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Michigan Guide to Landlord Tenant Court

Michigan Guide to Landlord Tenant Court

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Published by streetdemocracy
Tenant landlord Law legal self-help Will
Tenant landlord Law legal self-help Will

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Published by: streetdemocracy on Feb 11, 2009
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06/15/2009

 
START HERE
CONSENT ORDER[]1. The Plaintiff is owed $_____ inback rent.[]2. The back rent is to be reduced by$_____, because the Plaintiff failed to make thefollowing repairs:____________________________________[]3. The back rent is to be reduced by$_____, because the Defendant spent thatamount either at the Plaintiff’s request or to repairthe premises.[]4. The back rent is to be reduced by$_____ to compensate Defendant for damagesarising from Plaintiff’s illegal eviction,interference with possessory interest, trespass tochattels and/or conversion .[]4a. The Court shall enter an escroworder in the amount of $___________, areasonable rent after deducting for anyconditions of inhabitability, beginning ________(date) on a monthly basis until directed otherwiseby the Court.[]4b. The Defendent shall pay backrent, totaling $________, directly to the Plaintiff by _________ (date). The Plaintiff [] will []willnot accept partial payment up until that date.[]5. Plaintiff will make the followingrepairs within ___ days:_____________________________[]6. Should the Defendant fail tocomply with this Order, the Plaintiff may bring aShow Cause Motion, and upon a finding of nocause, Plaintiff may seek judgment and any otherrights secured by Michigan law. Should thePlaintiff fail to comply with this Order, theDefendant may bring a Show Cause Motion, andupon a finding of no cause, Defendant may seekdismissal of claim for possession, injunctiverelief, reduction in escrow amount, disbursementof escrow funds and any other rights secured byMichigan law.
On Line #2 of the Summons you will find the date and location whereyour case will be heard. SHOW UP.
If you miss it, or are even late, a default judgmentwill be entered against you, meaning you lost. You can file a motion to vacate (FORM DC99), butthey are rarely granted. You should try to negotiate a settlement with your landlord before yourcourtdate, especially if you are in subsidized housing or are renting a lot for your mobile home.Losing a subsidy or your mobile home if you don't have the money to move it can be financially andemotionally devastating.The Judge/Clerk will call your case.
The Courtwill ask you and the landlord to try to negotiatea settlement.
During the negotiation, the landlord's attorneywill likely recite what is in the complaint and askyou to sign a
Consent Judgment
. A
ConsentJudgment
is a judgment against you, and you canbe evicted after 10 days if you do not follow theterms in it.
Consent Judgments
don't take intoaccount any repairs that need to be made orclaims you have against the landlord. By signingit, you will give up many of your rights.We suggest you sign a
Consent Order
based onthe sample on the left. We drafted it to protectthe rights of tenants. Some major differencesbetween a
Consent Judgment
and a
ConsentOrder
is that the
Consent Order
is
not a judgment 
against you, negotiates the escrowamount and repairs to be made, and gives youenforcement rights against the landlord if theyfail to perform any obligations. Further, even if you fail to perform, they must first testify thatthey have done everything in the
Consent Order
before they can get you evicted.
Sign both parts of the Answer, checking Personal Service in theCertificate of Service section and make three (3) copies. Bring with youany witnesses or documents that help prove your case.
NEED
 
 A 
 
LITTLE
 
MORE
 
INFORMATION?
Call
 
888-314-3409
 
extension
 
101
 
or
 
 visit 
 
http://www.streetdemocracy.org
 
for
 
our
 
related
 
 video
USE
 
THIS
 
GUIDE
 
IF
 
 YOU
 
HAVE
 
RECENTLY 
 
RECEIVED
 
 A 
 
SUMMONS
 
 AND
 
COMPLAINT
 
FOR
 
LANDLORD-TENANT
 
COURT
 
 AND
 
 ARE
 
 A 
 
RENTER
 
IN
 
MICHIGAN.
 
IF
 
 YOU
 
 ARE
 
 A 
 
HOMEOWNER
 
 WITH
 
 A 
 
LAND
 
CONTRACT,
 
PLEASE
 
CHECK 
 
OUR
 
 WEBSITE
 
FOR
 
THE
 
RIGHT
 
GUIDE.
Street Democracy's
Photocopy the Answer on the back of this flowchart.
Fill it in as you go throughthis flowchart. While you have the right to answer orally in court, it is better to file a written answerbecause it helps you know what your rights are and judges know what your side of the case is.
YOU MUST FILE A WRITTEN ANSWER IF YOU HAVE COUNTERCLAIMS
The first section of the Answer is in direct response to the points raised by the Landlord in theComplaint. You will need to check the boxes that correspond to the Complaint you received.The Complaint has a specific reason for eviction set forth in its Line 4. In the Answer's Line 4, youshould check the box that most closely responds to Complaint. In No. 8, you can request a jury trial.If you do not select it, you will be given a trial by the judge. Although not always the case, juries tendto be more sympathetic to tenants. There is a jury fee of $50.00, but you can get that waived byfilling out FORM MC20 and filing it with the court.The second section of the Answer is Affirmative Defenses to the Landlord's claim for possession(Complaint). This is where certain facts can change the amount you owe and/or negate the reason fortrying to evict you. Check all the boxes that fit your situation.The third section of the Answer is Counterclaims, where you get to sue the Landlord. If the Landlordhas wronged you, check all the boxes that fit your situation. The final section is called the Prayer,where you tell the Judge what you want the Court to do.YES
Did you cometo anagreement?
Wait for the Courtto call your case.The Judge will askyou if youunderstand theterms of thesettlement andagree to them. If you do not, it isimportant to speakup now and ask the judge to explain itto you.If the property is inhabitable (not livable), you can say,
"I motion under court rule 4.201(H)(1) for aninjunction for the landlord to immediately repair the premises so that the premises becomestenantable. Currently I have no (heat, water, electricity, gas, locks on doors, etc...)."
If you want thelandlord to giveyou evidenceor documents,say:
"I request adiscovery for..."
If the landlord seeks an escrow orderand the landlord has not kept yourapartment maintained, tell the judge:
 "I seek a hearing to determine thereasonable rent of the propertybecause of its unlivable condition."
NOThe Court will againcall you in front of the Judge and ask if youcame to an agreement.If you are notprepared, you can tellthe judge:
"I need aone week continuanceso that I may obtain anattorney and/or file ananswer."
If you are ready, tellthe judge:
"I haveprepared an answerand would like tosubmit it now." Handthe original and a copyto the clerk and a copyto the Landlord.
At trial, make your case by reading from the Answerand providing the judge or jury with the facts andevidence that apply to each number paragraph.
This
 
is
 
legal
 
information
 
and
 
should
 
not 
 
be
 
confused
 
 with
 
legal
 
advice.
 
It 
 
is
 
our
 
hope
 
that 
 
 with
 
the
 
information
 
in
 
this
 
guide,
 
 you
 
 will
 
be
 
able
 
to
 
apply 
 
the
 
law 
 
to
 
the
 
facts
 
of
 
 your
 
case
 
and
 
defend
 
 your
 
rights.
Michigan Guide toLandlord-Tenant Court

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