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Plaintiff cannot file new claim of fraud based on perjury in previous case

Michael Zattlin sued the Alden State Bank and its attorneys, arguing that together they had conspired to defraud him in a debt and mortgage action.   Zattlin claimed that the Defendants had filed affidavits in support of their Motion for Summary Disposition which they knew to be false. He alleged that all parties who assisted in preparing the affidavits knew that the affiants did not have first-hand knowledge of the allegations contained in the affidavits.

The appellate court ruled that while Zattlin had raised questions of perjury, the perjury was a fraud intrinsic to the prior lawsuit and therefore it could not serve as the basis of a subsequent claim.  Only extrinsic fraud ("fraud outside the facts of the case that prevents a party from an adversarial proceeding") can serve as the basis for a separate cause of action.  The remedy for intrinsic fraud must be found within the rules governing due process in the initial cause of action.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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