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April 2014

Apr 2014
04
April 04, 2014

Purchaser of a sheriff’s deed obtains full legal title that is effective back to the date of the sheriff’s sale once the redemption period expires

In Wells Fargo Bank v Country Place Condominium Association, the Court of Appeals held that a bank, which obtained title to a condominium unit by purchasing the unit at a sheriff’s sale, was responsible for condominium association fees incurred from the date of the sale onward.  Under MCL 559.158, a purchaser of a condominium unit as a result of foreclosure is not liable for condominium association fees “that became due prior to the acquisition of title to the unit.”  The Court rejected the bank’s argument that it should not be responsible for the association fees until the date the redemption period expired and it obtained full legal title.  The Court disagreed with the bank because the purchaser of a sheriff’s deed acquires equitable title on the date of purchase, and once the right to redemption is exercised, the equitable title “automatically becomes full legal title that is effective back to the date of the sheriff’s sale.”  Accordingly, the “acquisition of title” occurred on the date of the sale rather than on the date the redemption period expired.

Apr 2014
04
April 04, 2014

MSC finds defendant’s shooting range was a “sports shooting range” and exempt from compliance with local ordinance

In Addison Township v. Barnhart, the Supreme Court determined that the defendant’s shooting range was entitled to protection from local ordinances under MCL 691.1541a.  The court held that in order for MCL 691.1541a to apply, (1) the range must be a “sports shooting range” that existed as of July 5, 1994, and (2) the shooting range must comply with “generally accepted operation practices.”
 

Apr 2014
04
April 04, 2014

Taxpayer has 35 days from date MI Dept. of Treasury issues notice of decision to taxpayer and representative to appeal tax decision.

In Fradco, Inc. v. Dept. of Treasury, the Michigan Supreme Court clarified that when a taxpayer has appointed a representative, the 35-day period for appealing adverse tax decisions (MCL 205.22(1)) does not begin to run until the Michigan Department of Treasury (the “Department”) issues notice of the assessment to both the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s representative.  The Court held that under MCL 205.28 and 205.8, the Department is required to provide notice to the taxpayer, and, if the taxpayer has appointed a representative, it must also provide the representative with copies of the notices. The Court concluded that notice of the final assessment and issuance of the final assessment are “one and the same,” meaning that satisfaction of both notice requirements must occur “before issuance of the assessment is deemed to have occurred, starting the appeal period.” 

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