Bruce & Roberts, Inc v MESC – 2.14

Bruce & Roberts, Inc v MESC
Digest no. 2.14

Section 41

Cite as: Bruce & Roberts, Inc v MESC, unpublished opinion of the Genesee County Circuit Court, issued April 21, 1993 (Docket No. 92-1202-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Bruce & Roberts, Inc.
Docket no..: L91-15659-2150
Date of decision: April 21, 1993

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee was an employing unit pursuant to Section 40 and, therefore, by definition an “employer subject to this Act” under Section 41(2)(a). Therefore, employer Bruce & Roberts Inc. is a successor, having acquired 75% or more of Balderstone assets by means of bankruptcy.

FACTS: On October 18, 1985, employer sold the business (Sherman’s Lounge) to Balderstone for $160,000. On June 21, 1988, Balderstone filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and for Chapter 7 on March 22, 1989. Employer re-acquired all the equipment and fixtures they sold in 1985 through foreclosure. Also, they purchased the liquor license and inventory from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee. They reopened as Bruce & Robert’s, Inc. on January 2, 1990. They were assigned 10% rate as successor employer, having acquired more than 75% of Balderstone’s assets. Employer asserted it was not a successor and entitled to new employer tax rate of 2.7%.

DECISION: Employer is a successor to Balderstone and the 10% contribution rate was properly assessed.

RATIONALE: Employer acquired through foreclosure everything it had previously conveyed to Balderstone. Repossession after default has been found to be an acquisition even in the absence of a title transfer. The acquisition of assets from a debtor through bankruptcy proceedings also results in an acquisition for purposes of Section 41(2), based on the definitions in the Act of “employer” and “employing unit.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 7/99