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

Q: I purchased some land approximately 10 years ago people from a private subdivision have been driving on a short road on

Through it there is not an easement can i close it and not allow people to use the road

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Michigan, if you own land and there is no formal easement allowing others to use a road on your property, you generally have the right to restrict access to it. An easement would typically be recorded in the property's deed or other legal documents, so it's important to verify this first. If no such easement exists, you can take steps to close off the road.

However, there are potential complications to consider. If the road has been used by others for a long period, they might claim a "prescriptive easement." This is a legal right that can be established through continuous, open, and notorious use of the land over a certain period, usually 15 years in Michigan. If such a claim is made, it can become a legal issue that might require adjudication.

Before taking any action, it's wise to consult with a legal professional. They can help assess the situation, review any potential claims of prescriptive easement, and advise on the best course of action. It's also a good practice to communicate with the people using the road, as resolving this amicably can often be more effective and less contentious than legal enforcement.

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