Summer 2021

Volume 48, Nos. 1-2


Applying the Doctrine of Reciprocal Negative Easements to the 2018 Amendment Marketable Record Title


By Matthew W. Heron and Kayleigh B. Long

In Michigan, restrictive covenants and building and use restrictions have been used over the past century to guide and control the development of subdivisions, condominiums, and unplatted developments. Michigan jurisprudence views these concepts as valuable property rights held by the owners of the land within the community who are benefitted by the covenants and restrictions. Michigan law requires these covenants and restrictions to be observed and followed by a property owner, even in instances where no specific covenant or restriction appears in their chain of title, so long as the covenants and restrictions at issue arise from a common grantor and evidence an intent of a common scheme or plan across an entire tract of land

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The ABCs of CBD and Hemp: A Primer

PotentialLegislativeSolutions.jpgBy Gregory J. Gamalski

Hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis sativa plant but as a result of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”), cannabis sativa with a THC content of less than 0.3% was removed from the federal controlled substance definition of "marijuana" and was classified as "hemp.” The plant has been used since colonial times and even earlier for a variety of industrial and agricultural purposes, including for fibers such as those used in rope and cordage, fabric, oil from its seeds, building material, and even as a biofuel. Of late, chemical byproducts of hemp, mainly the non-psychoactive substance known as CBD, are offered and sold as medications and food supplements by national retail chains. Furthermore, hemp seeds are now processed as food additives, baking flour, protein supplements, and other nutritional uses. All of this is allowed on the generally sound assumption that the psychoactive properties of legalized hemp are below effective psychoactive levels. Hemp THC content cannot be more than 0.3% by dry weight.

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A Michigan House Seller's Legal Duty to Disclose Coronavirus

Prescriptive EasementsBy Bradley Lambert

Residential house sales continue, and by some reports are more active than ever, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, owners selling their house must confront the potential legal liability that could arise from the presence of COVID-19 within their home. For their part, Buyers must remain wary of the potential risks of exposure to COVID-19 while in the process of purchasing a house.

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Ten Years of Michigan Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: Progress or Passing Fad?

Common Issues

By Robert Mattler

The Michigan Property Assessed Clean Energy Act was passed by Governor Granholm in 2010. This public-private economic development law endeavors to: (1) mitigate the barriers to improving building performance; (2) lower carbon emissions from buildings; and (3) improve the building stock of new and existing buildings in an uncertain and unpredictable future climate. Its adoption by Michigan property owners and local jurisdictions has been slow but growing over the decade since it was first enacted. This mirrors national trends and begs the question of whether property assessed clean energy (PACE) will be a passing fad or a valuable financing tool for Michigan property owners.

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Continuing Legal Education

By Jason Long

Real Property Law Academy I

The Real Property Law Academy I took place virtually over four consecutive days during May 2021.  Some of the most respected and experienced real estate attorneys in Michigan, all experts in their fields, taught at the Academy.  Academy I is designed to provide a basic understanding of the fundamental aspects of real estate practice in Michigan.  It was targeted to real estate attorneys and others who may encounter real estate issues from time to time.  The program was a success, with nearly 100 attorneys attending.  The Real Property Law Section is planning for Academy II to take place during 2022.

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Chair's Report

By Lorri B. King

It has been my privilege and honor to serve as the Chair of the Real Property Law Section for 2020-2021. The past twelve months presented the Section with some unique challenges, particularly in light of the uncertainty caused by restrictions imposed due to Covid 19. However, through the efforts of our dedicated CLE Chair, Jason Long, and the CLE Committee, the Council, Standing Committee Chairs, Special Committee Co-Chairs, and our amazing Administrator, Karen Schwartz, the Section was able to meet the needs of our members and enhance opportunities for members to be involved in the Section. Below is a brief summary of the innovative new programs that the Section implemented this year.

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Legislation Affecting Real Property

By Thomas A. Kabel, Butzel Long

One of the primary responsibilities of the Real Property Law Section, as set forth in Article I, Section 2 of the Section’s Bylaws, is:

to promote the fair and just administration of Real Property Law; to study and report upon proposed and necessary legislation, including, but not limited to, pending legislation and drafting and introducing legislation . . . .

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Judicial Decisions Affecting Real Property

By Thomas A. Kabel, Butzel Long

The Real Property Law Section is active in the judicial process in a variety of ways, such as preparing amicus curiae briefs and monitoring cases of interest to real estate lawyers. This Article provides a periodic report designed to inform Section members about the Section’s efforts to maintain the integrity of the law and to advise Section members about published decisions that may affect real estate practice.

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Real Property Winter Conference 2024

Dates: March 7–9, 2024
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ

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Save the Date—Summer Conference 2024

Date: July 17–20, 2024
Location: Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan

More Information & Registration Coming Soon

Save the Date—Real Property Law Academy I

Date: September 17-18, 2024
Location: L.V. Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids

More Information & Registration Coming Soon

Get Involved!

Take the opportunity to get involved by writing for one of our publications, presenting at a conference or seminar, or joining one of the committees that cover virtually every area in real estate law. See our committees and how you can join.

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