In River Investment Group, LLC v. Casab, Michigan Court of Appeals, No. 290645, August 10, 2010, the court of claims had jurisdiction in an action involving a local property tax foreclosure and sale of property, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled. The property owner sued the company that purchased the property for unjust enrichment and conversion arising from improvements that the property owner made to the property after the foreclosure, but without notice of the foreclosure. The property owner argued that the court of claims had jurisdiction only in actions against governmental entities. However, the applicable statute specifically stated that the court of claims had jurisdiction in an action to recover monetary damages, and nothing in the statute required an action under that statute to be against a governmental entity.
The property owner also argued that this action was not an action to recover monetary damages under the applicable statute because the statute only allowed actions against an entity charged with providing notice, not a private party such as the company that purchased the property at the foreclosure sale. The applicable statute, however, applied to an action by a party who claimed that he or she did not receive any notice required under the general property tax provisions. In this case, the property owner was an owner of an extinguished or unrecorded interest in property and claimed injury from the fact that it did not receive notice as required under the general property tax provisions.