Attorney Patterson Returns to the Michigan Court of Appeals to Argue Public Interest Case Against Detroit Land Bank

Sharp v Hillery, et al., 

Michigan Court of Appeals Case No. 354432

On Thursday, April 8, 2021, Attorney Tina M. Patterson of Patterson Justice Counsel, PLLC, returned to the Michigan Court of Appeals to secure the previous victory over the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Attorney Patterson (bottom center) argues before the Michigan Court of Appeals during oral argument on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Against the backdrop of increasing questions about the effectiveness and efficiency of the Detroit Land Bank Authority as a body vested with public authority, Attorney Tina Patterson, Principal Attorney of Patterson Justice Counsel, argued once again before the Michigan Court of Appeals to uphold a contract for land sold to her clients by the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

The Michigan Court of Appeals previously ruled in favor of Attorney Patterson’s clients in February 2020, when it confirmed that the Land Bank validly contracted with the Hillerys in the purchase of land through their “Side Lot Program,” despite the Land Bank’s insistence that the sale was a mistake. In that ruling, the Court determined that all Land Bank rules and regulations were followed as required by Patterson’s clients, Robert and Stacy Hillery, rejecting the Land Bank’s argument that the sale of the land was done in error. The initial suit was filed in 2017 by a neighbor who alleged entitlement of the land in question based on Detroit Land Bank rule changes after the sale of the property, but the Court rejected this argument as well in upholding Patterson’s argument.

However, a subsequent appeal once again sought to challenge the validity of the sale, the oral argument of which occurred on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Watch Attorney Patterson deliver her oral argument before the Michigan Court of Appeals.

This hearing and case before the Court of Appeals is important because it is one of the few and rare avenues where the higher courts have listened to debate over questions of legitimate public interest regarding how the Detroit Land Bank operates as a quasi-governmental agency.

An important distinguishing feature lurking behind this hearing is that the current economic recovery of Detroit is not without some valid questions about tax payer funded entities like the Land Bank that are charged with the revitalization of Detroit especially in the area of land acquisition and maintenance. As such, whether the Land Bank is truly functioning as a government entity that serves the public good is a question that is now before the Michigan Court of Appeals, as reflected in this case that spotlights Hillerys’ troubled dealings with the Land Bank.

After all, Detroit taxpayers have a right to expect good governance from agencies within municipal government that are tasked with providing such essential services as land use and development. Whenever that function is being derailed or in question, then it is up to the courts to intervene and decide the right cause of action that satisfies not only the public interest but the public good in accordance with the applicable laws.

Patterson Justice Counsel will continually follow this case and provide updates as they occur. Watch the entire hearing in full below, and follow Legal Briefs for the latest news and updates on this case as well.

Sharp v Hillery, et al., Michigan Court of Appeals Case No. 354432.

Finally, if you have a similar case involving the Detroit Land Bank or other government organization, Make an appointment with Patterson Justice Counsel and Attorney Tina M. Patterson for your consultation today. Don’t rush into decisions without the full and appropriate legal advice and backing.

Tina M. Patterson is the Principal Attorney of Patterson Justice Counsel, PLLC. She is an attorney licensed in the State of Michigan and Federal Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

To reach Patterson Justice Counsel, Call (313) 385-3720 or email

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