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One Court of Justice Blog

Jan 2018
January 29, 2018

Can a molder extinguish the moldbuilder's lien by paying the amount owed the moldbuilder to someone else?

The Michigan Supreme Court has granted mini-oral argument in Sejasmi Industries, Inc v Quality Cavity, Inc, No. 156341, to consider the interpretation and application of the molder’s lien act, MCL 445.619(5)(b).  Specifically, the MSC will hear argument as to whether the statutory provision requires payment to the moldbuilder to extinguish the moldbuilder's lien.

Jul 2016
July 28, 2016

MSC: A lien claimant who succeeds on a breach of contract claim may be a “prevailing party” entitled to attorney fees under the Construction Lien Act

According to the the Michigan Supreme Court in Ronnisch Construction Group Inc. v. Lofts on the Nine, L.L.C., No. 150029, a lien foreclosure claim and a claim for breach of the underlying construction contract are “integrally related” as the lien is but a means for enforcing payment of the debt arising from a breach of the contract.  Thus, a plaintiff who succeeds on a breach of contract claim is a “prevailing party” under the Construction Lien Act (“CLA”) and may be entitled to recover attorney fees even when the lien claim is not fully adjudicated.

May 2016
May 06, 2016

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.

Sep 2015
September 30, 2015

MSC holds that contracts with unlicensed residential builders are not “void,” contrary to statements in prior precedent

It seems esoteric, but “void” and “voidable”—a distinction that has long confused Michigan courts—may mean the difference between treble damages for conversion and no damages at all.  The Michigan Supreme Court in Epps v. 4 Quarters Restoration LLC, No. 147727, held that contracts with the homeowner might have granted the contractor authority to cash insurance checks to pay for restoration work at the time because the contracts were only ‘voidable” by the homeowner, not “void” from the start.  The Court also confirmed that the occupational code does not bar an unlicensed builder from defending against a homeowner’s claims on the merits and does not create a cause of action for homeowners.

Jun 2015
June 07, 2015

MSC holds that courts have original jurisdiction over claims against governmental subdivisions

In Michigan Association of Home Builders v. City of Troy, No. 149150, the Michigan Supreme Court held that plaintiffs seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the legislative body of a governmental subdivision do not have to exhaust their administrative remedies under the Single State Construction Code Act, outlined in MCL 125.1509b, in order for the court to have jurisdiction over the case.

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