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Questions Answered by Thomas. R. Morris
2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Civil Litigation for Michigan on
Q: The neighbors dead tree fell on my daughters car completely destroying her sunroof and back window. Not from a storm

There was no storm, the tree was dying and neglected by the neighbor, causing it to snap and fall on my daughters car, completely destroying her sunroof and back window. Can we sue the neighbor for the damages in small claims court? We have lots of pictures and videos.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Sep 6, 2022

The neighbor's potential liability is for negligence, and if he or she should have been aware of the issue, that strengthens the claim. Did you inform the neighbor, prior to the tree fall, that the tree was a hazard?

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on
Q: If an attorney signs a contract without clients knowledge, where attorney had no power of attorney is that contract lega

Is that contract voidable

Never ever once did he allow his client to view the contract he he signed and approved not once and he had no authority, nor did he a power of attorney to do anything on his client's behalf without clients knowledge

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Aug 11, 2022

This is a question of "apparent authority" on the part of the attorney, as an agent of the client. Under that doctrine, the contract might be enforceable. Whether it is enforceable will depend upon the specific facts. It is possible that it is enforceable. That does not, however,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on
Q: Is my mentally ill adult daughter liable for an apt lease she signed?

My adult daughter, who is presently already under an apt lease (since Dec 2021) in her hometown in Michigan, signed a one year lease for an apartment in Chicago while on medications (still is) to treat a mental illness.

She went thru a broker who keeps the first month's rent... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Aug 1, 2022

The issue under Michigan law is whether she had the ability to understand what she was signing. I agree that the diagnosis does not answer the question. Were she to be sued, she would have to convince the court of her defense, which might require expert testimony. Further, the landlord would... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Michigan on
Q: Does my sister (a senior) have to pay her recently deceased husband’s medical bills?
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jul 20, 2022

We would need to know whether she agreed to guaranty payment. I would guess that she did not, but providers of medical services do sometimes ask for a guaranty.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: In disclosure the seller said a hot tub would not stay. We asked to keep in via the PA, they signed it. Who has rights?

The sellers are now saying they will not leave the hot tub despite the PA agreement they signed. Not sure how to proceed.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jul 18, 2022

From the information provided, it appears that you have a contract to purchase the tub. The sellers should comply with it or they risk a suit by you.

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3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: What happens to a revocable land trust when is terminates/expires?

I am a co-trustee on a revocable land trust originally designed to generate cash for our children's education. Neither child needed it for that purpose. Our divorce agreement states it will terminate upon our youngest turning 30. It does not specify what happens at termination. I am not aware... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 30, 2022

We would need to see the trust agreement to determine whether the property reverts to the grantor(s), or whether title vests in the beneficiaries. If the trust is still revocable (because the grantor(s) are alive, the grantors could revoke the trust and own the property as they choose. There is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Michigan on
Q: I'm in Michigan. I was terminated off a general contractors job. Is it legal for him to hold on to my equipment?
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 30, 2022

No. There are no facts tgat yiu have provided that would support the general contractor’s holding onto your equipment. I would want to know more about the situation in order to evaluate the possibility that the general contractor has a justification for its actions.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Michigan on
Q: Charging more for cutting grass and not letting me know.

I just received a bill for 6 weeks, and the price is $24 more than I usually pay. They did not let me know it would be going up.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 23, 2022

Unless there’s a written contract that provides for your agreement to a price increase or surcharge, you nave a point. Your agreement in some form to a price increase is required. But if you agreed to a long-term arrangement, you owe at least the lower price. I suggest that this be worked out... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Contracts and Probate for Michigan on
Q: If a car has a clean title with no lean against do I have to pay the payments after my husband died?

When he took out the loan we were told they didn’t process it right an d we had to get the title. This loan person was not nice told us we had to car DMV in Ohio to get it. I refused it was 4 months of driving without plates. She finally got the title and gave it to him we transfered it and now... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 21, 2022

If the vehicle is titled in Ohio, I recommend that you hold out for an answer from an attorney in Ohio. I am not, so I am going to give a brief answer based on Michigan law.

