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Water Access

Supreme Court Upholds Rights of Beach-walkers on Lake Michigan

  • February 26, 2019
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

Last week, the United States Supreme Court confirmed that the Lake Michigan shoreline in Indiana is held by the State in public trust for all residents. The Court effectively did this by denying a petition for certiorari by lakefront landowners which sought to challenge the […]

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“Partying” on the Lake — The Power of Dedication Language in a Subdivision Plat

  • September 18, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

Recorded about 80 years ago, the dedication language in a plat became the subject of a lawsuit which made it the Michigan Court of Appeals 3 years ago (Yuska v. Hasler). Yuska v. Hasler serves as a reminder that dedication language in a plat could […]

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What is an Easement?

  • September 10, 2019
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

What is an easement? In this video, Attorney Larry Opalewski explains that an easement is essentially the legal right to use another’s property in some way. He shares what easements mean in relation to the ownership of property, how they are created, limits on easements […]

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Riparian Rights of Michigan’s Waterfront Property Owners

  • September 10, 2019
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

Do you own or plan to purchase property near a Michigan lake? If you have concerns about others using your property to access the water without your permission, our free guide to Easements, Access and Riparian rights may be a valuable resource. Download the Free […]

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Fishing, Swimming and Docking Rights at Inland Michigan Lakes

  • September 10, 2019
  • by Adel Nucho

Do you own or plan to purchase property near a Michigan lake? If you have concerns about others using your property to access the water without your permission, our free guide to Easements, Access and Riparian rights may be a valuable resource. Download the Free […]

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If You Live in a Subdivision That Contains a Lake, You Likely Have Rights in That Water

  • July 27, 2019
  • by Daniel P. Dalton

When it comes to owning interest in land that includes or touchesan inland lake or stream, the law in Michigan is clear: you are considered a riparian landowner. Generally speaking, a riparian landowner holds a bundle of rights, also known as riparian property rights. These […]

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Lake Access for Michigan Back-Lot Owners

  • May 31, 2019
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

If you own property on an in-land Michigan lake, you typically enjoy riparian rights to that lake. You can read more about riparian rights here and here. But what about back-lot property owners on an in-land lake? Are back-lot owners completely shut out of lake […]

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What is a Quiet Title Action in Michigan Property Law?

  • April 30, 2019
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

Every Michigan property owner should have an understanding of the legal concept known as “quiet title.” This can be especially true for owners of Michigan lakefront and other waterfront property, but could apply to any property owner. Property ownership has many benefits. But sometimes complications […]

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Michigan Court of Appeals Rules Subdivision Property Owners Do Not Have Riparian Rights

  • January 15, 2019
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

Often, buyers purchase waterfront property assuming they have the right to access and use the water. If the neighbors in the community all agree and acquiesce to the use, the situation may continue for years without issue. However, when neighbor disputes arise, litigation may produce […]

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Access to a lake: Michigan easements and docking rights

  • September 28, 2018
  • by Lawrence Opalewski

  It is no secret that landowners who abut a body of water (riparian owners) often deal with others attempting to access that water. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals of Michigan dealt with a case involving a riparian owner who brought suit after […]

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