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Riparian rights is a system of allocating water among those who possess land about its source. Under the riparian principle, all landowners whose property is adjacent to a body of water have the right to make reasonable use of it.

Riparian rights include such things as the right to access for swimming, boating, and fishing; the right to wharf out to a point of navigability; the right to erect structures such as docks, piers, and boat lifts; the right to use the water for domestic purposes; the right to accretions caused by water level fluctuations; the right to view and protection of view. Riparian rights also depend upon “reasonable use” as it relates to other riparian owners to ensure that the rights of one riparian owner are weighed fairly and equitably with the rights of adjacent riparian owners.

Clark Hill attorneys have experience representing parties in a full range of public and private riparian and other related real estate disputes. Our clients include municipalities, government agencies, waterfront and homeowner’s associations, as well as private citizens. Our lawyers have successfully argued and tried cases throughout the state, as well as in the Michigan Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and before various government agencies including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. These are just a few of the reasons why our firm is repeatedly chosen and recommended to handle our clients’ riparian and real estate needs.