I am the owner of a company that leased a space that is undergoing an
eviction process. Everything is within Michigan -- I live in
Michigan, the company is in Michigan, the leased space is in Michigan,
and the landlord's offices are in Michigan.
My company has experienced several cases of fraud, which has sent my
company into insolvency.
My company is severely past due on rent for its leased premises.
About two months ago, my landlord mailed me a notice to quit. On June
5, 2006, they filed a Landlord-Tenant summons and mailed it to my
place of work (the leased space.)
Until this point, I've always handled all legal matters myself by
doing research on the Internet. I have recently been working with a
bankruptcy lawyer. No bankruptcy is yet filed. He's helping me
through this process, and I'll certainly be paying him something, but
he's been overly kind enough not to be billing for all the
consultations and phone calls so far.
On June 21, 2006, the local district court entered a default judgement
that the landlord has a right to posession of the premises, and stated
* "An order evicting you will be issued unless you pay the plantiff or
court the amount due or unless you move out on or before July 3,
* "No money judgement is entered at this time" --- because they did
not successfully serve the summons on me, the mail did not count (not
I went to the leased space today to begin packing, to make sure I had
all of my belongings out before the July 3 date, so the landlord would
be able to again have posession of the leased premises. I noticed
* Everything had been looked through.
* Computer part inventory was opened out of boxes.
* Financial documents were opened and looked through including
invoices and check books.
* The cash lockbox was in a different room, opened. Luckily only
change was in there, and still is.
* Several things are missing
* My company's computer that I used with financial records and
accounting records is MISSING.
* My company's two 19inch LCD panels that I used are MISSING.
* My company's three 21inch LCD panels that were inventory are MISSING.
* My company's digital camera is MISSING.
* My personal $250 Black & Decker toolkit (wrenchs, sockets,
hammers, etc) is MISSING.
I view what happened, under Michigan law, as criminal tresspass and
theft. I believe this is the case under Michigan law, because: (a) my
landlord DOES NOT YET HAVE A WRIT OF EVICTION; (b) my landlord does
not have a court judgement for any money; and, (c) my landlord does
not have a writ of execution of property.
I immediately left the leased premises, and contacted my attorney. He
views the situation the same as me, a criminal tresspass and theft,
and said that I should go ahead with my desire to contact the police
I contacted the police department, and they sent an officer out to the
leased premises. The officer took a statement and wrote up a case,
however he said he saw the issue as a gray area and he thought it was
more a civil matter than a criminal matter. I then spoke with a clerk
at the local district court, who said that since they do not have a
writ of eviction, that they cannot enter my leased space and that
doing so was criminal tresspass. The clerk also said that taking my
property was criminal theft. She suggested that I file an emergency
motion to stay the eviction process, which I am in the process of
doing. The clerk also suggested that I talk with the police sargent
on duty. I did talk with the police sargent on duty, and he said that
he was going to refer the case to the detectives and prosecutors -
since he could see why the original officer thought it might be just a
civil matter. He told me that I wouldn't hear anything back until
Monday at the earliest from the detectives or prosecutors.
In the meantime they have posession of my computer that I need for my
financial records and accounting records. I'm worried about the
safety of my records. I'm worried they may destroy the data, either
intentionally or unintentionally just to wipe the computer clean so
they can use it..
SO, given all that background, I'll get to my question. :)
I can find a lot of references that what my landlord did is considered
"self-help" eviction and is a criminal act. I'd like to know what
part of Michigan law pertains to this issue, so I can hopefully show
it to the police. I would like for the police to realize this is a
criminal act, and do something before monday. I don't see why this
doesn't rise to probable cause for a search warrent of the landlord's
offices to see if my property is there.
I just want to know where I can look at the actual Michigan laws that
pertain to what's happened - not more sites that just say that it was