Supreme Court To Decide Who Owns The Beach

Today, the Supreme Court of the Unitied States will hear oral arguments in Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, Walton County and City of Destin, Docket 08-1151.  The case will decide whether beach restoration constitutes an illegal taking of private property.  

At the heart of the case is the restoration of 6.9 miles of beach in Destin, Walton County, Florida that resulted in 75 feet public beach in front of the 5 beach-front property owners that make up Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc.  The renews the debate of public vs. private beaches.  The complaining property owners claim Florida used the excuse of beach renourishment to illegally take land for the creation of public beach without just compensation.

You can review the brief of Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. here and Florida’s response brief here.  You can find all merit and amicus briefs here.

Twenty-six states joined together to file an amicus brief in favor of Florida.  The case has also attracted amicus briefs from the United States and a number of municipal and nonprofit organizations.

A decision is expected before the end of June, 2010.

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