High Contrast

Our Feed

We are involved in our communities, our profession, and our clients' associations and activities.

Who is responsible for sidewalks within an unincorporated village in the township?

The township has jurisdiction over sidewalks within township boundaries, regardless of the existence of the unincorporated village. “A municipal corporation in which a sidewalk is installed . . . shall maintain the sidewalk in reasonable repair.” MCL 691.1402a. A municipal corporation may be a city, village, or township. MCL 691.1401(d). Therefore, an unincorporated village does not qualify as a municipal corporation under the statute, which means that it is not required to maintain the sidewalk.

Further, in cases where the sidewalk in question was within the limits of a street in an unincorporated village in the township, Michigan courts have concluded that those sidewalks are “under the care and control of the township authorities,” and that “there is liability on the part of the township for its failure to keep those sidewalks in reasonable repair for public travel.” Welton v Crystal Twp, 152 Mich 486, 493; 116 NW 390 (1908); Listanski v Canton Charter Twp, 206 Mich App 356, 373; 523 NW2d 229 (1994).

Finally, MCL 41.288a states that “the township board of a township may order the construction, repair, or maintenance of, or may contract, repair, or maintain sidewalks in a designated area within the township because of the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of the township.” There is no similar grant of statutory authority for unincorporated villages, which suggests that the incorporated township is responsible for the sidewalks within the unincorporated village in the township.

Recent Articles & Announcements

  1. What can my township do with lef...

    Act 188 of 1954 (“Act 188”) is a statute that many townships use to finance many improvements using special assessments ranging from lak...

    Read More
  2. Renewable Energy Projects – Ge...

    Renewable energy projects including utility-scale wind and solar energy developments are becoming more and more prevalent in Michigan. In re...

    Read More
  3. Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC...

    Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC is delighted to announce that three new summer associates will be joining the firm for its 2021 summer asso...

    Read More
Talk to an Attorney
Request a Consultation

At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we’ve been helping municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and more with their legal needs since 2008. We’d love to learn how we can help you, too.