Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Keene v. Groya

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division

December 12, 2016

SHARON M. KEENE, Plaintiff,
v.
BRANDON GROYA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION IN LIMINE AND DENYING MOTION FOR EXTENSION AS MOOT

          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Sharon Keene and her late husband were the sellers, and Defendants Brandon and Kelli Groya were the purchasers, under a November 29, 2007 land contract governing the sale of commercial real estate property located on two parcels of land at 515 S. Hamilton and 410 Mackinaw, Saginaw, Michigan 48602. See Compl. ¶ 10-15. The Groyas made payments to the Keenes under the Land Contract for seven years, but eventually ceased making payments in 2014. The Groyas also failed to pay real estate taxes associated with the parcels to the County of Saginaw, and failed to pay income taxes to both the State of Michigan and the Internal Revenue Services (“IRS”) causing the IRS to record liens against the Groyas' Saginaw County properties, including their Land Contract vendee interests.

         As a result, on August 20, 2015 Plaintiff Sharon Keene initiated the above-captioned action against Defendants Brandon and Kelli Groya, Defendant State of Michigan, Defendant IRS, and Defendant City of Saginaw in Saginaw County circuit court. See Compl., ECF No. 1. The IRS then removed the action to this Court on September 16, 2015. Id.

         A bench trial is scheduled to commence on December 13, 2016. On November 1, 2016 Defendant Internal Revenue Service filed a motion in limine seeking to exclude parol evidence related to a quitclaim deed dated November 29, 2007 and recorded on December 18, 2007. For the reasons stated below, the IRS's motion will be denied.

         I.

         As noted, the November 29, 2007 real estate transaction between the Keenes and the Groyas concerned two properties. First, the transaction involved a commercial property located at 410 Mackinaw Street, Saginaw, MI, 48602. That property, identified by the tax number 9-17-0-0195-00000, features a structure that has historically been operated as a bar, or tavern. The second property included in the transaction, tax identification number 9-17-0-0194-00100, is located at 415 S. Hamilton Street. The property consists of a surface parking lot.

         A.

         Four written documents have been identified relating to the transaction. First, on November 29, 2007 a quit claim deed was recorded transferring from Keene and Keene, Inc. and Thomas Keene to Thomas J. Keene and Sharon M. Keene the properties located at “415 S. Hamilton/410 Mackinaw, Saginaw, MI 48602” for the full consideration of $100.00. See ECF No. 26 Ex. 3. The deed referred to an attached Exhibit A, which set forth the legal description and tax identification number for both parcels. Id.

         Also on November 29, 2007 the Keenes and Groyas executed a second written document: a Land Contract under which the Keenes agreed to sell and convey the properties commonly known as “415 S. Hamilton/410 Mackinaw” to the Groyas. See ECF No. 26 Ex. 4. The Land Contract set forth the legal description and tax identification numbers of both properties. Id. It provided for a sale price of $230, 000 with an initial payment of $60, 000. Id. The balance of purchase money and interest was to be paid in monthly installments of $1, 434.56 with a six percent interest rate per annum and a balloon payment to be made ten years after the purchase date. Id. Under the terms of the Land Contract, upon receiving full payment the Keenes were to execute a deliver a Warranty Deed to the Groyas conveying title to both properties at issue. Id. In the meantime, the Groyas agreed to keep the premises in accordance with all governmental regulations, to keep and maintain the premises in good condition, to pay all taxes and assessments levied on the properties, and to maintain insurance against loss and damage. Id.

         Pursuant to the Land Contract, the parties recorded a memorandum of land contract dated November 29, 2007 on December 18, 2007. See ECF No. 26 Ex. 5. Through the memorandum of land contract the parties acknowledged that they were vendor and vendee to a Land Contract covering the two premises at issue. Id. The memorandum set forth the legal description and tax identification number for both parcels. Id.

         The fourth and final written document associated with the transaction - a second quit claim deed - was also recorded on November 29, 2007. See ECF No. 26 Ex. 6. The second quit claim deed purportedly conveys the subject properties to the Groyas. Id. The second quit claim deed also contains internal inconsistencies. Namely, while the deed itself refers to properties commonly known as “415 S. Hamilton/410 Mackinaw” the attached exhibit only contains the legal description and tax identification number for the surface parking lot located at 415 S. Hamilton Street. The attached exhibit also contains two tax identification numbers that have been crossed out, one of which correlates to the bar property located at 410 Mackinaw Street. Id. The attachment contains no other references to the bar property.

         B.

         Between November 29, 2007 and March of 2014 the Groyas made monthly installment payments to Plaintiff Keene as required by the Land Contract. See Am. Compl. ¶ 23. Beginning in April of 2014, the Groyas ceased making payments in breach of the Land Contract. Id. at ¶ 24. The Groyas also failed to pay late fees of $75.00 per month, as required by the Land Contract, and failed to pay real estate taxes associated with the parcels in excess of $6, 244.91. Id. at ¶ 25; See also ECF No. 26 Ex. 1.

         The Groyas also fell behind in personal income taxes they owed personally or that were owed by their wholly owned entity, Integrity Property Investments Inc., to the State of Michigan and the IRS. See Am. Compl. ¶ 26. As a result, the IRS and/or the State of Michigan placed liens upon the real estate located at 415 S. Hamilton and 410 Mackinaw. See ECF No. 26 Ex. 1. While the State of Michigan has apparently received full, or almost full, payment from the Groyas, the IRS is still owed in excess of $12, 000. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.