Chesterton Tribune



High Court won't hear Lake Michigan beach case

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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 shoreline.

The (Northwest 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 residents.

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.”


Posted 2/20/2019




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