Judge rules in favor of Nicole Curtis in suit against Detroit Land Bank

Posted at 10:35 AM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 10:35:38-04

HGTV star Nicole Curtis has won her fight against the Detroit Land Bank. A judge ruled this week that Curtis would be awarded the property after she sued the city for how it handled a property she purchased back in 2017.

Curtis originally purchased the home at 451 E. Grand Blvd from Jerome and Joyce Cauley for $17,000.

“We did a title search and there were liens for back taxes and water, all the normal things,” says Curtis. She says the title company did not find any other claims to ownership at that time.

But, the Detroit Land Bank says in 2017 they sued the Cauleys for legal ownership under a nuisance abatement program because the home was in disrepair. The DLBA says they won the lawsuit, thereby assuming ownership before Curtis completed the purchase from the Cauleys.

In a statement, the Detroit Land Bank says they discovered the invalid deed in 2018 and “tried to reach a resolution that would allow Detroit renovations to move forward with renovation.”

Curtis then sued the Land Bank, and a judge ruled Thursday that the land bank was awarded the house in 2016 after a nuisance abatement proceeding, but didn't record the title until more than a year after Curtis' company recorded the deed.

The judge ordered Curtis to complete the renovation work on the home.