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Landowner may not maintain public nuisance claim arising out of alleged mis-use of common area

The Ford Motor Company deeded parcel of woodland area 15-20 feet behind the Fairlane Woods Country Townhomes Condominium to Association with restrictions on development.  A resident, Jack Robinson, believed that some of his neighbor owners were violating the restrictions by clearing and gardening a section of the woodland.  He sued them and the Condominium group to prohibit non-conforming uses of the woodland.

The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of his nuisance claim.  It ruled that despite his proximity and his residency in the condominium, he had suffered no injury different than the public at large.  It ruled that the law limiting private nuisance actions to citizens who have suffered a "type of harm different from the general public" applied to preclude him from filing suit over the alleged public nuisance.   It also ruled that he had not remedy under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act and that since he was not a party to the underlying litigation, he did not derive standing from a 1978 Final Judgment addressing the issue.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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