Property Rights

Gunderson v. State of Indiana; LBLHA, LLC v. Town of Long Beach, Indiana

Grabby, grabby! Indiana takes private lakefront property for public sunbathing and volleyball

The state of Indiana and some Indiana towns bordering Lake Michigan declared privately-owned lakefront property to be public land and invited the public to engage in recreational activities on it. The property owners sued because their dry beach property, for which they own the title deed and on which they pay taxes, is not subject to the “public trust doctrine” that applies to navigable water and the land beneath it. As amicus representing a lakefront property owner, PLF argues that because Lake Michigan does not have tides, the stationary waterline should mark the edge of the state’s legitimately held public trust. Any attempt to encroach on property rights landward of that waterline is a taking that requires just compensation.

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