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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My daughters fathers girlfriend promised for years that both

Customer Question

My daughters fathers girlfriend promised for years that both her daughter and mine would be gifted 1 acre of land. Last year she did, so my daughter moved a double wide on the land. This year the girlfriend now says my daughter has to pay double what property value is and 5000.00 more when she vollenteered! to help my 7 mos. pregnant girl clean and paint in HOT august so they could move in right away. This is a result of a disagreement last month. My girl now has 3 girls. There are witnesses that heard this promise. Does girlfriend have this right ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a reply. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.

I am very sorry for your family's situation. Can you please tell me if the gift has been recorded in the county record (i.e. your daughter and the other individual received a deed and recorded this), or is this all verbal?

This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No deed. I believe she planned this because she kept holding off.

Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, Debbie - I am working on your answer now and it may be a moment (apologies in advance).
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
No Recording - Verbal Agreement
She is at a disadvantage here because without a written agreement and/or a deed recording, it is very hard to prove what exactly was promised. In addition, under Michigan's 566.106, any contract as to land has to be in writing. This is under the doctrine called "statute of frauds" and is very strictly enforced via Court.

Promissory Estoppel
If someone acts under a reasonable promise of another and then faces injustice due to the retraction of said promise, then this called "promissory estoppel" and this is actionable in Court.

The elements of promissory estoppel are (1) a promise, (2) that the promisor should reasonably have expected to induce action of a definite and substantial character on the part of the promisee, and (3) that in fact produced reliance or forbearance of that nature in circumstances such that the promise must be enforced if injustice is to be avoided. Marrero v. McDonnell Douglas Capital Corp., 505 NW 2d 275 - Mich: Court of Appeals 1993. Due to the lack of written agreement, this would be more of a threat than an action to be seriously contemplated (because the Court at the most may agree to give them some rights but not the whole deed), but may be used as leverage against the girlfriend in an attempt to negotiate a settlement amicably.

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