S T A T E- O F- M I C H I G A N- C O U R T- O F- A P P E A L S-- 298649-0.pdf (application/pdf Object)
UNPUBLISHED September 20, 2011, No. 298649, LC No. 2009-105475-CZ, Oakland Circuit Court
SILVER STALLION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant,
CITY OF PONTIAC, CLARENCE E. PHILLIPS,
FRED LEEB, and WILLIAMS & WILLIAMS
Before: SAWYER, P.J., and JANSEN and DONOFRIO, JJ.
"Defendant Leeb testified that he continued to negotiate on behalf of defendant City with prospective purchasers including plaintiff, but all of his negotiations were “ineffectual” because no buyers wanted to put up cash to purchase the property. Leeb stated that “due to past difficulties in dealing with City administrations, the depressed state of the local economy, and the high cost of demolition, three major real estate developers stated that they would not take on the Silverdome project even if it were provided to them at no cost.” According to Leeb, in order to stop the “cash bleeding” that was occurring due to the high cost of maintaining the Silverdome, defendant City decided that the property should be auctioned prior to the winter months in 2009."
"Defendant City continued to identify and negotiate with potential bidders including plaintiff as the auction approached in an attempt to encourage potential buyers who were not interested in the auction to submit firm financing commitments. Defendant City had arranged with defendant Williams & Williams Marketing, Inc. that it could cancel the auction at any time and accept a private offer."
"To the contrary, there is a multitude of documentary evidence in the record that defendants in fact repeatedly encouraged plaintiff to continue negotiations and to secure financing for the purchase even after plaintiff failed to close on the property at the time of the 2008 agreement. Because plaintiff’s argument is wholly unsupported by the record, plaintiff has not sustained its burden to show a genuine issue of disputed fact for trial.... Quinto, 451 Mich at 362; Innovative Adult Foster Care, Inc, 285 Mich App at 475. 2"
"In accordance with our authority, this Court awards costs to defendants as the prevailing parties pursuant to MCR 7.219(A). Further, pursuant to MCL 600.2445(3) and MCR 7.216(C)(1)(a), (2), this Court sua sponte orders damages against plaintiff for this vexatious appeal. Plaintiff took this frivolous appeal “without any reasonable basis for belief that there was a meritorious issue to be determined on appeal[.]” The record was devoid of merit supporting any of plaintiff’s claims both in the trial court and on appeal. Plaintiff attempted to thwart the sale of the Silverdome to another qualified buyer even though it had no contractual basis to do so. This action is especially disconcerting considering the fact that it was so well known that defendant City was suffering financially and needed to sell the Silverdome property because it could no longer afford the significant maintenance costs. The trial court shall award reasonable attorney fees in favor of defendants in an amount to be determined by the trial court together with any other damages or costs it deems appropriate as a result of plaintiff’s engagement in these baseless, vexatious proceedings."
"Affirmed and remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion. We do not retain jurisdiction."
/s/ David H. Sawyer
/s/ Kathleen Jansen
/s/ Pat M. Donofrio