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One Court of Justice Blog

Dec 2016
December 04, 2016

Court of Appeals clarifies that not all false accusations of criminal behavior will constitute defamation per se

Despite a series of inconsistent opinions throughout the years, in Lakin v Rund, No. 323695, the Court of Appeals adhered to Taylor v Kneeland, 1 Doug 67, 72 (1843), in clarifying what types of crimes were actionable in a defamation per se action.  The Court concluded that a false accusation of simple battery would only constitute defamation per se if the crime of battery subjects a plaintiff to an “infamous punishment,” which the Court concluded it did not.

Dec 2016
December 04, 2016

Crime victims generally have no right to intervene in claims brought by the State Treasurer under the State Correctional Facility Reimbursement Act, says the Court of Appeals

In State Treasurer v. Bences, No. 327657, the Court of Appeals held that a crime victim’s restitution order does not create a perfected interest in a claim under the State Correctional Facility Reimbursement Act (“SCFRA”).  Because the restitution order does not take priority over the Treasury’s SCFRA claim, the victim cannot intervene in the suit.

Dec 2016
Nov 2016
November 29, 2016

COA reinforces publication requirement for slander of title claim and holds that deed restrictions recorded outside the chain of title cannot impact a property interest

In Petersen Financial LLC v. Twin Creeks, Nos. 329019 and 329622, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court orders in favor of defendants on plaintiff’s claim for slander of title and tortious interference with business expectancy (No 329019); and in favor of plaintiff regarding quiet title, specifically, that certain deed restrictions do not apply to their property (No. 329622).  

Nov 2016
November 23, 2016

COA holds that filling activities on owner’s wetland are not considered farming activities for purposes of NREPA

In Department Of Environmental Quality v. Hernan F Gomez, No. 328033, the Court of Appeals held that the Defendants’ filling activities on their wetland property were prohibited and were not considered farming activities.  Accordingly,  because Defendants did not acquire a permit prior to filling in a wetland area, they violated the National Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). 

Nov 2016
November 21, 2016

COA holds that a custom-furnishings carpenter is liable for use tax as construction contractor

A company in the business of producing and installing custom office furnishings and interior finishes is a contractor liable for use tax, and not a retailer liable only for sales tax, said the Michigan Court of Appeals in Brunt Associates, Inc. v. Department of Treasury, No. 328253. Further, it is not an industrial processor entitled to an exemption under the Use Tax Act (UTA). Ultimately such a company affixes its product to real estate for its customers, no matter how unobtrusive the hardware used to attach its products is or how easily those products may be removed.

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