The Michigan Court of Appeals has issued its opinion in the matter of Studley v Township of Hill et al, (Case No. 303845; 2013 WL 2278075). The case involves the Plat of Shady Shores Park in Ogemaw County. The land was platted in 1928. When it was platted a long and narrow strip of land was privately dedicated as a Beachway. The strip of land ran from a subdivision road down the waters edge of the lake upon which the plat fronted. The trial court restricted the use of the Beachway to ingress and egress only and not for private dockage, overnight mooring, and other park-like uses. The Court of Appeals affirmed and, significantly, held that the legal principles for determining the allowed uses of a private easement are the same as a public way leading to the waters edge. The Court of Appeals further confirmed that the burden of evidence is upon the user who wishes to argue that the scope of the dedication allows marina and park-like activities. The prevailing party was represented by William Carey at trial as well as the Court of Appeals.
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