Rule 3.411 Civil Action to Determine Interests in Land

(A) This rule applies to actions to determine interests in land under MCL 600.2932. It does not apply to summary proceedings to recover possession of premises under MCL 600.5701-600.5759.

(B) Complaint.

(1) The complaint must describe the land in question with reasonable certainty by stating

(a) the section, township, and range of the premises;

(b) the number of the block and lot of the premises; or

(c) another description of the premises sufficiently clear so that the premises may be identified.

(2) The complaint must allege

(a) the interest the plaintiff claims in the premises;

(b) the interest the defendant claims in the premises; and

(c) the facts establishing the superiority of the plaintiff's claim.

(C) Written Evidence of Title to be Referred to in Pleadings.

(1) Written evidence of title may not be introduced at trial unless it has been sufficiently referred to in the pleadings in accordance with this rule.

(2) The plaintiff must attach to the complaint, and the defendant must attach to the answer, a statement of the title on which the pleader relies, showing from whom the title was obtained and the page and book where it appears of record.

(3) Within a reasonable time after demand for it, a party must furnish to the adverse party a copy of an unrecorded conveyance on which he or she relies or give a satisfactory reason for not doing so.

(4) References to title may be amended or made more specific in accordance with the general rules regarding amendments and motions for more definite statement.

(D) Findings As to Rights in and Title to Premises.

(1) After evidence has been taken, the court shall make findings determining the disputed rights in and title to the premises.

(2) If a party not in possession of the premises is found to have had a right to possession at the time the action was commenced, but that right expired before the trial, that party must prove the damages sustained because the premises were wrongfully withheld, and the court shall enter judgment in the amount proved.

(E) Claim for Reasonable Value of Use of Premises.

(1) Within 28 days after the finding of title, the party found to have title to the premises may file a claim against the party who withheld possession of the premises for the reasonable value of the use of the premises during the period the premises were withheld, beginning 6 years before the action was commenced.

(2) The court shall hear evidence and make findings, determining the value of the use of the premises.

(a) The findings must be based on the value of the use of the premises in their condition at the time the withholding party, or those through whom that party claims, first went into possession. The use of the buildings or improvements put on the land by the party who withheld possession may not be considered.

(b) The findings must be based on the general value of the use of the premises, not on a peculiar value the use of the premises had to the party who withheld possession or might have had to the party who had title.

(F) Claim for Value of Buildings Erected and Improvements Made on Premises.

(1) Within 28 days after the finding of title, a party may file a claim against the party found to have title to the premises for the amount that the present value of the premises has been increased by the erection of buildings or the making of improvements by the party making the claim or those through whom he or she claims.

(2) The court shall hear evidence as to the value of the buildings erected and the improvements made on the premises, and the value the premises would have if they had not been improved or built upon. The court shall determine the amount the premises would be worth at the time of the claim had the premises not been improved, and the amount the value of the premises was increased at the time of the claim by the buildings erected and improvements made.

(3) The party claiming the value of the improvements may not recover their value if they were made in bad faith.

(G) Election by Party in Title.

(1) The person found to have title to the premises may elect to abandon them to the party claiming the value of the improvements and to take a judgment against that party for the value the premises would have had at the time of the trial if they had not been improved. The election must be filed with the court within 28 days after the findings on the claim for improvements. The judgment for the value of the premises is a lien against the premises.

(2) If the person found to have title does not elect to abandon the premises under subrule (G)(1), the judgment will provide that he or she recover the premises and pay the value of the improvements to the clerk of the court within the time set in the judgment.

(a) The person found to have title must pay the amount, plus accrued interest, before taking possession of the premises under the judgment, if that person is not already in possession.

(b) If the person found to have title fails to pay the amount of the judgment and the accrued interest within the time set in the judgment, he or she is deemed to have abandoned all claim of title to the premises to the parties in whose favor the judgment for the value of the improvements runs.

(H) Judgment Binding Only on Parties to Action. Except for title acquired by adverse possession, the judgment determining a claim to title, equitable title, right to possession, or other interests in lands under this rule, determines only the rights and interests of the known and unknown persons who are parties to the action, and of persons claiming through those parties by title accruing after the commencement of the action.

(I) Possession Under Judgment Not to be Affected by Vacation of Judgment Alone. When the judgment in an action under these rules determines that a party is entitled to possession of the premises in dispute, that party's right to possession is not affected by vacation of the judgment and the granting of a new trial, until a contrary judgment is rendered as a result of the new trial.