Monday, January 6, 2014

Madhavan v. Sucher case brief

Madhavan v. Sucher case brief summary
306 N.W. 2d 481 (1981)

Defendant sellers sought review of a decision of the Oakland County Circuit Court (Michigan), which affirmed the decision of the trial court that granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff purchasers and required the sellers to return a purchase money deposit made by the purchasers. The matter was before the court on remand for reconsideration.

The sellers argued that the summary judgment was erroneous and that to uphold it would mean that no title subject to any incumbrance, including utility easements would be marketable, even if the purchasers agreed to purchase subject to certain easements.


  • The court rejected this argument and affirmed the decision of the circuit court and the trial court. 
  • The court pointed out that the trial court had not held that marketable title could not exist with respect to any parcel of property subject to any easement. 
  • The court noted that the trial court had held that where the easement was an incumbrance that nullified marketable title, the obligation of the sellers to provide marketable title superseded the contractual provision in the purchase agreement regarding the purchase of the property subject to easements. 
  • The court concluded that the purchasers were not required to accept land burdened by easements that affected marketable title. 
  • The court also noted that the provisions concerning marketable title and the purchase subject to the easement were conflicting and, in such a case, were properly construed against the sellers whose agent drew up the agreement.

The court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court that affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the purchasers that required the sellers to return a purchase deposit.

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