Property Rights

Surfrider Foundation v. Martins Beach 1, LLC

Beachfront property owners have a constitutional right to exclude trespassers

When a beachfront property owner discontinued his practice of allowing beachgoers to park on his land for a fee, disgruntled beachgoers sued the owner to establish their “right” to trespass on the owner’s land. They based their claim on the “public trust” doctrine, which gives the state title to waters and the land beneath. It does not extend to dry beach land. The state trial court rejected the beachgoer’s proposed expansion of the doctrine and the beachgoers appealed. PLF represents the California Farm Bureau and California Cattlemen’s Association as amicus to support the owner’s constitutional right to exclude trespassers from the dry sand areas of his property.

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