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Landowner cannot sue Drain Commissioner where petition hasn't been filed

The Arath companies in Grand Rapids own land inside a Drainage District just south of I-96.  They claim that the Drain Commissioner's negligent design of stormwater flow allows their property to flood by diverting more water over the property than it drains.  The companies attempted to remedy the problem by installing their own 48 inch drain, but were served with a stop order by the MDEQ.  They filed suit, then, attempting to compel the Drain Commissioner to resolve the problem.  The Court of Appeals rejected the suit, holding that the Drain Commissioner was immune from responsibility because he did not have jurisdiction to act until after someone filed a Petition to re-design the work.  Only after such a petition was filed could an "aggrieved" party file a court action to complain about the Drainage District's rules and design.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262