Can County Force a Drainage Easement Through Mediation?

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“I have a question that involves a private drainage easement. I live in what I call “the back forty in cow county” (Fowlerville, MI). I am in a law suit currently where I am being sued for “natural flow of water blockage” across my property. The previous owners failed to disclose this and no information is available from the county drain commission. With all that aside now there is no blockage however, the water flows from east to west. The water flows under a tile and into a county drain. Well, that is supposed to be the compromise from my mediation. Here I am clueless under the impression that I will be installing a culvert under my said property and tying it into the drain.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Here lies my question: all of a sudden I feel that I am being blackballed into getting a private drain easement. To my knowledge nothing was ever discussed about this easement. Now my lawyer and the other party wants me to sign and agree. Well, I don’t! What can I do?

I am a young clueless first time home owner!”

I’m not completely sure I understand the question, here, but it seems that the problem is more about the mediation than about the easement. I don’t know how it is in Michigan, but here in California what happens in a mediation is privileged, and only what you put in the settlement is enforceable. It’s possible you agreed to this easement as part of the settlement, but you’d have to look.

More importantly, your attorney should be explaining things to you, not giving you orders. He works for you, not the other way around. Ask your attorney to explain his advice; you may discover that it all makes sense after all. If not, then you’ve got a decision to make. If you back out on the settlement, you’re back with the dispute the way it was before the mediation — with all the risks and costs that come with that. You may not want the easement, but you should consider that the litigation could be worse (and for all I know you might end up with the same easement at the end).

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Author: House Attorney

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