Michigan is a Water Wonderland

Mlive.com has posted a unique story involving water usage in Michigan. For the recent ten year span, Michigan residential and commercial users consumed 38.5 trillion gallons of water from the Great Lakes. In perspective that’s about 59 million Olympic swimming pools. The Great Lakes (not including underground water sources) has about 6,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water.

Big thanks to the continental ice glacier for this sweet quality of life resource. Such a resource provides the legal “riparian” right to extract water for domestic (i.e. household) use.

Interesting, only a tenth of utilized Great Lakes water was for residential or public water supplies while over 85 percent was consumed for, of all things, electricity generation.

But despite the high extraction of water from the Great Lakes, we won’t be running out of water anytime soon. Water levels in 2016 are up from last year’s reduction.

There Is No Right to Being a “Beach Walker” on an Inland Lake

Michigan is blessed in having so many lakes. Minnesota proudly crows it is the land of 10,000 lakes. Michigan has more than 11,000, including a handful of “Great Lakes” with 6 quadrillion gallons of water!

However, one falsity which never seems to be corrected is the notation that the public has the right to walk, stroll, or take an evening constitution around the shore of an inland lake. It just simply is not true.

Continue reading “There Is No Right to Being a “Beach Walker” on an Inland Lake”

OLC Reclaims Riparian Rights for Lake Front Property by Court Decision

After litigating for more than a year, Outside Legal Counsel PLC has re-established deeded-away riparian rights to the shorelands of an inland lake in West Michigan. The court’s ruling paves the way for the landowner to begin enjoying full riparian rights, including maintaining a seasonal dock. Continue reading “OLC Reclaims Riparian Rights for Lake Front Property by Court Decision”

An Overused Private Easement Permits for an Adverse Possession Claim

The Court of Appeals in Prince v. Wedemeier has held a distinction between two types of express easements now exists: a prescriptive right by overuse is allowed for one but not the other. Continue reading “An Overused Private Easement Permits for an Adverse Possession Claim”

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”

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”

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”