Paragon Properties: The Rule of Finality in Challenging Municipal Land Use Decisions

 

            The relationship between municipalities and land developers is often one of compromise, with each attempting to find some middle-ground in order to move forward on a particular project.  In many instances, however, the municipality and developer are unable to reach such a compromise and the parties find that their positions are irreconcilable.  In such instances the developer may believe that their only next viable option is to seek redress in the court system.  But before doing so, it is important that a developer recognize the limitations on judicial review of land use decisions by a municipality.  Specifically, if a developer does not satisfy the “rule of finality,” the developer may find that they have no right to seek a judicial remedy at all.  The rule of finality helps to ensure that a municipality is given an opportunity to make a final decision on the matter before it.  Without such a final opportunity, judicial review is not available.

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What is a Personal Guaranty and Why is It Important with a Commercial Lease?

 

Introduction

At some point in their lives, most adults have signed a lease agreement, whether it be the leasing of an automobile, an apartment on campus while attending college or renting a home. Since most of these leases are standard forms offered on a “take it or leave it” basis by the lessor or landlord, negotiating the base rent and term of the lease is typically the main and only focus for the lessee.

When a business enters into a commercial lease however, the lease is usually signed by the business entity itself, which is typically organized as a corporation or limited liability company. By forming a corporation or LLC, the owners of a business can shield themselves from personal liability for the debts of the business in most situations. Accordingly, when a business entity signs a commercial lease to rent space in a commercial building, the entity signing the lease, as opposed to the owners of the business entity, is the one legally responsible for making the payments under the lease.

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Michigan Court Reaffirms Mortgagor’s Right to Contest Validity of Foreclosure by Advertisement in Summary Proceeding Action

On January 12, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion in the matter of JPMorgan Chase Bank v Zair.  The Zair case is important as a reminder that a mortgagor may, for the first time in any proceedings, contest the validity of the foreclosure by advertisement sale in the summary proceeding.

Background

The case involves real property located in West Bloomfield.   Defendants Kays Zair and Patrice Zair (“Zair”) were the record title owners of the real property and executed a promissory note and mortgage against the property in favor of Peoples State Bank in April of 2002 (“Peoples mortgage”).  In December of 2006, the Zairs executed a promissory note and mortgage in favor of JPMorgan Chase Bank (“JPMorgan mortgage”).  JPMorgan Chase claimed that a subordination agreement was entered into between Peoples State Bank and JPMorgan Chase Bank so that the Peoples mortgage was made subordinate to the JPMorgan mortgage, placing the JPMorgan mortgage in a first/senior lien position against the property.

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House Bill 4463: Proposed Law Would Allow LLC’s to Pursue Landlord/Tenant Evictions without an Attorney

On March 30, 2017, Representatives VanSingel, Lucido, Sheppard, Webber, Howrylak and
Calley proposed House Bill 4463, which would amend MCL 600.101, et seq. by including a new section 5707.  Under current Michigan law, a limited liability company (“LLC”) is required to be represented by an attorney for any landlord/tenant matters.  The proposed law would allow single member LLCs (or two member LLCs if the two members are married) to handle evictions without requiring an attorney under certain circumstances.

First, the amount in dispute could not exceed the limit for small claims matters [currently $5,500].  Thus, if the damages exceeded $5,500 then an attorney would still be required.  Second, the LLC may only be represented by a member, a property manager or other agent with direct and personal knowledge of the facts in the complaint.

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Kevin Hirzel and Joe Wloszek Named Rising Stars By Super Lawyers

Congratulations to Kevin Hirzel and Joe Wloszek who have both been selected as “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers for 2017. Being named as a Rising Star is a significant honor as no more that 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state are awarded the designation each year. Super Lawyers is an organization which uses peer nominations and evaluations combined with independent research to recognize outstanding attorneys in different practice areas. This prestigious designation is reserved for attorneys who are either 40 years old or younger, or attorneys who have been in practice for 10 years or less.

Kevin Hirzel is a Partner at Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. and runs the community association practice group. He frequently represents Builders, Community Associations, Condominium Associations, Cooperatives, Co-Owners, Developers, Homeowner Associations, Investors, Property Owners and Property Managers throughout the State of Michigan. Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. has Michigan offices in Clinton Township, Grand Rapids, Livonia and Traverse City.  Mr. Hirzel can be contacted at (734) 261-2400 or khirzel@cmda-law.com.

Joe Wloszek is an attorney with the law firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. where he focuses his practice on dispute avoidance, condominium law, commercial litigation, commercial real estate, large contractual disputes, and title litigation. He has extensive litigation and trial experience in state and federal courts involving commercial litigation issues and real estate matters. He can be reached at (734) 261-2400 or jwloszek@cmda-law.com.

Please view The Michigan Real Estate Law Blog at http://www.michiganrelaw.com for additional resources on Michigan Real Estate Law.

Michigan real estate disputes – 5 common reasons to file a quiet title action

A quiet title action is a type of lawsuit that resolves a dispute as to the ownership of real estate or resolves a dispute regarding an interest in real estate relating to somebody that may not be the owner of the real estate. Quiet title actions are often necessary to ensure that a property owner retains possession of their property and to ensure that the property owner has marketable title that can later be transferred. In Michigan, a quiet title action is authorized by statute. MCL 600.2932 provides as follows: Read more

Are Tenants Required to Strictly Adhere to “Option to Renew” Language in a Lease?

At the beginning of any landlord/tenant relationship, it is common for a landlord and tenant to execute a Lease Agreement with a defined initial lease term. In most leases (particularly commercial leases), there is also a provision that allows for an additional extension or extensions of the lease term, commonly called an “Option to Renew” provision. Historically, Michigan courts have required tenants to strictly comply with all of the requirements of the Option to Renew in order for the extension of the lease to be valid. Recently, Michigan courts have taken a less stringent approach under appropriate circumstances and looked more toward the behavior, actions or conduct of the landlord and tenant to ascertain whether an Option to Renew was properly exercised. This article gives an example of an Option to Renew provision, discusses the historical approach compelling strict compliance with an Option to Renew and discusses recent cases that hold strict compliance for an Option to Renew is no longer required in appropriate cases. Read more

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