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Lenawee County Board of Health v. Messerly

Supreme Court of Michigan
331 N.W.2d 203 (1982)


Facts

The Messerlys (defendants) purchased a tract of land on which an apartment building was located. Prior to the transfer the owner had installed a septic tank on the property without a permit and in violation of the health code. Later the Messerlys sold the property to the Pickleses (plaintiffs). The contract for sale stated that “Purchaser has examined this property and agrees to accept same in its present condition. There are no other or additional written or oral understandings.” The Pickleses later discovered raw sewage seeping from the land and the Lenawee County Board of Health condemned the property for violation of the health code. The Pickleses alleged failure of consideration and willful concealment and failure to disclose the sanitation condition and asked that the land contract be rescinded. The trial court found there was no fraud or misrepresentation, as none of the parties knew of the transgression of the earlier owner, and the property was purchased “as is” after inspection. The trial court ruled that the Pickleses lacked a cause of action and foreclosure was ordered along with a judgment in the amount of $25, 943. The court of appeals affirmed in part but reversed on the finding of no cause of action. Certiorari was granted.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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