Neither party has directed the court to Michigan decisions since Scheyer's Estate which have relied on it in interpreting "any." In Sifers v. Horen, 385 Mich. 195, 188 N.W.2d 623 (1971), the court set out to interpret "any" in a long-arm statute which employed the term "transaction of any business within the state." The court did not address Scheyer's Estate, holding instead that "any" includes "each" and "every," and "comprehends 'the slightest.'" In Congregation B'nai Jacob v. City of Oak Park, 102 Mich.App. 724, 302 N.W.2d 296 (1981), the court endeavored to construe "any" in a statute reading "any parsonage owned by any religious society." The court relied on definitions of "any" found in Webster's, Black's Law Dictionary, and a host of pre-Scheyer's Estate decisions in determining that any generally means more than one.
One can reconcile both of these decisions with Scheyer's Estate. The courts in each case found that the word which "any" modified -- "business" in one, "parsonage" in the other -- could be plural, and so "any" in each case meant "any or all; every." Because Scheyer's Estate presents a comprehensive discussion of the interpretation of "any" by Michigan's highest court, and as the Michigan courts have acted consistently with that decision, this court will rely on Scheyer's Estate to interpret "any" in para. 1(b). In that paragraph, "any" modifies "the (stores) covered by this License." "Store" is singular, but "stores" is plural, and the parties acknowledged the possibility of the License covering more than one store. The Agreement's use of "any" does not render para. 1(b) ambiguous.
Three D next argues that the language which follows "any of the (stores) covered by this License" creates a ambiguity in the contract.
Three D is correct. Paragraph 1(b) states that once K Mart gives notice of closing, "the individual license for such store shall terminate on the date of such closing." Unlike the clause which preceded it, which expressly provided for closing of a "store" or "stores," this clause is strikingly particular: the individual (a singular term) license for such store (again, singular) terminates thirty days after notice. Had the parties intended the plural quality expressed in "(stores)" to continue throughout para. 1(b), they would not have used a singular term later -- unless, of course, they did not intend a plural term originally.
The court is thus back where it was in 1987: what did the parties intend when they wrote para. 1(b)? The court hoped that it could answer this question short of trial, but apparently the facts -- or is it the parties? -- suggest otherwise. The court denies both motions for summary judgment on Count 1 of the Amended Complaint. The Clerk will set the matter for trial.
DATE: March 7, 1990