Court enforces strict construction of Court Rule; ignores trial judge's ruling and parties' agreement
In Magditch & Associates, P.C. v. Novi Development Associates. a lease dispute ended up in court. One party sought summary disposition of part of the dispute and the Court took the matter under advisement. In the meantime, the court sent the case to Case Evaluation, where the parties and the evaluators agreed to address only those aspects of the case that were not under the Court's current consideration for dismissal.
When both parties agreed to the Case Evaluation of the remaining issues, one of the businesses sought complete dismissal, based on a reading of the Court Rule that required dismissal whenever the parties "accept" the evaluation. The trial judge refused to dismiss, pointing out that it was his delay in ruling on the summary disposition that created the parties' conundrum. On appeal, the Court of Appeals judges reversed and dismissed the entire case based on a "strict reading" of the Court Rule, even though the result violated the parties' and evaluators express agreement and the trial judge's sense of fairness.