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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    3

    Question Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Michigan

    I have a lakefront home that some neighborhood people have told me has a 100 ft. waterfront easement. They showed me a court order from 1955 creating an easement running across several properties. These form a waterfront community easement sort of like a public beach. My titled indicated nothing of the sort. I checked with the county records office and found a document from 1981 that indicated an easement only for two properties (not including mine).

    I have been told that a previous owner of my property successfully sued his title company for similar circumstances. I have seen the 1955 court order and the easement language is vague indicating the community has the right to walk across and "enjoy" the area. It's not clear about what I can't do such as have a dock and a boat. My neighbors are a bit aggressive on this matter and most of them have lived here for 40+ years. I don't understand the relationship between court orders and titles. My title is easement free (except for the mandatory 6ft for all Michigan lakefront homes).

    How do I find out the truth about my easement?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,441

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    Order a title search and retain the services of a local real estate lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4,106

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    Quote Quoting martyconf
    View Post
    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Michigan

    I have a lakefront home that some neighborhood people have told me has a 100 ft. waterfront easement. They showed me a court order from 1955 creating an easement running across several properties. These form a waterfront community easement sort of like a public beach. My titled indicated nothing of the sort. I checked with the county records office and found a document from 1981 that indicated an easement only for two properties (not including mine).

    I have been told that a previous owner of my property successfully sued his title company for similar circumstances. I have seen the 1955 court order and the easement language is vague indicating the community has the right to walk across and "enjoy" the area. It's not clear about what I can't do such as have a dock and a boat. My neighbors are a bit aggressive on this matter and most of them have lived here for 40+ years. I don't understand the relationship between court orders and titles. My title is easement free (except for the mandatory 6ft for all Michigan lakefront homes).

    How do I find out the truth about my easement?
    By combing bach through every deed to the property that has ever been filed.

    I would contact a lawyer that practices real estate law.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,935

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    Easements that are not express grants in a deed can be created by the plat recorded when the land was subdivided into lots. Those recorded plats are in the map room of the county registrar's office. Those plats will not be found by checking recorded deeds unless referred to in the deed. You need to check to see if there is a recorded plat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,583

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    The OP has told us that the easement in question was created in 1955 by a court order. As it is doubtlessly a matter of public record, it may be valid without being found in other county records. Sometimes easements created by courts are only found in the records of the court. Modern title searches relating to conveyances typically only go back forty or fewer years, and liability is typically disclaimed for older issues, even though they may be in full effect.

    It's probably best for the OP to consult a local real estate attorney who should examine the original case in detail in order to better understand the issues addressed by the 1955 court order. As for the location of the easement it created, the court may have ordered a map made, or may have just made up a hazy description of it's extent.
    Resistance is not futile; it is voltage divided by current.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    Thank you for reading my post. Your response is appreciated although it sounds like bad news.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    Have you spoken to a real-estate attorney? Even though the easement exists that should not interfere with your use of the land as long as you don't block the easement.

    You mentioned having a dock and a boat. Aren't docks and swimming platforms on lakes often temporarily installed, or put in during the warmer weather, and removed during the winter when the lake freezes? So if the dock doesn't block the easement then I don't see where the neighbors would have just cause to raise a stink over it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Easement for the Pleasure of the Community

    I have reached out to an attorney and awaiting a reply. I don't know about the language in the order. I don't have a problem with the land easement. I do have a problem if I can't use my dock or leave my boat there. There is a group of non-lakefront dwellers that aggressively assert themselves over this easement issue. They anchored a raft behind my neighbors boat (to presumably stake their claim on the area).

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