I do not see a reason to agree to have a lien evidenced on the title. However, if the vehicle is titled to your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I’m buying a house on land contract the seller is trying to switch contracts what can I do
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Jun 16, 2022

You have not provided enough information for a meaningful response. However, if you have a signed and enforceable land contract, the seller cannot change the terms without your agreement unless the contract provides for the change. You may wish to consult an attorney.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: we sold our cottage on a land contract. The buyer is asking for a quitclaim deed so she can get help with repairs since

she is now handicapped and habitat for humanity is saying she needs this in order for them to help her out. My concern is the loss of money owed to fulfill the contract.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Apr 24, 2022

Your concern is well placed. If Habitat require that the buyer be the owner, you could give a deed in exchange for a mortgage.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: How do I file a lawsuit against a company I paid to transfer a timeshare, but now refuses to answer phone calls

The company is headquartered in Indiana, I signed the contract in Michigan.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Apr 14, 2022

We don’t have enough information to determine which state has jurisdiction, and the proper venue for a suit. There may be diversity jurisdiction in federal court. Consult with an attorney to determine whether, and where, to file suit.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Family Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: Can I trespass someone from someone else's property with their permission?

For example, an uncle of mine owns a home near me in Michigan, but now lives in Kentucky. He allows his brother to stay in the house as long as he follows set rules. One of them is that he can't have his homeless friends hang over and stay the night. With him in Kentucky, it's hard to... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Apr 8, 2022

Your uncle could appoint you as his agent, giving you authority to act on his behalf. This does not necessarily need to be in writing, but under some circumstances, you might want to have it in writing. I don't know what it means to "trespass the undesirables from his property", so... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my landlord raise my rent without a 30 day notice?

My lease is up March 31st. I let my apartment complex know March 12th that I would be moving out by May 14. I was never given anything about renewing my lease or going month to month. I was never given anything about my rent increasing on April 1st until March 12th and they said they are allowed... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Mar 31, 2022

If your lease is up on March 31 and you don't leave by that date, you are a holdover tenant. If the lease addresses the issue of holdover rent, the lease provisions apply.

You were certainly entitled to receive a copy of the lease when you signed it, but I am not aware of a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My father and mother passed away In 2018. There are still renters at one of their properties. They have been there over

10 yrs. The agreement was for them to pay property taxes for rent. I have not been able to hire an estate atty to get this switched to my name. My brother wants them to have the property free of charge. My parents left a Will with me as executor back in the 1980’s (before I was 18). So these... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Mar 23, 2022

I agree with the prior answer generally, but it seems to me that the tenants either stayed beyond the expiration of the written lease, or there was no written lease.

In either event, they occupy the property on a month-to-month basis. The question then becomes: Who has the authority to...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law for Michigan on
Q: Is it possible to appeal for a warning arrest letter that been issued for innocent person since more than 15 years ago?
Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Mar 21, 2022

There is no "appeal" from this in the sense of a court appeal governed by the Michigan Court Rules of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Mr. Carron's advice about getting in touch with the issuing authority seems sound. If the letter was written 15 years ago, I would assume... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: Does a hallway in an apartment building (that has no lock from strangers) count as a common area or not

the hallway doesn’t have any locks to prevent someone from entering the hallway but there are locks on the door

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Mar 13, 2022

Yes, unless the lease defines the term to exclude this space.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: can my ex spouse remove my name off of a home title or mortgage without my signature?

can he pay to do this without my knowledge?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Mar 8, 2022

The answer is that it should not be possible for you to be divested of title to real property without your knowledge. As for having your name "removed" from a mortgage, if you were the mortgagor and the debt secured by the mortgage were to be paid, you might say that you were... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Law and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan on
Q: in Michigan, own a retail business. Strong winds blew open my door and damaged it and landlord won't repair. Is he righ

Winds blew it open, broke the top seal and bent the metal bar. He claims in the lease the exterior walls and roof, and structural maintenance, repair and replacement of the building and its foundation and that it doesn't include the door.

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Feb 24, 2022

It probably depends upon the wording of the lease. The leases that I prepare for a particular landlord typically provide that the door, which generally requires more maintenance than the non-moving parts of the building, is the tenant's responsibility.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a signed contract with a corporation to purchase my property the closing date is tomorrow .

They just sent me a text message saying that they can’t go through with the deal because they can’t get a contractor. However that’s not my problem. Can I take them to court and force them to close.?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris
answered on Feb 14, 2022

You will also want to review the purchase agreement to determine whether the purchaser is permitted to terminate the agreement for the reason stated by the purchaser, or for some other reason.

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