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Is Your Neighbor’s Dock on Your Property?

I've always envied accountants because their busy season ends when the weather starts to get nice. As a riparian rights attorney, I have the opposite problem. When lake season approaches, and docks and lifts are installed, my...more

No Prescriptive Rights Arise from Misuse of Dedicated Area

In 2012 the Michigan Legislature passed PA 56 in an attempt to stop the misappropriation of public road ends by private individuals. Though PA 56 carries criminal penalties, a recent Court of Appeals decision reflects that...more

I Sued My Neighbor and Lost My Dock

Occasionally I get a call from someone that begins with "I need to sue my neighbor." What the caller really needs is advice to understand the options available, the risks, and how best to solve the problem which prompted the...more

But I’ve Always Had a Dock on the Easement

For decades Michigan courts have been called upon to decide whether a waterfront easement, platted way, or similar access device permits the user to exercise riparian rights – the ability to install a dock and moor boats to...more

A “Magnificently Convoluted and Contentious” Plat

Plats continue to be a source of frustration, uncertainty and expense for owners of waterfront property. In Sims Township v. Arenac County Drain Commissioner, the Michigan Court of Appeals described a "magnificently...more

Ownership of Michigan Islands

Islands, large and small, can be found in many of Michigan's rivers and inland lakes. Some islands are just large enough to support a couple of trees and others boast spectacular homes or resorts. Big or small, islands are...more

Protecting Your Lake Association

Earlier this year I wrote about a lake association facing liability for activities on a lot maintained by the association and used for lake access. You can review that post. Though there is no way for any individual or entity...more

Lake Associations Beware: Access Lots Pose Liability Issues

Lake associations often have control of lots which permit lake access by back-lot owners. Those lots are typically undeveloped, overgrown and only sporadically maintained. Most lake associations are managed by volunteers...more

Establishing A Legal Lake Level

If you are fortunate enough to own property on one of Michigan's 11,000 inland lakes you have probably been unhappy with the lake level at one time or another....more

No Dock At Access Easement

Last fall I discussed a decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals in Krantz v Terrill, in "Dock Permitted at Access Easement – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished." ...more

Misuse Of Keyhole Lot As Marina

A dispute is brewing between riparians and backlot owners on Deer Lake in Independence Township, located in Oakland County, Michigan. ...more

Public Roads And Lake Access

All roads lead somewhere, but what type of public roads provide access to a lake? The first consideration is whether the road terminates near the shore of a lake, or whether it is a road that runs parallel to the lakeshore. ...more

5/10/2013  /  Lake Access , Roads

Things To Consider When Buying Waterfront Property

It is always a good idea to seek the advice of experienced counsel before purchasing any real estate. In addition to issues raised in connection with any purchase of real estate, the following are particularly relevant if you...more

No Prescriptive Right To Dock In Plat

In 1957 the Michigan Supreme Court observed that "as the Water Wonderland acquires more population it also acquires more litigation over water rights." Our population has increased, we have become more litigious, and plats...more

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