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Posts in the Real Estate category:

REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

REAL ESTATE 32: Plaintiffs and defendants executed a second easement.

Plaintiffs requested that the trial court, either through reformation of the First Easement or interpretation of the Second Easement, quiet title in favor of plaintiffs and declare them to be the owners of an easement to access Lake Superior through the ravine on defendants’ property, enjoin defendants from interfering with their use of the easement, and order compensation for damages to the stairs.

LITIGATION 4: Plaintiff claimed installation of hardwood flooring breached the condo bylaws.

Defendants completed the project. Plaintiff did not pay for any of the costs of the project. Defendants moved to compel plaintiff to pay one-half of the costs under the agreement. Plaintiff responded that defendants had materially breached the agreement in several ways, including by denying her the right to supervise the project, by refusing to give her an installation schedule, and by starting work before plaintiff approved of the start date.

REAL ESTATE 25: Foreclosure and sheriff’s sale, redemption period expired.

In lieu of an answer, defendants filed a motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8) and (C)(10), arguing essentially that plaintiff lacked standing to bring claims related to the Property because plaintiff’s legal interest in the Property was extinguished through properly conducted foreclosure proceedings and the redemption period had expired and that none of plaintiff’s claims had legal merit.

REAL ESTATE 24: Court dismissed defendant’s counterclaim for failure to join third party.

Defendants’ counter-complaint sought a declaration, among other things, that defendants had acquired a legal right to use the Drive as a means to access their property. But defendants did not add the LLC, the owner of the Drive, as a party to their suit. Consequently, the trial court dismissed defendant’s counterclaim for easement rights because of the failure to join LLC—a necessary party.

REAL ESTATE 22: Court found denial of rezoning from multiple-family to commercial invalid.

Plaintiff brought suit, alleging that the rezoning denial deprived it of its constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive due process. The parties filed competing motions for summary disposition. The briefs largely focused on whether defendant had treated the Property differently from other properties in the downtown area and whether it had legitimate reasons for doing so.

REAL ESTATE 18: If contract is silent as to time of performance, the law will presume a reasonable time.

The absence of an explicitly stated time for performance or payment does not render a contract invalid or unenforceable. One party’s substantial breach of a contract may relieve the other party of its obligation to perform under the contract. Substantial breach may be found in cases where the breach has effected such a change in essential operative elements of the contract that further performance by the other party is thereby rendered ineffective or impossible.

REAL ESTATE 17: To sustain a breach of contract, plaintiff must show that the other party breached the contract, not that it will breach the contract.

Plaintiff failed to properly allege a cause of action for breach of contract, plaintiff’s claim for injunctive relief necessarily fails. An injunction is an equitable remedy rather than an independent cause of action. It is not the remedy that supports the cause of action, but rather the cause of action that supports a remedy. Thus, without a cause of action, injunctive relief is not warranted, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff further injunctive relief.

REAL ESTATE 11: Homeowner association wins in paint color dispute.

Under this section, a homeowner must seek prior approval from the Association before he or she can change the exterior color of his or her home. If that requirement is violated, the Association is entitled to have the color changed and the home repainted a different color at the homeowner’s expense.

REAL ESTATE 7: Even without an express contract, there can be an implied contract.

Contracts can be divided into two categories: express contracts and implied contracts. An express contract is one where the intention of the parties and the terms of the agreement are declared or expressed by the parties, in writing or orally. Alternatively, a contract may be implied from the conduct of the parties, language used or things done by them, or other pertinent circumstances attending the transaction.

REAL ESTATE 3: Can you take your neighbor’s land by Adverse Possession?

To prevail on a claim of adverse possession, plaintiffs must show that they possessed the disputed property openly, adversely, exclusively, and continuously for at least 15 years. A party making an adverse possession claim can meet the time requirement by tacking their possessory period to that of their predecessors in interest with whom they are in privity of estate.

REAL ESTATE 2: Property dispute, intent is not required for a trespass.

In instances of trespass where injunctive relief and actual damages are not warranted, a plaintiff nevertheless is entitled to nominal damages. Because a trespass violates a landholder’s right to exclude others from the premises, the landholder could recover at least nominal damages even in the absence of proof of any other injury.
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