Court determines title to boat was never transferred, where it was handed over and possession surrendered
In a recent case, Lawrence Lee Hunt and Jordan Jones v. Eric Adams, the Court of Appeals was forced to reverse the Oakland County trial judge who awarded a boat to a judgment creditor. The debtor had acquired the boat from her cousin, however, the Secretary of State refused to issue her a new title because the previous owner had not satisfied the secured interest. The debtor delivered the title and the boat to her son, but never attempted to secure a title from the state, allegedly in an attempt to avoid her judgment creditor- ex-boyfriend's attachment action.
The Sheriff claimed the boat and sold it, however, after an appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that it wasn't the debtor's boat to seize. Since the Secretary of State never issued a valid title to the debtor, the previous owner remained the titled owner of the craft.