Cheboygan, MI asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Michigan

Q: If a subdivision no longer exists, does a foot path easement that once crossed the lots exist?

A platted subdivison, in the form of a Summer Resort containing 10 lots, created a right-of-way "foot path" easement. The Summer Resort sold each lot and the Summer Resort no longer exists. Therefore, does the foot path still exist despite there not being a Summer Resort?

If the foot path still exists, which party would a plaintiff bring to court to vacate the foot path and convey interest to the adjoining lot owners? Lastly, each lot owner has access to public road and the foot path is not visible and serves no identifiable purpose.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Because all the lots have been sold doesn't mean the "Summer Resort" no longer exists. If there was an easement reserved the dominant tenant (people who have the right to use the easement) likely still has that right. No matter what other access may exist. However, there is no 'one right' answer here. The terms of the easement need to be examined to determine what exactly was created, how it is to be maintained, and who is benefited and burdoned by the easement.

This is a far more complicated question that it appears at first blush. I'd urge you to consult with a local real estate attorney and provide copies of the Summer Resort paperwork that you think implies the entity no longer exists, as well as the deeds to the property on which the path is located. (Not just the plat, but the deeds themselves.)

With all the documents in hand, an attorney can do a fuller analysis and come to a better answer.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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