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Real Property

Real Property

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Published by WayneLawReview
Sarah Barbantini & Robert Kent, Real Property 58 Wayne L. Rev. 957 (2012).
Sarah Barbantini & Robert Kent, Real Property 58 Wayne L. Rev. 957 (2012).

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 957
REAL PROPERTY
S
ARAH
B
ARBANTINI
 R
OBERT
K
ENT
 I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
................................................................................... 958
 
II.
 
M
ICHIGAN
R
EAL
P
ROPERTY
L
AW
D
URING
T
HE
S
URVEY
P
ERIOD
—A
 
S
YNOPSIS
........................................................................... 958
 
 A. Mortgages and Foreclosure .......................................................
958
 
 B. Easement and Other Property-Related Disputes .......................
960
 
C. Contracts, Securities, and Property Interests ............................
961
 
 D. Accusations of Discrimination ...................................................
961
 
 E. Damages .....................................................................................
961
 
III.
 
S
IGNIFICANT
S
TATE AND
F
EDERAL
C
ASES
I
NVOLVING
M
ICHIGAN
R
EAL
P
ROPERTY
L
AW
......................................................... 962
 
 A. Michigan State Court Cases .......................................................
962
 
1.
Residential Funding Co., L.L.C. v. Saurman
.......................
962
 
2.
Greenville Lafayette, LLC v. Elgin State Bank 
...................
966
 
3.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Cherryland Mall,Limited Partership
....................................................................
968
 
4.
CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Mortgage ElectronicRegistration Systems, Inc.
........................................................
969
 
5.
Kim v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA
.....................................
970
 
6.
Young v. Independent Bank 
.................................................
971
 
7.
Sallie v. Fifth Third Bank 
.....................................................
973
 
8.
Eastbrook Homes, Inc. v. Department of Treasury
..............
974
 
9.
Beach v. Township of Lima
.................................................
976
 
10.
Redmond v. Van Buren County
.........................................
978
 
11.
Price v. High Pointe Oil Company
.....................................
980
 
12.
Woodbury v. Res-Care Premier, Inc.
.................................
982
 
 B. Michigan Federal Court Cases ..................................................
986
 
† Associate, Real Estate and Title Litigation Practices, Kitch Drutchas WagnerValitutti & Sherbrook, P.C. B.A., 2007, Kalamazoo College; M.S.W., 2008, Universityof Michigan; J.D., 2012, Wayne State University Law School.‡ Associate Principal, Real Estate and Title Litigation Practices, Kitch DrutchasWagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, P.C. B.A., 2004, Eli Broad College of Business atMichigan State University; J.D., 2008, Wayne State University Law School.The authors would like to thank Adam Kutinsky, Principal, Kitch Drutchas WagnerValitutti & Sherbrook, P.C.; Brian Hodgman, Esq.; Amy L. Fredrickson, Wayne LawReview Executive Articles Editor 2012-2013; Patrick Gunton, Wayne Law ReviewProduction Editor, 2012-2013; Kate McCarthy, Wayne Law Review Editor-in-Chief 2012-2013; and Anna M. Latala, Kalamazoo College Bachelor of Arts Candidate June2016, for their assistance and support in the writing process.
 
958 THE WAYNE LAW REVIEW [Vol. 58: 957
1.
HDC, LLC v. City of Ann Arbor
.........................................
986
 
2.
McCann v. U.S. Bank, N.A.
.................................................
987
 
3.
Osprey-Troy Officentre, L.L.C. v. World AllianceFinancial Corporation
...............................................................
990
 
4.
Saline River Properties, LLC v. Johnson Controls, Inc.
......
992
 
5.
Victory Lane Quick Oil Change, Inc. v. Darwich
................
993
 
C. Michigan Bankruptcy Court Cases ............................................
995
 
1. In re
Iwanski
........................................................................
995
 
 D. Michigan Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Cases ........................
996
 
1.
Sutter v. U.S. National Bank 
................................................
996
 
2.
Veneklase v. Bridgewater Condominiums, LC
....................
998
 
3.
Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto,PLLC
........................................................................................
999
 
IV.
 
C
ONCLUSION
................................................................................. 1001
 
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 Real property law often seems deceptively static when compared tomore outwardly evolving areas of law. Appearances aside, real propertylaw still manages to adapt to changing social climates and economictimes. This
Survey
Article examines developments in Michigan realproperty law between June 2011 and July 2012—a time when theeconomy played a dominant role in the cases brought before both stateand federal courts.II.
 
