Appeal from Saginaw, Fred J. Borchard, J.
McGregor, P. J. and D. E. Holbrook, Jr. and M. J. Kelly, JJ. D. E. Holbrook, Jr., J., concurred. M. J. Kelly, J. (dissenting).
1. Eminent Domain -- Arguments to Jury -- Taxpayers -- Resentment -- Prejudice -- Appeal and Error.
It is improper for governmental counsel to argue to a condemnation jury that they as taxpayers will ultimately bear the cost of a compensation award or that the jurors as taxpayers should feel resentful because the property owner is attempting to "hold up" the taxpayers by seeking an inordinate amount for his property.
2. Eminent Domain -- Injection of Prejudice -- Calculation and Deliberation -- Mismatch of Counsel -- Appeal and Error.
The deliberate and calculated injection of an inflammatory plea to the passions of a jury by governmental counsel was sufficiently prejudicial to require reversal of a condemnation award, especially where the defendant, proceeding as his own attorney, was completely mismatched against plaintiff's experienced counsel.
Dissent by M. J. Kelly, J.
3. Appeal and Error -- Eminent Domain -- Prejudice -- Preserving Question -- Harmless Error.
A claim of prejudice in the closing remarks of counsel in a condemnation proceeding is not properly preserved for appeal where the defendant, acting in propria persona, failed to record an objection, the remarks, although prejudicial, were brief and did not constitute a theme calculated to pursuade the jury to place its own interests in advance of its oath, and the remarks were followed by detailed and accurate instructions by the trial court.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcgregor
Petition by Saginaw Township against Joseph S. Stanulis for condemnation of private property for the expansion of a solid waste disposal facility. Judgment for petitioners. Defendant appeals by leave granted.
Saginaw Township instituted proceedings against the defendant for the purpose of condemning 3.47 acres of defendant's land in order to expand the township's solid waste disposal facility. At the Conclusion of a condemnation hearing in which the defendant appeared in propria persona, the jury entered a verdict approving the condemnation and awarding the defendant $4,000 as compensation. On April 1, 1974, the trial court entered a judgment confirming the jury's findings. The defendant now appeals as of right from that judgment.
Defendant raises several issues for our consideration, only one of which need be discussed, as it ...