February 2020

An informative e-newsletter for the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Morris Pumps Doctrine of Unjust Enrichment Expanded

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By Matthew C. Norris, Matthew C. Norris, PLC

Morris Pumps v. Centerline Piping Inc., 273 Mich App 187 (2006) authorized a subcontractor or supplier to enforce a claim against a third party in a municipal project. In Morris Pumps, the city of Detroit contracted with a general contractor to construct a wastewater treatment facility. The general contractor then subcontracted with Centerline Piping to complete the mechanical portion of the contract. Centerline, in turn, contracted with several materials suppliers for equipment and supplies. The suppliers provided the various contracted-for goods to the site, but Centerline abandoned the project, went out of business, and did not pay the suppliers. The general contractor found a new subcontractor to finish the project. The new subcontractor used the materials provided by the suppliers but did not pay them for the goods. The suppliers sought recovery from the general contractor on an implied contract/unjust enrichment theory.

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SCOTUS Opens the Door to Federal Takings Actions

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By H. Adam Cohen, Steinhardt Pesick & Cohen, PC, and Peter H. Webster, Dickinson Wright, PLLC

The United States Supreme Court recently held that property owners alleging violations of the Constitution’s takings clause may file their actions directly in federal court rather than first filing in state court. That decision, Knick v. Township of Scott, _US_; 139 S Ct 2162 (2019), directly overruled a controversial precedent set by Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, 473 US 172 (1985).

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Legislative Report

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Interested in writing an article for the e-Newsletter? Contact co-editors Glen Zatz gzatz@bodmanlaw.com, Samuel Kilberg at SKilberg@dykema.com, or Pat Paruch pat.paruch50@gmail.com.

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.