M
ICHIGAN
R
EAL
P
ROPERTY
L
AW
D
URING
T
HE
S
URVEY
P
ERIOD
—A
 
S
YNOPSIS
 
 A. Mortgages and Foreclosure
During the
Survey
period, issues concerning mortgages andforeclosures pre-dominated the dockets for Michigan’s circuit courts, itscourt of appeals, and its supreme court,
1
a testament to Michigan’s
1.
E.g.,
Greenville Lafayette, LLC v. Elgin State Bank, 296 Mich. App. 284, 285;818 N.W.2d 460 (2012); Kim v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA, 493 Mich. 98; 825 N.W.2d329 (2012); Residential Funding Co. v. Saurman, 292 Mich. App. 321; 807 N.W.2d 412(2011),
rev’d 
, 490 Mich. 909; 805 N.W.2d 183 (2011); Wells Fargo Bank v. CherrylandMall Ltd. P’ship, 295 Mich. App. 99; 812 N.W.2d 799 (2011); Young v. Indep. Bank,294 Mich. App. 141; 818 N.W.2d 406 (2011).
 
 
2012]
 REAL PROPERTY 
959
 
economic state.
2
Legal disputes concerning mortgage and foreclosureactions not only played out in state courts, but also played out in federaland bankruptcy court cases decided under Michigan law.
3
 Shortly before the start of the
Survey
period, the firm foundationmany lenders, mortgagees, and servicers believed they had beneath theirfeet when foreclosing Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems(MERS)-assigned mortgages was pulled out from beneath them by theMichigan Court of Appeals’ in
 Residential Funding Co. v. Saurman
.
4
 However, the Michigan Supreme Court quickly reversed the court of appeals and issued its own
Saurman
decision, and held MERS hadauthority to foreclose by advertisement even if MERS did not hold theunderlying note because MERS held an interest in the indebtedness byowning a security lien on the mortgage property.
5
 The effect of 
Saurman
was immediate: the United States DistrictCourt for the Eastern District of Michigan used
Saurman
as the basis forpart of its decision in
 McCann v. U.S. Bank, N.A.
where the role of theservicer and the holder of the underlying note were used as a defense toavoid foreclosure after an alleged refinancing agreement fell apart.
6
 However, this defense failed, and the
 McCann
foreclosure wasconsidered valid.
7
 Yet, things did not remain quiet for long, as the court of appealssubsequently decided
Kim v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A.
,
8
sendingmany lenders, mortgagees, and servicers back to the drawing board tomake sure they had crossed the appropriate “Ts” and dotted the proper“Is” before proceeding with sheriff foreclosure sales. In
Greenville Lafayette, LLC v. Elgin State Bank 
similarly put lenders, mortgagees, and
2.
See
 
D
EPT
.
OF
E
NERGY
,
 
L
ABOR
,
 
&
 
E
CON
.
 
G
ROWTH
,
 
B
UREAU OF
L
ABOR
M
KT
.
 
I
NFO
.
 
&
 
S
TRATEGIC
I
NITIATIVES
, A
DMINISTRATION
E
STIMATES
, M
ICHIGAN
E
CONOMIC AND
W
ORKFORCE
I
NDICATORS
, (2011),
available at 
 http://www.doleta.gov/performance/results/AnnualReports/2010_economic_reports/mi_economic_report_py2011-Winter.pdf .
See also
M
ICH
.
 
D
EPT
.
OF
T
REASURY
,
 
O
FFICE OF
R
EVENUE
&
 
T
AX
A
NALYSIS
, M
ICHIGAN
E
CONOMIC AND
 
R
EVENUE
O
UTLOOK
, (2012),
available at 
 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/treasury/AdminTreasHandout_05162012_404046_7.pdf.3.
See, e.g.,
McCann v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 873 F. Supp. 2d 823, 827 (E.D. Mich.2012).4. 292 Mich. App. 321, 324; 807 N.W.2d 412 (2011),
rev’d 
, 490 Mich. at 909-10.(
Saurman I 
).5. Residential Funding Co v. Saurman (
Saurman II 
), 490 Mich. 909, 909-10; 805N.W.2d 183 (2011).6. McCann v. U.S. Bank NA, 873 F. Supp. 2d 823, 829-32 (E.D. Mich. 2012).
 
7.
Id.
8. 295 Mich. App. 200; 813 N.W.2d 778,
aff’d in part 
,
rev’d in part 
, 493 Mich. 98;825 N.W.2d 329 (2012).

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