to order immediate closing was irregular and improper because it threatened to moot her appeal by placing her property out of her reach, noting that although the decision threatened to deprive her of a meaningful appeal, the court's "decision to stay the trial court's decision pending appellate proceedings rendered this issue moot." Further, the trial court's statement that it would hold her in contempt if she did not appear at closing was also moot as it did not actually hold her in contempt, and the court's opinion "would not rest on existing facts and would not have any practical effect on controversy." Affirmed.


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