Water Laws and Riparian Rights
Do you live on a lake? Is your property bordered or intersected by a creek, stream or river? Riparian rights are those rights homeowners have to the land and banks bordered by bodies of water. In Michigan, we’re very fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful lakes and streams, but, at times, these borders can lead to disagreements. If you are involved in a dispute over water access, it’s important to seek professional assistance.
Riparian rights vary by state, so it’s important to find a local attorney who is familiar with Michigan laws governing waterways and common uses. At Dingeman & Dancer, PLC, we take pride in our knowledge of Michigan waterways and Michigan water rights laws. When you need help resolving a water rights dispute or planning use for your property, choose Dingeman & Dancer, PLC.
Understanding Riparian Rights or Water Rights Laws in Michigan
The State of Michigan provides the following definition for riparian rights: “rights associated with the ownership of the bank or shore of an inland lake or stream.” While the state’s riparian rights are continually evolving, property owners should be aware of the water laws and their interpretation as it pertains to their property.
If your property includes a bank or shore of a stream or inland lake, you have the following basic water rights:
- Access to a stream or inland lake’s water.
- Freedom to install a dock on the bank or shore and anchor it to the bottom land.
- Right to anchor a boat to the underwater bottom land and secure it to the dock.
- Use of the water from the stream or inland lake for domestic purposes only.
- Right to own the gradual accumulation of organic matter, such as sand or silt, from the bank or shoreline; this is also known as right of accretions.
Do you have property bordered by the Great Lakes? When it comes to public beach walkers, the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that they have a right to walk along privately-owned Great Lakes beaches as long as they do not cross the “ordinary high-water mark.” However, public beach walking on inland lake, riparian-owned banks and shores constitutes trespassing.
Riparian Rights Attorneys in Michigan
At Dingeman & Dancer, PLC, our riparian rights attorneys are experienced in all areas of real estate law, including water rights law. Riparian rights cases may be complicated for attorneys who do not possess in-depth knowledge of local (state) laws and the terrain in question, which is why it’s important to turn to our firm for reliable, local legal counsel and litigation.
From dock disputes and fishing rights to issues concerning public access, we can help you to understand your riparian rights as well as the limitations of those rights and guide you step-by-step through the process of protecting them.
Do you have property bordered by the Great Lakes? When it comes to public beach walkers, the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that they have a right to walk along privately-owned Great Lakes beaches as long as they do not cross the “ordinary high-water mark.”
Let Our Attorneys Resolve Your Water Law Issues
The Dingeman & Dancer, PLC attorneys know how important your property is to you. We are dedicated to using our expertise and aggressive representation in litigation to defend your riparian rights and help you reach a successful resolution to disputes. When you need a riparian rights attorney in Michigan, choose Dingeman & Dancer, PLC.
When you call us, you get us. Call 800-626-0050 or request an appointment online.