January 2016

An informative e-newsletter for the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Riparian Rights by Prescriptive Easement

By Lynn Sagar, First American Title Insurance Co.

In 1970, plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest granted Sandra Jones an easement “across their property in order to give purchaser right of access to and use of Woodland Lake.” Since 1970, Jones has used the easement to maintain a dock, park vehicles, and anchor and moor boats. In a dispute over the scope of Jones’ use of the easement, the trial court held that Jones possessed a prescriptive easement for her current use. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the unambiguous language of the easement created a right of ingress and egress only, and that the trial court erred by not limiting the scope of the easement. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. John Guidobono II Revocable Trust Agreement v. Jones (Mich App No. 308855, October 20, 2015, unpublished).

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.