October 2015

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

Curb Strip Ownership, Maintenance

By Jessica Hallmark, Banas & Assocs. PLLC

When homeowner David Shoemaker protested the removal of a tree from the curb strip between the adjacent sidewalk and street, city workers said he didn't own the curb strip. So he stopped mowing it. The city sent numerous ordinance violation notices and then a $600 invoice for mowing costs and fines, which became a tax lien that was paid from his mortgage escrow. After Shoemaker prevailed in a federal lawsuit against the city, the 6th Circuit reviewed his claims for procedural and substantive due process violations and reverse. Shoemaker v. City of Howell, (CA6 No. 13-2535, July 29, 2015). Read More or Comment

"Merger" Despite "Non-Merger" Intent

By Glen M. Zatz, Bodman PLC

In Michigan, when a mortgagee becomes the fee owner, the former estate is merged in the latter. But there is no merger if the mortgagee wants to keep the mortgage alive and if the rights of the mortgagor or third persons are not affected. In Reserve at Heritage Vill. Ass'n v. Warren Fin. Acquisition (305 Mich App 92 (2014)) the court applied this rule to invalidate a mortgage foreclosure. Read More or Comment



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Real Property Law Academy II is the continuation of a program being taught by some of the most respected and experienced Michigan real estate attorneys, each an expert in their field. The overall program (Academy I and Academy II) is designed to provide a basic understanding of the most fundamental aspects of a real estate practice. It is targeted not only for real estate attorneys, but also for other attorneys who will encounter real estate issues from time to time. The program is presented in two parts: Academy I, which recently concluded, and Academy II. Each part presents eight topics over a consecutive two-day period.

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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.