MSC holds that, under the Public Works Bond Act, actual receipt of notice is not necessary

In Wyandotte Electric Supply v Electrical Technology Systems, Inc, No 149989, the Michigan Supreme Court held that if a claimant complies with the method of service provided in the 30-day notice provision of the Public Works Bond Act (“PWBA”), actual receipt of the notice is not required under the statute.  Moreover, the Court held that a PWBA claimant may recover a time-price differential and attorney fees that were provided for by the claimant’s contract and that post-judgment interest based on the written instrument is not appropriate under the PWBA. Read More

COA concludes that a consent judgment does not have preclusive effect where factual issues were not tried in the prior proceeding and where the judgment was intended to be temporary

Collateral estoppel and res judicata does not bar future claims arising from temporary consent judgments, says the Michigan Court of Appeals in In re Guardianship of Bibi/Wallace Minors, No. 327159.  In a guardianship dispute between grandmothers, the Court of Appeals declined to apply principles of preclusion because the consent judgment was temporary, factual issues were never tried, and the circumstances concerning the matter have changed since the prior proceeding. Read More

COA says that the mere continuation exception to a successor corporation’s non-liability is alive and well in Michigan jurisprudence

The mere continuation exception continues to exist as a traditional successor liability theory in Michigan, says the Michigan Court of Appeals in Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company v. Metro Title Corporation et al., No. 324914.  The Court held that the continuity of the enterprise doctrine is a relaxation of the de-facto merger doctrine in products-liability cases and did not redefine the mere continuation exception. Read More

COA concludes that notice under the No Fault Act does not need to identify a specific injury in order to be effective

In Dillon v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 324902, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that notice under the No Fault Act does not need to identify a specific injury for which an insured later seeks coverage.  The Court found that simply giving notice of injury within one year of an accident is sufficient to meet notice requirements and recover personal protection insurance benefits. Read More

COA: Judgment interest is not included with a sanctions award

In order to recover judgment interest in a civil action, the party must be granted a civil award that is more than an order directing an act be done, says the Court of Appeals in Lech II v Huntmore Estates Condominium Assoc., No. 320028.  The court held that Defendants, Jacobson Ore Creek Land Development and Scott R. Jacobson, are not entitled to recover judgment interest on their sanctions award under MCL 600.6013, because a money judgment may be treated differently than other civil awards.  MCL 600.6013 provides that “interest is allowed on a money judgment recovered in a civil action,” but the court awarded a sanctions order directing payment of a party’s attorney fees and costs, not an order providing for a money judgment. Read More

COA: Closed informal sessions do not violate the Open Meetings Act

The Michigan Constitution allows governing boards of public universities some latitude to define what constitutes a “formal session” that must be held in public, says the Court of Appeals in Detroit Free Press v University of Michigan Regents, No. 328182.  Plaintiffs, Detroit Free Press, Inc. and Federated Publications, Inc., publish or operate two major newspapers in the state of Michigan.  Defendant, the University of Michigan Regents, is a constitutional corporation and public body responsible for governing the University of Michigan.  Plaintiffs contend that Defendant’s “closed informal sessions” violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA), MCL 15.261 et seq. and Article 8, § 4 of the Michigan Constitution. 
The Court of Claims denied Plaintiff’s motion for summary disposition and request for an injunction, and granted summary disposition in favor of Defendant.  The court determined that the Michigan Constitution insulates Defendant from being required by the OMA to open its informal meetings to the public, otherwise, OMA would essentially dictate how the university operated on a day-to-day basis.  Plaintiff appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts determination.  The court reasoned that the Michigan Constitution permits informal meetings in private and only requires formal meetings to be held in public. Read More

COA: DHHS must conduct an individualized assessment before terminating the rights of a cognitively impaired parent

A parent who is cognitively impaired requires different accommodations than a parent with average cognitive abilities, the Court of Appeals held in In re Hicks/Brown Minors, No. 328870.  Absent individualized accommodations, terminating the rights of a parent with a cognitive impairment is a violation of the statutory duty to make reasonable efforts to reunite the family. Read More

COA – No contract was ever formed in loan modification agreement left partially unsigned by home owner and unsigned by loan servicer

Where a loan modification agreement was returned partially unsigned by the home owner, totally unsigned by loan servicer, and conditions precedent were not met, no contract was ever formed, held the Michigan Court of Appeals in Rodgers v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 327403Read More

“Legal act” requirement still met when conspiracy participants agree to commit an illegal act in an illegal manner

In People v. Seewald, No. 150146, the Michigan Supreme Court decided the meaning and effect of “legal act” under Michigan’s conspiracy statute, MCL 750.157a, which provides that a person is guilty of conspiracy when he or she conspires with one or more persons to commit a legal act using illegal means.  In particular, the Court looked at whether the commission of an illegal act using illegal means constitutes the crime of conspiracy.  The Michigan Supreme Court held that the term “legal act” is properly interpreted as referring to the lawfulness of the act in general, and thus, conspiracies to commit an illegal act in an illegal manner falls within the statute.
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Driving drunk in driveway is not operating while intoxicated

In People v. Rea, No. 324728, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that driving a car while intoxicated while in the upper portion of one’s own driveway is not a criminal offense.  Defendant was charged with operating while intoxicated, MCL 257.625(1), which provides that a person shall not operate a vehicle “upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles” if the person is operating while intoxicated.  In the presence of a police office, Defendant—while intoxicated—drove his car from within his garage twenty-five feet down his driveway and then back into his garage.  The circuit court granted Defendant’s motion to quash the information, resulting in the charges being dismissed, which the Court of Appeals affirmed.
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