Skip to main content
A Better Partnership
June 24, 2009

COA Opinion: Dedication of Lakefront Road for Public Use Cuts off Riparian Rights

Yesterday, the Court of Appeals published a per curiam decision in 2000 Baum Family Trust v. Babel, No. 284547, which affirmed the decision of the Charlevoix County Circuit Court that the owners of lots that fronted Lake Charlevoix but were separated from the water by a road, did not have riparian rights because that road had been dedicated to public use. The Court concluded that the dedication of the road for public use, which was done under the 1887 Plat Act, vested the public with a fee title interest in the road. The fronting property owners argued that the dedication was only for the limited purpose of maintaining the street, and did not cut off their riparian rights. The Court of Appeals agreed that the language of the dedication controls the extent and scope of the fee interest. But the Court of Appeals examined the exact language in the 1911 dedication, and concluded that the broad dedication of the road for the public's "use" did not limit the scope of the fee interest to maintenance and does not vest the property owners with any riparian rights.

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.



+ -