Stephon B. BagneStephon Bagne Clark Hill
Stephon B. Bagne
A member of Clark Hill’s Litigation and Real Estate Groups, Stephon B. Bagne handles real estate matters and complex contractual litigation. His clients include large companies, real estate developers, home owners, and farmers throughout Michigan.
Stephon specializes in representing private property owners in eminent domain matters, both where government agencies or private utilities initiate formal condemnations or when owners allege takings. Stephon has handled hundreds of utility condemnation cases brought by utility companies like International Transmission Company, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, DTE, ET Rover Pipeline, Nexus Pipeline, Wolverine Pipe Line Company, Consumers Energy, or government agencies like the Michigan Department of Transportation, county road commissions, and cities in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, Washtenaw, Lenawee, Branch, Cass, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Bay, Emmett, Mackinac, Wexford, Saint Clair, and Manistee counties. These cases involved agricultural, vacant and improved residential property, apartment or assisted living complexes, vacant and improved industrial property, office buildings, and commercial property like shopping centers or retail stores. Stephon specializes in airport takings. Stephon has successfully handled numerous jury trials. Stephon has established legal precedents through two published appellate decisions in which his clients prevailed. His representation includes both challenging the necessity of the taking, negotiating modified takings, and increasing just compensation.
Property owners regularly rely on Stephon in zoning issues, both before local planning commissions or zoning boards of appeal and in litigation. His experience includes assisting with obtaining approvals for commercial developments, including negotiating planned unit development agreements. Stephon has appeared before communities in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe, and Branch Counties.
Stephon handles a wide variety of property disputes, including trespass, adverse possession, prescriptive easements, nuisance, joint tenancy issues, real estate broker issues, wrongful demolition, and takings. These include both obtaining money judgments relating to property damage or relative contributions to maintenance issues or obtaining equitable relief. Stephon has performed these services for both large companies and smaller private property owners. For example, he has obtained both money judgments and injunctions on behalf of property owners suffering trespasses by neighbors, handled the dissolution of a variety of joint tenancies in real property, and defended nuisance claims brought by neighbors.
Stephon has represented many of the largest commercial landlords in metropolitan Detroit as well as single location tenants. These include filing or defending eviction matters, collection lawsuit, common area maintenance disputes, and declaratory matters relating to the interpretation of leases. He has also obtained injunctions requiring retail tenants to comply with use requirements in leases.
In valuation tax appeals, Stephon provides cost-effective representation and has obtained substantial relief for owners of million-dollar-plus homes in Birmingham, Bloomfield, and West Bloomfield.
In assisting farmers, Stephon has handled eminent domain, zoning, Right to Farm Act, and nuisance issues. He has also represented multiple owners in matters involving wedding barns.
Stephon has published numerous articles and has spoken at many educational seminars and trade group events. He also maintains a Michigan Condemnation Blog that discusses issues that arise in eminent domain law, matters that he is handling, and things that property owners confronted by a condemnation should consider.
Since real estate contracts can be extremely complex, Stephon interprets and enforces a wide variety of contracts. Stephon has handled a wide variety of general contractual disputes, particularly when they involve an element of real estate. For example, Stephon has represented property owners seeking dissolution of entities or alleging oppression where the entity’s ownership of real estate was a primary issue.
Prior to practicing as an attorney, Stephon served as clerk to the Hon. Robert C. Anderson in the Oakland County Circuit Court and as an intern to several other judges of that Circuit.
Stephon resides in West Bloomfield with his wife and three children. He is very involved with The Roeper School and youth baseball, serving as General Counsel, Board Member, and team manager for the Bloomfield Baseball League.
Board of County Road Commissioners for County of Washtenaw v Shankle, 327 Mich App 407, 934 NW2d 279 (2019)(dismissing formal condemnation due to failure to name all owners or otherwise comply with statutory requirements)
Lenawee County v Wagley, 301 Mich App 134, 836 NW2d 193 (2013)(upholding jury verdict for $470,000 requiring total taking of residential home after imposition of avigation easement)
Lenawee County v Gardner, 2014 WL 2931846 (upholding jury verdict for $590,000 requiring total taking of residential home after imposition of avigation easement)
Eminent Domain Jury Trials
- Two jury verdicts compelling Lenawee County Circuit Court to acquire homes encumbered by avigation easements, where the County offered only nominal easement payments
- A jury verdict in Oakland County awarding approximately 1,500% of what had been offered for a taking encumbering vacant development land
- A jury verdict in Wexford County awarding approximately 2,500% of what had been offered for vacant recreational land after access had been limited by a highway project
- The largest jury verdict in Wexford County that year for vacant agricultural and development land
- Co-counsel in multiple jury trials in Wayne County Circuit Court involving acquisition of property in Detroit for Comerica Park and Ford Field
Selected Published Articles
View from the Other Side: Partial Taking Eminent Domain Tips from an Owners’ Attorney, Briefly (published by Michigan Township Association), December, 2018
Broad Rights of an Avigation Easement, Right of Way Magazine (published by the International Right of Way Association), May/June, 2014
An Electoral Uprising Dramatically Increases Property Owner Rights in Condemnation Cases, Laches (published by the Oakland County Bar Association), March 2007
Technical Requirements Governing Real Estate Appraisers, Laches (published by the Oakland County Bar Association), February 2005
The DestiNY USA Litigation: Government’s Right to Extinguish Contract Terms Through Eminent Domain, Shopping Center Legal Update (published by International Council of Shopping Centers), Spring, 2003
Unique Issues Relating to Case Evaluation in Formal Condemnation Cases, Laches (published by the Oakland County Bar Association), March 2003