Fraser Twp V Haney Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court

MLSA Funds Filing of Amicus Curiae Brief

By: Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

The MLSA Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to fund and file an amicus curiae brief in the subject Court of Appeals decision which the plaintiff has taken to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that every ordinance enacted by a Michigan township, city, or village has only a 6-year statute of limitations for enforcement or prosecution. Accordingly, if a property owner “gets away with” or even hides an ordinance violation for 6 years or longer, the ordinance cannot be enforced and the landowner is free and clear. Thereafter, the violation can remain forever. As you know, there are numerous local ordinances throughout Michigan that protect our lakes, including but not limited to, zoning ordinances (which regulate development, funneling, etc.), boat and dock ordinances, environmental ordinances, local wetlands ordinances, etc. Those would all be in jeopardy if a violator could get away with something for 6 years or longer.

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and further invited governmental groups to submit an amicus curiae brief on the matter. It was the decision of the Board that MLSA do so also to protect riparian interests on a state-wide basis. Attorney Cliff Bloom is preparing the brief.

Any legal work is expensive, and it is only through the financial support of current and future MLSA members that we are able to represent riparian interests on a state-wide basis. Updates on the subject case will be reported on as the situation develops.

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