Judge dismisses lawsuit over Maple Bluff pier access

Lake Mendotas Rocky Shore

MAPLE BLUFF, Wis. — A Dane County judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that would have limited some Maple Bluff residents’ access to Lake Mendota, saying a decades-old easement included in deeds for area properties gives residents the right to access the lakeshore.

In 1929, Maple Bluff’s founders created a patch of land called Outlot D and granted the land a right of way, which allowed people to pass over the space even if it was owned by someone else. The right of way is written into the deeds of roughly 100 homes in the neighborhood and gave those homeowners access to the lakefront they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Neighborhood residents have used a community pier on Outlot D since at least 1957.

The lawsuit, which was filed by plaintiff Robert Dunn and his attorneys in July 2020, claimed that the defendants didn’t have a right to place and use a pier on Outlot D, which Dunn purchased after it went into foreclosure in 2018.

Online court records show Judge Everett Mitchell dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning Dunn will not be able to re-file a suit against the defendants or any others.

FROM 2020: Feud over Maple Bluff Pier heads to court

“We are very pleased that Judge Mitchell agreed with us that the off-lake homeowners have an absolute right to install place and use a community,” the defendants’ attorney Jon Axelrod said in a statement to News 3 Now.

News 3 Now reached out to Dunn’s attorneys for comment but did not immediately receive a response.