Notable Cases

  • Cases involving the wrongful locations of docks on lake bottoms
  • Blocking of ingress/egress roads to and from lake homes
  • Matters of public access to lakes and rivers
  • Cases regarding width and length of public accesses
  • Matters involving the rights of front lot versus backlot owners
  • Lakefront owner lost valuable beach due to wave action caused by a permanent pier of neighbor
  • A township supervisor wrongfully removed the dock of a local business at 5 a.m., and stored it in a private garage located miles away. Link to case file
  • Injunction issued restraining Defendants from keeping farm animals on portion of their property which was encumbered by a flowage easement covering that land on either side of a river, and a construction easement covering a dam and surrounding land. These lands were part of a massive US Government project which paid for these easements to prevent recurring and massive flooding of a Northern Michigan town. The grazing animals were damaging the soil and vegetation which endangered and weakened the dam itself. The case was affirmed on appeal. Link to case file
  • The subdivision involved was where Chuck Hoffman lived for a year after finishing law school.  Later, he represented the local road commission in the early stages of the Little v Hirschman litigation.  It was initially alleged by plaintiffs that Chuck’s road commission client had jurisdiction over the public and private dedications in the plat.  It was denied by the road authority that it had accepted all of the public dedications into its jurisdiction and that it had no responsibility and/or jurisdiction over a park and the alleys to and from it. Upon that basis, the road commission entered into a judgment that it had no jurisdiction over these areas in the plat.  The private parties continued the litigation.  The case is very notable for the reason that it was the first case wherein the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that private dedications of roads, alleys and parks in plats were valid.  Prior to that holding, only public dedications were recognized. Link to case file
  • A suit by DNR to restrain local road commission from removing berms erected on two track roads in Pigeon River State Forest. The Trial Court ruled for the road commission. On appeal, the lower court was reversed for the reason that the State had jurisdiction over the roads. (However, the only jurisdiction that the State of Michigan has over roads is State Trunk line highways–those designated with an “M” before a number such as M19 or M27.) Link to case file