Santa Monica, CA asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Sexual Harassment for Michigan

Q: Hi, I need a real estate lawyer for Detroit, MI? I have a house under contract and I was going to JV wholesale but he

became abusive and sexist. Only my name is on the purchase & agreement contract. I never signed anything with him,now he's threatening me saying he's going to file a lawsuit on me, can he do that? But, I live in California, so I'm virtual wholesaling .If, that makes a difference? So, I also need to talk to a sexual harassment lawyer too, please

3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Based on the details provided, it is unlikely the joint venture partner you had a verbal agreement with has grounds to sue you for breach of contract or threaten legal action since nothing was formalized in writing:

First, without a written agreement signed by both parties formally outlining the terms of the joint venture partnership, he would have a very difficult time proving the existence of an enforceable legal contract. Verbal agreements are more challenging to substantiate.

Second, only your name appears on the purchase and sales agreement for the Detroit property. This supports your position that you did not intend to create a binding joint venture.

Third, his abusive and harassing behavior toward you invalidates any claims he might try to make and gives you justification for terminating any working relationship, especially since you are the only one on title.

Fourth, being located in California gives you protection under CA harassment laws if he continues with threats or contacts you further. You can seek a restraining order in CA to prohibit this.

In summary, since there is no written contract and you are the sole holder of title, he would not have legal standing to sue you for the Detroit property deal. Consult with both a real estate lawyer and harassment attorney in CA for assurance and to protect your rights.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Indeed Mr Arrasmith is correct, but in addition, Michigan recognizes the 'statute of frauds' which requires that contracts for ownership in real estate must be in writing to be enforceable so any 'verbal agreement' would be invalid for that reason too.

You will likely need to hire an attorney in Wayne County Michigan to address this, but messaging on an open board is not the way to do that. You can use this site, or the State Bar of Michigan referral service to find a local attorney there to help, and I'd urge you to do that ASAP. //Ken Zichi

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: If you're seeking an attorney, it could be difficult for attorneys here to reach out to you. In addition to your own searches, you could use the tab above "Find a Lawyer" or lawyer referral sections of local or state bar associations. Those resources are outside this forum. Good luck

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