Sunday, November 24, 2013

Byker v. Mannes case brief

Byker v. Mannes case brief summary
641 N.W.2d 210 (2002)

Plaintiff individual and defendant individual associated as co-owners to conduct several businesses for profit. Plaintiff sued defendant for recovery of money expended on the businesses. The circuit court found in favor of plaintiff. Defendant sought review and the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the circuit court. Plaintiff sought further review.

Defendant asserted that he was not in partnership with plaintiff, but was merely an investor in the various businesses.

The issue on appeal was whether Michigan partnership law, Mich. Comp. Laws § 449.6(1), required a subjective intent to form a partnership or merely an intent to carry on, as co-owners, a business for profit.


  • The Michigan Supreme Court found that: 
  • (1) pursuant to Mich. Comp. Laws § 449.6(1), in ascertaining the existence of a partnership, the proper focus was on whether the parties intended to, and did in fact, carry on as co-owners a business for profit and not on whether the parties subjectively intended to form a partnership; and 
  • (2) to the extent that Morrison v Meister, 212 Mich. 516, and its progeny were read to suggest that the absence of a subjective intent to form a partnership was dispositive of the question of whether a partnership existed, such interpretations were in error.

The matter was remanded to the court of appeals for analysis under the proper test for determining the existence of a partnership under the Michigan Uniform Partnership Act.

Recommended Supplements for Corporations and Business Associations Law

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