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”

Michigan Supreme Court Expansively Defines Lakefront Riparian Property Rights Abutting Public Roadways

On December 29, 2010, the Michigan Supreme Court released its lengthy 4-3 opinion regarding Michigan riparian rights, a term to describe legal rights to use waterfront property for certain activities like building recreational boat dock.

The case, 2000 Baum Family Trust v. Babel, involved property owners with lots that front Lake Charlevoix (the “front-lot owners”) yet are separated from the water by Beach Drive, a public road maintained by the Charlevoix County Road Commission. These front-lot owners along Beach Drive, believing they have riparian rights, built seasonal docks from the shoreline into Lake Charlevoix even though their lots do not touch the shoreline. Local neighbors without lake front access (the “back-lot owners”) also began maintaining their own docks and storing their boats along Beach Drive on Lake Charlevoix. Continue reading “Michigan Supreme Court Expansively Defines Lakefront Riparian Property Rights Abutting Public Roadways”