University of Vermont AAHS

Michigan Livestock Laws


MICHIGAN STATUTES ANNOTATED
TITLE 5. MUNICIPALITIES
PART ONE. TOWNSHIPS
CHAPTER 34. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
DAMAGES BY BEASTS

5.241. Land damaged by beasts; recovery bar.
Sec. 1. No person shall be entitled to recover any sum of money, in any action at law, for damages done upon lands by any beast or beasts, unless the partition fences by which such lands are wholly or in part enclosed, and belonging to such person, or by him to be kept in repair, shall be of the same height and description as is required by the provisions of section 1, chapter 18, of the Revised Statutes of 1846, being section 605 of the Compiled Laws. No person shall be entitled to recovery in any action for such damages if the same was caused by any beast which gained access to such lands by reason of the failure of such person to erect or maintain that portion of the fence assigned to him therefor pursuant to the provisions of section 5 of chapter 18 of the Revised Statutes of 1846, being section 1068 of the Compiled Laws of 1929.


TITLE 22. PUBLIC UTILITIES
PART TWO. TRANSPORTATION OF PASSENGERS AND FREIGHT
CHAPTER 221. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO RAILROADS
RAILROAD CODE OF 1993


22.1263(323). Farm crossings; expense of construction, maintenance.
Sec. 323. (1) A farm crossing shall be constructed and maintained by the railroad at the expense of the party requesting the crossing.

(2) Width, condition. Farm crossings shall be of such width and condition as shall permit expeditious and safe passage of large farm machinery.

(3) Other private crossings; establishment, use. A railroad may permit the establishment and use of other private crossings on such terms as may be negotiated between the requesting party and the railroad.


22.1263(325). Fencing along right-of-way in agricultural areas.
Sec. 325. (1) The department, after notice and hearing, may order a railroad to erect and maintain such fencing along railroad right-of-way in agricultural areas as shall be necessary to prevent livestock from entry upon that right-of-way. Such fencing shall not be required unless the other boundaries of the property are fenced.

(2) Costs. In agricultural areas, the cost and expense of installation, maintenance, and repair of fencing shall be borne by the railroad. However, if gates or cattle guards are necessitated by the existence of a farm crossing, the cost and expense of installation, maintenance, and repair of such gates or cattle guards shall be considered a cost of the crossing to be borne by the party requesting the gates or cattle guards.

(3) Constructing or repairing fences, owners or proprietors of adjacent farm lands; reimbursement from railroads; liability, damages due to failure to construct or repair fences; railroads. The owner or proprietors of the adjacent farm lands, upon 30 days' written notice to the railroad, may erect or repair the fence and then may recover from the railroad in any court of competent jurisdiction the cost of the fence, together with reasonable compensation for labor in the construction of the fence. The railroad shall also be liable for damages caused by its agents, engines, or cars to livestock by reason of the livestock escaping due to failure to construct or maintain a fence.

(4) Fences in all other areas; responsibility for and cost of installation, maintenance, repair; property owner adjacent to railroad; exception; installation consistent with clearance requirement. The responsibility for and cost of installation, maintenance, and repair of fences in all other areas shall be borne by the property owner adjacent to the railroad unless the fencing is necessitated by the construction of new or the expansion of existing rail facilities, in which case the costs shall be borne by the railroad. The installation of fencing shall be consistent with the clearance requirement of this act. Conflicts between the parties shall be submitted to and decided by the department by order.




MICHIGAN COMPILED LAWS ANNOTATED
CHAPTER 43. FENCES AND FENCE VIEWERS
FENCES AND FENCE VIEWERS


43.51. Fence, definition
Sec. 1. As used in this act, "fence" means a structure or natural barrier which is sufficient to confine an animal as defined in section 1 of Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1976, being section 433.11 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.


