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Following a hearing, the circuit court granted summary disposition to these defendants under MCR 2. The circuit court made the following findings:. In summary, the Court finds that the deed from William E.

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Crane, executor of the estate of Lurah M. Neymeiyer, deceased, to Rex A. Wilcox, dated April 3, , and recorded April 8, , started the running of the Statute of Limitations.

Plaintiff's complaint was not filed until , or 19 years later. Consequently, Plaintiff's claim is barred. The Court finds that the "Crane deed" conveyed the interest that is the subject matter of Plaintiff's claims.

Michigan Lady Bird Deed Form

The Court rejects Plaintiff's argument that the "Crane Deed" did not convey "working interests". The Court finds that the "Crane deed" conveyed all interests in the land. The Court finds that the marketable record title act was not intended to preclude the assertion of a defense that a claim is barred by the Statute of Limitations.

Later, in two separate orders, the court granted the remaining defendants summary disposition for the same reasons. Plaintiff argues that the circuit court erred by finding his claims barred by the statute of limitations. We find no error. Oil and gas lease interests are considered real property interests and are part of the land.

Eadus v Hunter, Mich.

The proper limitations period would be the one applicable to sales of realty. MCL No person may bring or maintain any action for the recovery or possession of any lands or make any entry upon any lands unless, after the claim or right to make the entry first accrued to himself or to someone through whom he claims, he commences the action or makes the entry within the periods of time prescribed by this section.

When the defendant claims title to the land in question by or through some deed made upon the sale of the premises by an executor, administrator, guardian, or testamentary trustee; or by a sheriff or other proper ministerial officer under the order, judgment, process, or decree of a court or legal tribunal of competent jurisdiction within this state, or by a sheriff upon a mortgage foreclosure sale the period of limitation is 5 years.

The lease rights claimed by plaintiff were disposed of by William Crane in his role as executor of Lurah Neymeiyer's estate. Crane was expressly authorized to dispose of these interests by Neymeiyer's will and by the probate court's order. Crane assigned these interests in and Plaintiff did not file his original lawsuit until , far beyond the five-year statutory period.

Plaintiff claims that the statutory period did not commence running until , due to fraud and fraudulent concealment by William Crane, Rex Wilcox, and the other defendants. We disagree. The doctrine of fraudulent concealment may be used to toll the running of the limitations period. Carr v Wittingen, Mich. However, the fraud must be manifested by an affirmative act or misrepresentation. Lumber Village, Inc v Siegler, Mich.

No fraudulent concealment is indicated. Plaintiff's claim of fraud is based upon three assertions: 1 that Rex Wilcox forged John Neymeiyer's name on a document; 2 that Crane was not authorized to convey property sold in an April 3, , deed the Crane deed ; and 3 that certain conveyances made by Rex Wilcox were not recorded with the county Register of Deeds until None of these facts, if true, establish fraudulent concealment.

Whether Rex Wilcox forged John Neymeiyer's name is not relevant to whether plaintiff had notice of Crane's assignment of the lease interests. Crane was authorized to sell the property of Lurah Neymeiyer's estate by the express terms of her will and by the later probate order. Finally, although certain conveyances made by Rex Wilcox were not recorded until , these same properties had been assigned by Crane and recorded in ; their assignment by Crane was a matter of public record and was in no way concealed from plaintiff.

Plaintiff also attacks the validity of the Crane deed, which conveyed certain lease rights to Rex Wilcox in April of Plaintiff contends that this deed did not convey the interest held by Lurah Neymeiyer and did not cover all the lease rights to which plaintiff asserts ownership.

We find that the circuit court properly interpreted this deed. The Crane deed was a quitclaim deed and contained the following pertinent language conveying. Neymeiyer, deceased, in and to all oil and gas lease interests royalties and overriding royalties in and to premises described as. Plaintiff argues that the terms of this quitclaim deed conveyed only royalties and overriding royalties, rather than the working interests, which were previously held by Oil Well Services, Inc.

A quitclaim deed is generally construed as conveying all the grantor's interest in the described property unless some interest is expressly excepted or reserved. State Hwy Comm'r v Simmons, Mich. Deeds should be strictly construed against the grantor so as to give the grantee the greatest estate that the deed's terms will permit; any reservation or exception by the grantor must be narrowly construed.

Stevens Mineral Co v Michigan, Mich. In view of this, we reject plaintiff's claim that the Crane deed should be interpreted to convey only royalty and overriding royalty interests and instead interpret it to convey all oil and gas lease interests, including but not limited to royalties and overriding royalties.

With regard to plaintiff's claim that the Crane deed did not convey all oil and gas interests involved, we note that all the oil and gas lease interests in dispute were conveyed by either the Crane deed or by other conveyances made by William Crane as executor of Lurah Neimeyer's estate. These conveyances were made by at the latest and were recorded with the register of deeds that same year. Plaintiff's claims to the contrary are meritless.

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Plaintiff argues that the circuit court erred in dismissing his claim for a jury trial. Plaintiff's first amended complaint, in which he made a demand for a jury trial, alleged only equitable causes of action. Although plaintiff later amended his complaint to add claims for money damages, this amendment occurred after the court had already struck plaintiff's jury demand. Plaintiff did not renew his jury demand after filing his second amended complaint. There is no right to a jury trial where the relief sought is solely equitable in nature. Describe the Michigan property.

Include the street address and a brief description of the property. Contact your county assessor to find the parcel number. Include this information as well.

How a Michigan Lady Bird Deed Form Works

Provide documentation for any monetary funds or goods that have changed hands in exchange for rights to the property. Sign the documents. Only the grantor is legally required to sign the quitclaim deed. It is in both parties best interest if the document is signed by both the grantor and the grantee.

Brandon Krause

This will help to resolve any potential disputes that may arise. Record the documents. Contact the county assessor for your county in Michigan. Recording is not legally required, but makes the transaction easier to defend in court if the need should arise. Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business.