In reading some of the comments I think I'll try to clarify a few things and hopefully provide a few answers as well.
First, while it sure seemed that the whole group, i.e., the judge, Mr.Meyer, Sturtz and the plaintiff seemed to be in cahoots.. I don't think they were. Certainly the judge and Mr. Meyer were buddies and who knows what went down there. (We raised the issue of conflict of interest and it didn't go anywhere). Secondly, once it was handed over to Mr. Meyer, it was in his hands. He really had no interest except an eventual pay check. The work he did was pretty minimal. Could you tell? As much as we tried to argue all the wrong turns or bad turns, it just is what it is. We thought there was an agreement as to how the sale would be handled. Turned out the agreement was whatever Mr. Meyer wanted it to be. He did the least amount of work possible including never finishing any of the bidding instructions.
Yes the cottage sold for $575k. That was the offer David made per the "bidding" terms. The outline as proposed by Mr. Meyer allowed for outside bids (outside the family) for a period of a few weeks. Then, another set of instructions were to follow. They did not. Could we have submitted a bid? Sure. We did not. We were still hoping for an opportunity to obtain a fair market price.
What was Stu DeGeus's role in all of this? Nothing. In the very beginning, before the partition suit was even filed he e-mailed mother and David and indicated he would like to sell his share. He did not state a price. He expected his phone to start ringing. We expected to have some conversation with David, decide how to "buy out" Stu and move on. Quickly on the heels of Stu's statement, David filed his lawsuit. Stu defaulted. He chose not to have an attorney and did not show up for any of the legal actions until later in the whole mess. All he wanted was to keep everything private. I think he was embarrassed and stated he would never go back. He also said he'd "taken" what he wanted from the cottage so, he had no interest in anything else. (until later). At one point, Katy had decided to use Stu's time during the second summer and he took that to court. (Supposedly using Phil's son as his attorney since using Phil would have been a conflict of interest). Funny.. the son never showed. Stu was represented by Phil and the judge ruled that Stu's "time" could not be used by Katy. Was it a surpise that David and family used this time?? No.
Someone asked if we appealed.. would we get a different judge. The way it works is once a final order is made, we would appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. It takes this out of Saginaw, into a different court. Can we still appeal? Once a final order is entered.
Keep the questions coming. This is all pretty typical for a partition case. If you or someone in your family wants to either get out, or get you out.. this is how it works. It's ugly for sure. Don't go there. All it takes is one person.