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Didzis

Dock in fresh water - private property?

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Does anyone happen to know if you own real estate in Massachusetts up to the shoreline of a freshwater pond and install a floating dock about 15 feet out in front of your parcel, whether the dock is considered your private property? Do swimmers/fishermen/others have a legal right to use it, since it is in the water?

 

My guess is that if you put it out there, you have to deal with the consequences of others wanting to get on it from time to time, but I'm curious if anyone knows the law or has his/her own thoughts on this?

 

Thanks,

Didzis

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My understanding -- and I'm not a lawyer, but am a waterfront property owner and reformed user of other people's floats when waterskiing -- of how this works is that the floating dock is your property from a liability standpoint but is fair game for others to use -- though if you're home and on your waterfront, you could certainly shoo them away.

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View PostMy understanding -- and I'm not a lawyer, but am a waterfront property owner and reformed user of other people's floats when waterskiing -- of how this works is that the floating dock is your property from a liability standpoint but is fair game for others to use -- though if you're home and on your waterfront, you could certainly shoo them away.

 

how can you shoo them away if they can access the doc?? Great topic and I would be interested in the answer as well.

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Think of it as a moored boat, a car in a public parking lot or a motor cycle parked on the main street, they are all on public property but they are still privately owned and off limits to any and everyone without the owners permission!!!!!!

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View PostThink of it as a moored boat, a car in a public parking lot or a motor cycle parked on the main street, they are all on public property but they are still privately owned and off limits to any and everyone without the owners permission!!!!!!

 

 

 

you are corect but i beleive as long as it doesnt block the right of way to pass by it, if it does they can walk over it but shouldnt be on it,

when i was in high school fishing at whites pond in concord i was wading and got to a dock coulnd go around it too deep, so went over it, it had a no trespassing sign on it, owner called the cops, they showed up, and told him i wasnt doing anything wrong, i was in the water and only passed over his dock because it was blocking from staying in the water, he was told to take the sign down and put it on the land if he wanted to keep people off his property, but couldnt say you cant go by my house in the water cause my docks in the way

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Thanks for the feedback thusfar. I'm a lawyer myself but not this type of lawyer. I agree with "Eagles" that this may be regulated at the city/town level and not at the state level. I thought that it would be treated like a car - it's private property, just placed in a public space. But there are established rules when it comes to that - there are certain legal places to do it and it's only for a short period of time. Perhaps "Lost" is on the right track - you can put it there, and expect that people won't linger, but have to accept that if someone is travelling through that public space, they can cross it without being considered as tresspassing.

 

What's behind this is that we have a place on a small freshwater pond on the Cape and have always had a raft. There is a "custom" around the pond, which only has 15 houses or so on it, that you don't use someone else's raft. But occassionally, someone comes by that isn't aware of this, or there is a group staying at someone's house for a weekend that thinks everything placed in the water is fair game, and I feel I have to "shoo" them because they end up lingering right in front of our house and I'm concerned that, if not addressed, the practice will continue. I have always wondered whether I have a legal right to do so or whether I am just relying on the accepted practices of my neighbors.

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The problem I have is that a person could build a dock out to the middle of the lake and that dock still be considered private?? I feel that all docks are blocking our access to that area on the lake. and if they are we should have access to them....but who knows.

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View PostThe problem I have is that a person could build a dock out to the middle of the lake and that dock still be considered private?? I feel that all docks are blocking our access to that area on the lake. and if they are we should have access to them....but who knows.

 

Again, it would be regulated by the town. Read the PDF I posted above. Docks there (Holland MA) are limited to 50' from the high water mark, or 1/3 of the way to the opposite shore, whichever is less. There's also a clause that no dock will be longer than needed to safely moor a boat.

 

There's no way a town is going to let someone build a dock 1/2 way across a lake.

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View PostDoes anyone happen to know if you own real estate in Massachusetts up to the shoreline of a freshwater pond and install a floating dock about 15 feet out in front of your parcel, whether the dock is considered your private property? Do swimmers/fishermen/others have a legal right to use it, since it is in the water?

 

 

My guess is that if you put it out there, you have to deal with the consequences of others wanting to get on it from time to time, but I'm curious if anyone knows the law or has his/her own thoughts on this?

 

 

Thanks,

 

Didzis

 

Think of it this way, Moored Boat in fresh water - private property?

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View Posthow can you shoo them away if they can access the doc?? Great topic and I would be interested in the answer as well.

 

 

I would try a simple HEY THAT'S MY DOCK. Only a real d-h would make an issue of sticking around at that point, and I would probably try not to escalate into a conflict. (35 years ago, I would have a few next steps in mind, but now I generally try to remember the adage, "wrestle with a pig & the pig has fun while you get covered in sh#t.")

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