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

Q: Our neighbor is the owner of a shared easement with us. We maintain. Can I push snow onto their land . .

We maintain the land and have only six feet easement beyond the road at that point in the easement. She shares the easement in that area. Since she benefits and there is no other place to put the snow, if the land I push over the embankment lands on her land is it illegal?

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

A: Whose land is the easement on? Yours or hers? It sounds from your question that hers is the 'dominant estate' and yours is the subservient one?

If that is the case, then you are moving snow from HER land that you have a right to use, onto HER land, that you don't have a right to use. That may be 'wrong' technically (can't you use the easement to pile the snow? It seems rather strange that it would be so narrow that you can't use it!) but I don't see an issue so long as you don't block her access in the process.

If you are moving snow from YOUR land onto hers, then technically there is a 'trespass' and it probably isn't OK -- you should blow your snow into YOUR yard.

Bottom line:

So long as you're not BLOCKING her access to the easement or its utility to her land then I don't see an issue, but you should DISCUSS this with the neighbor. And maybe get some legal advice about who actually owns what and get a thorough understanding of what an 'easement' actually is. Yes that means paying a local real estate lawyer for some advice, but that in the long run will be a LOT cheaper than hiring someone after the fact to defend yourself in court.

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