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  1. #1

    Default Utility Company Wants to Fence Land That is Subject to an Easement

    My question involves an easement in the state of: Michigan

    I live on a farm in Michigan. The south 250 feet was sold to Consumers Power in 1968. They warranty deed for that 250 feet says " Excepting and reserving to the first parties, their heirs or assigns, the easement and right to cross said parcel of land at such places and in such a manor as is mutually satisfactory to both parties so long as said crossing shall not interfere with the use of said land by second party (Consumers Power), its successors or assigns" We have farmed and crossed the property since we purchased it in 1999. Consumers Power now wants to put up a fence and has told us to not cross or use the property in any manner , including mowing the grass. They have even gone so far as to offer the property on a lease to our neighbors directly to our west. Their argument for being able to restrict it is our farming of this 3.5-4 is unsatisfactory, and that we are not the assigns as described on the deed. Last year they offered to lease us the small piece of ground and when I rejected the lease (didn't think I needed to pay them to use my easement) things started to get ugly. I have since told them "Hey, you do what you gotta, and I will do what I gotta do to continue to use my easement". I have also told them when they show up to fence it off I will be calling the police. What are my rights here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    988

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    You want a local land use lawyer to comment on the exact whole deeds and easements...

    it seems like you hold a clear easement to cross it but not to use it in any fashion absent mutual agreement ...And your crossing cannot interefer with their use ..OUCH for you.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    The only thing you were allowed to do on the easement was to cross it. You had no right to farm it what so ever. They offered to lease it to you so as to be able to farm it but you rejected it so you are where you are.

    And no, you have no right to mow the easement either.

    Yes they can fence off their easement since the only a use you are allowed is to cross it in a place that is mutually acceptable by the parties. If you want a drive across it the ask for one. Otherwise you have no business on their land at all.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    They don't have the easement, we do. But apparently it makes no difference that we do. Since I don't find the gate and fence they are putting up satisfactory, I guess my best course of action is to contact an attorney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    988

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    As posted you have just the usage rights set forth in the easement ..and if says you can cross it 4 times a year ..so,be it

    At least as posted the land was sold to power company and you Hold limited rights to cross it?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    The warranty deed states no exclusions or exceptions other than it it can't interfere with their use. There are very large power lines on it. By farming, mowing or crossing it, I am not interfering with their use what so ever.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    Quote Quoting hollywoodmini
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    The warranty deed states no exclusions or exceptions other than it it can't interfere with their use. There are very large power lines on it. By farming, mowing or crossing it, I am not interfering with their use what so ever.
    It is NOT your land. The only rights to do anything on that property is cross it at a mutually agreeable point. You cannot mow it. You cannot farm on it. You cannot drive along the length of it or anything else unless the power company says you can.

    Read what you wrote again. You are the one that wrote the only rights you have are to cross the easement.

    You are wasting your money on an attorney and from what you have described you have already pissed off the power company so if you keep going on this fools errand you may find the power company is tired of playing with you and will take action that will cost you a lot of money

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    988

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    it may be customary to farm under power lines ..but if the easement is as you suggest ...you are looking at very big legal bills with very uncertain outcome to pick a fight . Somebpdy blew it a lot earlier with poorly worded terms from seller standpoint re farming use .

    My guess is the lease will be a lot cheaper and far more,certain than a fight .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    Quote Quoting HRinDEVON
    View Post
    it may be customary to farm under power lines ..but if the easement is as you suggest ...you are looking at very big legal bills with very uncertain outcome to pick a fight . Somebpdy blew it a lot earlier with poorly worded terms from seller standpoint re farming use .

    My guess is the lease will be a lot cheaper and far more,certain than a fight .
    Where do you see in the easement the dominant tenant has a right to farm, or do anything else other than cross it?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Easement Restriction in Michigan

    Perhaps someone can tell me what the difference is between an easement and right to cross? Perhaps that is what I don't understand, as both were granted in the warranty deed.

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