Asked July 31, 2018, 11:50 AM EDT

Can an access easement be abandoned if it was created more than 50 years ago and never used? We found documentation of the easement created in 1944, but it has not physically been used and was not in the legal description for many, many years.

Muskegon County Michigan

1 Response


In Schadewald v. Brule, 225 Mich App 26, 38; 570 NW2d 788 (1997), the Michigan Court of Appeals wrote “Once granted, an easement cannot be modified by either party unilaterally. Douglas v Jordan, 232 Mich 283, 287; 205 NW2d 52 (1925); Tittiger v Johnson, 103 Mich App 437, 443; 303 NW2d 26 (1981). The owner of an easement cannot materially increase the burden of it upon the servient estate or impose thereon a new and additional burden. Delaney v Pond, 350 Mich 685, 687; 86 NW2d 816 (1957).”

You will likely need to settle the matter in Circuit Court. You are encouraged to work with an attorney experienced in this area of law. You may wish to search the State Bar of Michigan’s Attorney Search for those with experience in ‘Real Estate\Real Property” -

Nothing herein should be considered legal advice.