As a general rule, an owner of an inland lake house in Michigan holds title to the submerged land (the bottomland) to the middle lake.1 And while it is somewhat unusual to think of a trespass on submerged lands, Michigan courts have held that the right to use the surface water once legal access is established does not carry with it the right to anchor a float, or any other thing for that matter, in the submerged lands of another.2
Therefore, if a backlot owner keeps a floating trampoline, for example, in the lake for the summer and the same bothers you, you might have a valid trespass claim. That would be the case only if the backlot owner is using an anchor or sandbag that is touching or affixed to your land under the surface water.
1 See Aalsburg v Cashion, 384 Mich 236 (1970); Gregory v La Faive, 172 Mich App 354 (1988); see also Lorman v Benson, 8 Mich 18 (1860).
2 E.g. Johnson v Burghorn, 212 Mich 19, 29 (1920); Hall v Wantz, 336 Mich 112, 114 (1953).
The attorneys of Dalton & Tomich, PLC have the experience and the knowledge to work with you to develop a legal solution that helps accomplish your goals. Our collaborative approach has helped leaders like you grow businesses and banks, develop and expand churches, and build nonprofit organizations nationwide.
In my role as Administrative Bishop for the Church of God, quite often we are faced with issues that involve local governments and municipalities. Many of these issues that arise in dealing with entities are land use related. I have found Dalton & Tomich’s experience and expertise in this area to be a valuable resource and asset in every situation.
Never one time during a year-long litigation process did Dalton & Tomich demonstrate anything other than Christ-like professionalism. They managed the legal details, while we continued to do church. How they managed themselves, managed our case, and represented our church set the table for me and our church to be where we are today.
Dalton & Tomich’s expertise and experience helped us through a very difficult legal journey, ultimately achieving a favorable outcome. Their personal interest in helping us went “above and beyond” just the call of duty.