LONG BEACH, Ind.
(AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Indiana residents
who want to extend their property rights to the state’s Lake Michigan
Indiana) Times reports that the high court denied a petition by two
landowners in Long Beach, Indiana, who live adjacent to the lake.
Don and Bobbie
Gunderson were appealing a ruling last year by the Indiana Supreme Court
that set the ordinary high water mark as the boundary between state-owned
land under Lake Michigan and private property. They contended their
lakefront property extends to the water’s edge and that landowners have the
right to limit who uses the beaches abutting their properties.
The Indiana Supreme
Court ruled that the state owns the shoreline and holds it in trust for all
Following the U.S.
Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal, Indiana Attorney General
Curtis Hill expressed his satisfaction. “Legally determining Indiana’s
portion of the Lake Michigan shoreline is rooted in a centuries-old English
common law that predates Indiana’s existence as a state,” Hill said.
“Subsequent state law has consistently upheld the principle that the
‘ordinary high water mark’ is a better boundary than the ever-shifting line
in the sand where the water meets the shore. The practical benefit of this
principle is that everyone retains the right to walk along the shoreline of
this great natural wonder in Indiana’s northwest corner.”