Dock Rights May Be Established by Prescriptive Easement

A question long unanswered under Michigan law is whether the right to the placement of a seasonal dock can be established using the equitable doctrine of prescriptive easement? The answer is yesContinue reading “Dock Rights May Be Established by Prescriptive Easement”

The Land Division Act Plat Correction Procedures Cannot Create Nonexisting Property Rights

The Court of Appeals affirmed what we’ve long argued: the plat correction procedures of the Michigan Land Division Act cannot be used to create new property rights.

In Studley v Township of Hill, a lot owner who abuts a privately dedicate 16-foot wide Beachway running from the public Lake Shore Drive to the edge of Rifle Lake. It was only the private access for the backlotters of the Plat of Shady Shores Park Subdivision to access Rifle Lake. Continue reading “The Land Division Act Plat Correction Procedures Cannot Create Nonexisting Property Rights”

COA Decision: Property Labelled by a Meander Line “Defines the Sinuosities of the Banks”

When a plat shows a lot is bounded by the meander line of a lake, the grant of land is to the water’s edge.

In Gilroy v. Speidel, the Court of Appeals was called upon to interpret the scope of an easement plaintiff Gilroy had over defendant Speidel’s property on Lake Huron.   The easement’s language is unusual in that it granted defendant an easement on the east 24 feet of Lot 20 except the North 340 feet thereof… to restrict construction or improvements on this property to maintain the view from the Gilroy property.” The easement also granted Gilroy the right to have a walkway to the shore of Lake Huron.  Continue reading “COA Decision: Property Labelled by a Meander Line “Defines the Sinuosities of the Banks””

Rights for Docking By Overusing a Common Easement Fails in Prescription Suit

The case of O’Brien v Hicks  (COA No. 307332) involves one of two parkways located beside Otsego Lake in the Hazel Banks Plat, named “Parkway 6-7.”   Continue reading “Rights for Docking By Overusing a Common Easement Fails in Prescription Suit”

Hey Hunters, Recreational Trespass Is Real and Illegal

A Michigan ‘religious’ holiday is fast approaching–Deer Day. Hunters from all over Michigan are sighting in their scopes and scoping out their spots for hunting blinds. However, hunters need to pay attention to property rights and property lines or they might find themselves afoul with the law.

Did you know recreational trespassing is both a criminal and civil wrong? Part 731 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act makes it illegal to undertake any recreational activity or trapping on any posted or fenced-in private land; farm land including all lands contained within the farm; and all wooded areas connected to farm property. Recreational activity has long legally included hunting. Continue reading “Hey Hunters, Recreational Trespass Is Real and Illegal”

The Horseshoe Lake Corp Decision Discusses How A Park Is Different Under Riparian Law

The case of HORSEHOE LAKE CORP v CARLSON (COA No. 304695)  involves a dedicated park on Horseshoe Lake as part of the Leocadia Park subdivision.  Continue reading “The Horseshoe Lake Corp Decision Discusses How A Park Is Different Under Riparian Law”

A Private Right-of-Way Easement Leaves Owner the Right to Remaining Use of Property

In Bedford v Rogers (COA No. 299783), the individual lots in the Glen Eyrie subdivision do not extend to the shore of Crystal Lake. Rather, the plat depicts a 100-foot wide strip of land, running the entire length of the subdivision and designated as the “Lakeway,” between the south border of the platted lots and Crystal Lake dedicated to the common use of property owners in the Glen Eyrie plat.  Continue reading “A Private Right-of-Way Easement Leaves Owner the Right to Remaining Use of Property”

A Privately Dedicated Street Is Treated the Same as a Public Street for Lake Access Purposes

In Banacki v Howe (COA No. 302778), the extent of backlotters’ right to use East Court, a 25-foot wide strip of waterfront land that lies between lots 12 and 13 in the Gilmore Beach Subdivision extending to Magician Lake, was in dispute. The Gilmore Beach Subdivision contains the Van Buren County and Cass County line. Continue reading “A Privately Dedicated Street Is Treated the Same as a Public Street for Lake Access Purposes”