43.53. Construction and maintenance; property owner; adjoining property owner or tenant, compensation for use
Sec. 3. (1) The owner of real property who constructs a fence shall pay for the construction and maintenance of that fence.
(2) If an adjoining property owner or a tenant using the property of the adjoining property owner uses or begins to use the fence for purposes of restraining or containing animals the adjoining property owner or tenant shall compensate the owner of the real property who constructed the fence for the adjoining property owner's proportionate share of the current value of the fence as determined by the parties and based upon the adjoining property owner's use of the fence. In the alternative, the adjoining property owner may construct his own fence.


43.54. Fence viewers; appointment, engaging for services, compensation
Sec. 4. (1) The township board in each township shall appoint not less than 1 resident of the township, who may be a township trustee, as a fence viewer. The person or persons appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the township board. The governing body of a city or village shall appoint a fence viewer only under section 6(2).
(2) A person may engage a fence viewer upon written request and upon the payment of $25.00 to the township treasurer or to the city or village treasurer under section 6(2) for each day that the fence viewer's services are needed. The fence viewer shall notify in writing the person who made the request and the owner or owners of the property to be viewed not less than 5 days before the date on which the fence viewer will render his or her services. The fence viewer shall be compensated 80% of the amount received by the township treasurer or city or village treasurer under section 6(2) when the requested service has been performed.


43.55. Duties of fence viewers; notice of decision; boundary disputes; appeal
Sec. 5. (1) If engaged under section 4(2), a fence viewer shall do 1 or more of the following:
(a) Determine if a property owner or tenant in possession of property is using a fence constructed or maintained by an adjoining property owner, and if so, what percentage of the cost of construction and maintenance of the fence the property owner or tenant using the fence is responsible for.
(b) Assess the amount of damage if an animal of a property owner or of a tenant in possession of property causes damage to an adjoining property owner's fence.
(2) Not more than 7 days after a fence viewer renders a decision under subsection (1), the fence viewer shall notify in writing the appropriate property owners or tenant of that decision.
(3) A fence viewer is not charged with the responsibility of settling boundary disputes or determining the location of a boundary. Boundary disputes shall be settled and boundaries determined pursuant to state law.
(4) A person may appeal the decision of a fence viewer to a court of competent jurisdiction.

 

43.56. Disputes; fences between townships or a township and a city or village, or partly in two townships or partly in a township and a city or village
Sec. 6. (1) If a dispute arises with regard to a fence that is the boundary line between townships, or partly in 1 township and partly in another township, 1 fence viewer from each township may be selected to settle the dispute or 1 fence viewer may be selected by mutual agreement of each township.
(2) If a dispute arises with regard to a fence that is the boundary line between a township and a city or village, or partly in 1 township and partly in a city or village, 1 fence viewer from the township and 1 fence viewer from the city or village may be selected to settle the dispute or 1 fence viewer may be selected by mutual agreement of the township and the city or village.

 

43.57. Decisions or agreements for the division of costs, effect
Sec. 7. If there is a decision made for the division of costs of constructing or maintaining a fence by a fence viewer, or through mutual written agreement of the parties recorded in the office of the clerk of each township, city, and village or in the office of the county register of deeds where the land is located, the decision or agreement shall bind the heirs and assigns of the parties until terminated by mutual written agreement recorded in a similar manner or by a subsequent decision of a fence viewer based upon a change of circumstances.

 

43.58. Compensation payments; lien, assessment, collection, payment to owner
Sec. 8. (1) The amount of the payment required by a property owner or tenant under section 3 or 5 [FN1] shall be made on or before the first day of the next succeeding October. In the event of neglect or refusal to pay the sum due, the amount shall become a lien on the property. The fence viewer shall report to the supervisor of the township or to the assessing officer of a city or village not later than the first day of November. The supervisor or assessing officer shall then cause the amount to be spread upon the assessment roll, in a separate column for that purpose, opposite a description of the land owned by the property owner who refuses or neglects to pay the amount. The amount shall be collected in the same manner that other taxes are collected.
(2) The amount collected shall be paid to the property owner to which the amount is due within 30 days after the collection.

Reviewed by AAHS in December 2001.


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