E V ZIOBRON V MARVIN L WILKIEAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
E.V. ZIOBRON, W.T. ZIOBRON, and E.G.
MARVIN L. WILKIE and MARJORIE E. WILKIE,
Otsego Circuit Court
LC No. 93-005750 CK
RICHARD H. FRUEHAUF, JR. and H.R.F.
ANTRIM LTD PARTNERSHIP,
Before: O’Connell, P.J., and White and Bandstra, JJ.
O’CONNELL, P.J., (concurring in part and dissenting in part).
I concur with the well-written lead opinion and its conclusion that the trial court erred and
should be reversed. However, I write separately to observe that neither the land contract nor the
warranty deed contains a reservation of the oil and gas rights. Neither document is ambiguous and both
clearly transfer to plaintiffs all of defendants’ interest in the subject property. We invite much mischief if
we allow recalcitrant sellers to reform contracts and deeds some twenty-four years after they have been
executed, especially when significant oil and gas reserves have been discovered in the geographical
While I concur with the majority opinion’s discussion and legal analysis, I disagree with its order
to remand this case to the trial court for further fact finding. The trial court found as a matter of fact that
there existed neither mutual mistake nor unilateral mistake accompanied by fraud. This determination
precludes reformation of the deed. Remanding this case for further fact finding is simply a waste of
In summary, I would reverse the trial court and award plaintiffs the benefit of their purchase,
including all of the oil and gas rights previously owned by defendants. I would also direct the trial court
on remand to quiet title in plaintiffs’ favor. I would decline to remand for further findings of fact, as the
present record is sufficient for this Court to resolve the issues in dispute. I concur with the lead opinion
that the issue of damages must be addressed, and that this Court need not retain jurisdiction.
/s/ Peter D. O’Connell