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Posted: 2/23/2006 3:47:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2006 3:59:26 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
It's OK to walk on the beach

U.S. high court lets stand Michigan ruling allowing strolls along Lakes' shorelines.

Charlie Cain and Mark Hornbeck / Detroit News Lansing Bureau


A neighborhood squabble that wound up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court finally ended Tuesday in a case that reaffirmed beach-walking rights along all 3,200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline in Michigan.

The nation's highest court refused to take the case, letting stand a July 2005 Michigan Supreme Court ruling that allows Michiganians to stroll along a narrow strip of lakefront property no matter who owns the land leading up to the water.

That decision overturned a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in 2004 that beach walking was trespassing. About 70 percent of the land along the lakeshore is privately owned.

"If I were Snoopy, I'd be clicking my heels together because I'm so happy," said Joan Glass, a retiree from Greenbush on Lake Huron about 190 miles north of Detroit who initially brought suit five years ago.

Her neighbor in 1999 refused to let her walk along the lake on land adjacent to his cottage.

Glass, a widow who formerly lived in Detroit and West Bloomfield, said she's tapped into the inheritance of her four children to pay for the protracted legal fight.

"If I looked up everything I spent, I would be in such a deep depression I might never come out of it," she said. The attorney for Richard and Kathleen Goeckel, Glass' Greenbush neighbors, said the case sends an ominous warning to beachfront owners all across the country.

"This is incredibly concerning for property owners," said David Powers of Bay City. "Michigan is now the biggest win for the public trust crowd.

"People who live near public access points will see a drastic change and not just from beach walkers. The ruling is broad enough that all of a sudden, people can hunt and fish from the dry shores." That's unheard of in Michigan up until now."

The public right to walk the beaches does not cover inland lakes, where lakeside owners' land rights extend to the middle of the lake.Under the Michigan Supreme Court ruling, beach walking is allowed along the shoreline up to the so-called "ordinary high-water mark," loosely defined as "the point on the bank or the shore up to which the presence and action of the water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark."

Robert LaBrant, general counsel for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce who filed a brief on behalf of the property owners, said that definition is confusing and bound to lead to more litigation.

"For most property owners, this ruling won't mean any dramatic changes. But some will abuse this ability to stroll the lakefront," LaBrant said. "They'll build campfires and lug beer and ice with them and you'll have a lot of people traipsing through."

You can reach Mark Hornbeck at (313) 222-2470 or mhornbeck@detnews.com.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 3:56:04 AM EDT
I see no problem with this ruling. You can't say that all the property up to the water is private property, since it doesn't allow for any easements. Sort of like having a sidewalk in front of your house.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 4:01:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
I see no problem with this ruling. You can't say that all the property up to the water is private property, since it doesn't allow for any easements. Sort of like having a sidewalk in front of your house.



There aren't sidewalks in many parts of MI.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:30:47 PM EDT
.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:32:31 PM EDT
Then hopefully they're not being taxed on the part of their property that is now 'public.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:33:16 PM EDT
I actually OWN part of the lake we live on. Its fenced off and everything. So if someone gets on my "beach" front, its trespassing.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:33:57 PM EDT
....You don't own the water, it's God's water... maaaaan

Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:37:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
....You don't own the water, it's God's water... maaaaan




So if someone gets hurt on the now public property, who do they sue?


-K
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:37:18 PM EDT
Good ruling
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:38:10 PM EDT
they have declaired the "high water mark" to be a public access. basically the "beach" area.


kind of like how my property line extends to the middle of the road. yet i cannot prevent people from using the half of the road that i own and pay taxes on.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:41:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:

Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
....You don't own the water, it's God's water... maaaaan




So if someone gets hurt on the now public property, who do they sue?


-K



She can sue ME!! SUE ME, SUE ME!!
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:45:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bastiat:
Then hopefully they're not being taxed on the part of their property that is now 'public.



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA­HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA­
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH­AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA­HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH­AHAHA!

Oh wait, you weren't serious, were you?

Well, maybe for once a government will be sensible and deny themselves a benefit so they can benefit the average citizen.

Ah. Aha. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA­!

Okay, I've gotta stop thinking about this, I'm about to choke! Hahahahaha!
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:46:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:

Originally Posted By Special-K:

Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
....You don't own the water, it's God's water... maaaaan




So if someone gets hurt on the now public property, who do they sue?


-K



She can sue ME!! SUE ME, SUE ME!!



So I'm gonna need, like, $130 from you.. whenever you get the chance..

Taking a beach-walking case to the SCOTUS? The only winners here are the lawyers.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:48:50 PM EDT
I don't know why Michigan people are so upset about this. That's the way it is in almost any coastal state or state with navigable waters.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:50:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:53:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Special-K:

Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW:
....You don't own the water, it's God's water... maaaaan




So if someone gets hurt on the now public property, who do they sue?


-K



Why God of course.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 6:58:55 PM EDT
It's like this is Hawaii and CA. Probably most states with ocean or Great Lakes boundaries. Public access....Like gravity, it's the law.
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