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No Dock at Access Easement

June 11, 2013
Riparian Rights Blog Post

Pontoon boat moored to dock with a red circle with a line through itLast 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." In that decision, the court of appeals permitted a dock to be maintained at an access easement based upon long standing use of a dock.

On June 5, 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the portions of the court of appeals' decision holding that the defendants had established a prescriptive right to erect a dock and moor boats to the dock at the end of the easement. You can review that order here. The Court explained that "hostile" use could not be tacked onto a period of permissive use to satisfy the 15 year period of adversity required for an adverse possession or prescriptive easement claim.

Though I believe the Court made the correct decision, Krantz serves as a reminder of the lengths and expense often required to protect one's waterfront property rights.

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