Amicus Brief

Lenawee County v David and Barbara Wagley, Bank of Lenawee, and Pavillion Mortgage

Case Year: 2014
Case Forum: Michigan Supreme Court
Keywords: condemnation, interest, just compensation, possession, Real property, easement
Amicus Counsel:

Peter H. Webster | Dickinson Wright, PLLC | 2600 W Big Beaver Road Suite 300 | Troy, Michigan 48084 | 248-433-7513 | [email protected]

CoAmicus Parties:

1. Michigan Association of Counties (MAC)
2. Michigan Townships Association (MTA)


Counsel argues that when MCL 213.65 is applied to the facts at hand, it is clear that the lower courts erred in awarding additional statutory interest on the just compensation award. In condemnation cases, interest must be authorized by statute. MCL 213.65 describes the calculation process of interest in an award of just compensation, however there is an exception that “an owner remaining in possession after the date that the complaint is filed waives the interest for the period of possession.” The Appellees possessed the property destroyed by the County’s easement following the filing of the complaint, the County merely possessed an easement over the air rights. Therefore, although Appellees had a right to the just compensation awarded to them, they had no right to any interest.


On order of the Court, the application for leave to appeal the May 21, 2013 judgment of the Court of Appeals is considered, and it is DENIED, because we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.

On order of the Court, the motion for reconsideration of this Court’s November 25, 2013 order is considered, and it is DENIED, because it does not appear that the order was entered erroneously.

MSC requested LDF amicus brief? No

Lenawee County owns and operates the Lenawee County Airport . approximately 4 years before this case was filed, Defendants purchased a house which shared a fence with the Airport. As part of a project to increase the length of the runway from approximately 4,000 to 5,000 feet, the existing runway was moved 532 feet further away from
Defendants’ house and the runway was lengthened in the opposite direction. The project primarily was funded by federal grant money through the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA). As a condition of receiving federal money, the County must comply with FAA design and safety standards. After the runway was lengthened and relocated the entire property became located within an area called the Runway Protection Zone (RPZ). The RPZ is a trapezoidal ground level area designated by the FAA that begins 200 feet from the end of
a runway. FAA recommends that an airport acquire property in fee within the RPZ unless it is “impracticable” to do so. Pursuant to the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act (MCL 213.51 et seq) the County presented Defendants with a good faith offer in order to acquire the avigation easement to control the airspace over the Defendants’ house (MCL 213.55). After the offer was refused, the County filed a condemnation case to acquire the avigation easement.

Case Number: 2013-02
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