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Jay Chevrolet, Inc. v. Dedvukaj

Court of Appeals of Michigan

June 2, 2015

JAY CHEVROLET, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LJUVIC STJEFAN DEDVUKAJ, Defendant-Appellant

Oakland Circuit Court. LC No. 2013-009903-AV.

For JAY CHEVROLET INC, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE: ERIC R BOWDEN, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI.

For LJUVIC STJEFAN DEDVUKAJ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT: JOSEPH DEDVUKAJ, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI.

Before: RONAYNE KRAUSE, P.J., and K. F. KELLY and SHAPIRO, JJ.

OPINION

Page 147

[310 Mich.App. 734] Shapiro, J.

Defendant Ljuvic Stjefan Dedvukaj appeals by leave granted[1] the opinion and order of the circuit court, which affirmed the district court's order granting judgment in favor of plaintiff Jay Chevrolet, Inc., for $10,000, and reversed the district court's order denying plaintiff's request for attorney fees. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Defendant purchased a car from plaintiff in 2012. The total price for the car was $32,581.96, as set forth in the Retail Installment Sales Contract (RISC). The

Page 148

RISC contained an " itemization of amount financed" showing a down payment of $10,000, a rebate of $6,500, and an " amount financed" of $16,081.96.

Plaintiff, claiming that defendant never paid the $10,000 down payment, filed suit in district court. Plaintiff alleged that at the time of vehicle delivery, its staff member forgot to obtain the down payment of $10,000 and later, when the amount was requested, defendant refused to pay it. At trial, defendant testified to the contrary, stating that he paid the down payment [310 Mich.App. 735] in cash at the time the parties executed the RISC. Defendant did not proffer a receipt for the down payment, arguing that the RISC was a written acknowledgement that the down payment had been made and that because the RISC contained a merger provision, plaintiff should not be permitted to rely on parol evidence to rebut that writing.

The district court concluded that parol evidence of an agreement to make the down payment and of whether it was in fact paid could be considered because

the Plaintiffs' [sic] acknowledgement of the consideration [in the RISC] (i.e. the receipt of the down-payment and the balance due) was [not] anything more than a statement of fact, as opposed to being an expressed term of the contract . . . Plaintiffs' [sic] acknowledgement of the consideration was a mere recital, rather than a term of the agreement.

The district court then determined that defendant had failed to pay the $10,000 down payment and entered judgment in favor of plaintiff for that amount. Later, in a separate order, the district ...


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