COA strictly construes MCL 600.2591 and sanctions attorney. | Speaker Law
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COA strictly construes MCL 600.2591 and sanctions attorney.

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018

In the underlying action of In re Moore, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, Docket No. 298100, December 22, 2011, an interested party in a probate estate (son) alleged that the personal representative provided fraudulent misinformation about the legal obligation to repay a mortgage loan secured by a mortgage on real property. The personal representative of the deceased father of Moore failed to list the mortgage loan as debt of the estate and failed to advise Moore of his obligation to pay the mortgage loan. The decedent’s estate was closed in 2007. The personal representative moved for summary disposition in this case because the 6-year statute of limitations on fraud passed. The personal representative also argued that Moore had all the information about the mortgage loan and moved for sanctions against Moore and his attorney under MCL 600.2591.

 

The probate court granted sanctions against Moore, but not against his attorney. The Court of Appeals modified the probate court’s sanction award to include sanctions against Moore’s attorney. The Court of Appeals stated that the statutory language and the definition of “and” were clear. It held that the statue required that sanctions be against both the party and the attorney when the trial court determines that a frivolous lawsuit has been filed.  

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