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Michigan Court Records

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Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Michigan

A contract in Michigan is a legally binding agreement between parties to fulfill predetermined obligations or transactions. Disputes arising from a breach of contract are adjudicated in the designated courts of the Michigan Judiciary. For example, the trial courts adjudicate contract disputes involving contracts between non-governmental parties, while the Court of Claims adjudicates contract disputes between government agencies and private entities. Michigan courts also adjudicate various property disputes that arise within the state’s jurisdiction. Court records on contract and property disputes are available to interested members of the public.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching for records simpler, as geographic locations do not limit their activities. Thus, the search engines on third-party sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or persons involved in the case. These include information such as the city, county, or state of residence or accusation.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not government-sponsored. Consequently, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are Contract Disputes in Michigan?

Suffice to say that a contract dispute in Michigan is any suit regarding the term/conditions of a contract. It may also involve disputes regarding the enforceability of a contract and a breach of contract by parties privy to a contract.

What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Michigan?

Generally, contract disputes in Michigan involve:

  • Lease Dispute: This type of contract dispute typically involves landlords and tenants of commercial and residential real estate. In most cases, lease disputes arise when the parties involve disagreements on tenancy rights, responsibility for repairs, detainer, and eviction.
  • Non-Compete Agreement Dispute: A common contract disputes involving private companies. A non-compete prevents employees from using the skills or knowledge acquired while working with an employer for another similar employer. Disputes involving non-competes arise when the employee violates the agreement.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements: Another company contract that is often mistaken for the non-compete. This contract dispute arises when an employee privy to confidential information, such as trade secrets or proprietary material, divulges such information. A non-disclosure does not prevent a party from working for a similar employee.
  • Warranty Disputes: This type of contract dispute typically involves manufacturers and consumers regarding the warranty on a product. A warranty indemnifies the buyer if damage to a product occurs due to an error by the manufacturer.

What is Michigan Contract Law?

A body of statutes, and court rules, that make provisions for the design and enforcement of contracts in Michigan. The law also makes provisions for the resolutions for a breach of contract. The body of law includes Chapter 142 (Contracts) of the Michigan Model Civil Jury Instructions as well as Chapter 566 and Chapter 440 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

What is a Breach of Contract in Michigan?

A breach of contract refers to when a party does not substantially perform what the party had promised in the contract (M. Civ. JI 142.20)..

What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Michigan?

The remedies for a breach of contract in Michigan are on a case-by-case basis. Per the state laws, the remedies for a breach of contract include:

  • Damages: Damages refer to the amount of money that the court awards to the aggrieved party for the losses include due to the breach of contract. Note that damages are compensatory, not punitive (M. Civ. JI 142.31).
  • Specific Performance: A court order of specific performance compels the defendant to fulfill their contractual obligations by the aggrieved party. Generally, the court orders specific performance when it establishes that no other remedy is adequate (Section 440.2716; Section 440.2971).
  • Rescission: A rescission is an equitable remedy that restores the parties as far as is possible to their original position before entering into the contract. Here, the parties must restore profits and benefits gotten from the execution of the contract thus far.

A person who intends to file a breach of contract claim must submit a complaint at the office of the clerk in the appropriate trial court. If a government agency is responsible for the breach of contract, then the complaint starts in the Small Claims Court.

All filings for breach of contract must describe the following details: 

  • The validity of the contract
  • The extent of fulfillment of obligations by both parties
  • Evidence of breach of contract
  • Evidence of notifying the other party of the breach
  • Evidence and estimation of sustained loss

Furthermore, Michigan has a statute of limitation of six years, during which the aggrieved party must bring up the suit for a breach of contract (Section 600.5807).. During the court trial, the plaintiff must establish and support the claim with affidavits, disposition testimony, witness testimony, attestations, and other applicable evidence. Conversely, the burden on the defendant is to establish that a genuine issue of breach of contract exists.

What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Michigan?

The following legal arguments nullify a claim of breach of contract in Michigan:

  • Duress (M. Civ. JI 142.40)
  • Frustration of purpose (M. Civ. JI 142.43)
  • Impracticability (M. Civ. JI 142.42)
  • Waiver (M. Civ. JI 142.41)
  • Undue influence
  • Illegality & incapacity
  • Fraud/intention to defraud
  • Unilateral/bilateral mistake in the agreement
  • Inequality of bargaining power/unfairness/unconscionability

What are Property Disputes in Michigan?

A property dispute refers to disagreements involving any material or immaterial subject that is subject to ownership, rights, and interests of right. Per Michigan property code, these include real estate and personal property.  

What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Michigan?

Some of the commonly reported property disputes in Michigan involve:

  • Real estate fraud
  • Landlord-tenant dispute
  • Intellectual property dispute
  • Water rights dispute
  • Oil/Gas/Mineral rights dispute
  • Easement dispute
  • Boundary dispute

How to Find Property Lines

Property lines or boundary lines are clearly defined points that show land limits or boundaries as established via a real estate survey. The lines show where a piece of land ends and where the adjoining lands begin. Information on property lines is available at the office of the County Assessor.

How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?

The State Bar of Michigan provides lawyer referral services on its website.  

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