Documents

Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle Documents 8-25-14

Petition for Writ of Certiorari and Appendix

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J. David Breemer

Senior Attorney

David (Dave) Breemer developed a passion for liberty while reading classics such as John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, as he pursued a … ›

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Meriem L. Hubbard

Senior Attorney

Meriem Hubbard has been an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation since January 2000.  She litigates cases involving property rights, public finance issues, and preferences in government hiring, contracting, and education. … ›

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Case Commentary

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By J. David Breemer

PLF asks Supreme Court to hear massive beach land grab case

This week, Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys filed a Petition for Certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to review the case of Nies v Town of Emerald Isle, discussed more here  The Petition presents the important question of “whether the Takings Clause permits a state to statutorily redefine an entire coastline of privately owned dry beach parcels as a “public trust” area open for public use, without just compensation?”

As this blog explained here, and here, this case arising from the Town of Emerald Isle’s enactment of ordinances allowing the public and town officials to use the Nies’ privately owned dry beach land, without any compensation

The state courts held the

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By J. David Breemer

NC Supreme Court agrees to review beach access takings case

Today, the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed to review the case of Nies v Town of Emerald Isle, a beach property rights dispute pitting a couple’s right to limit access to their beachfront land against a local government’s desire to open it up the land to public and town driving

The case arises from Emerald Isle, a barrier island on North Carolina’s Atlantic shore Gregory and Diane Nies own a residential, beachfront lot that extends seaward to the high tide mark Their ownership includes the dry sand beach area in front of their home

After they acquired the property, the Town of Emerald Isle enacted an ordinance that made a 20-foot ribbon of their dry sand beach area

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By J. David Breemer

PLF asks NC supreme Court to decide "public trust" beach takings case

On December 9, 2015, PLF attorneys asked the North Carolina Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals’  published decision in Nies v Town of Emerald Isle In that case, described more fully here, the Court of Appeals concluded, for the first time in state history, that the public and government may enter and occupy  privately owned dry sand beach areas, without owner consent, under the theory that the “public trust doctrine” applies to such lands

The public trust doctrine, and the public beach uses it allows, has historically been limited to  state-owned wet beach areas below the mean high water mark However, relying on an ambiguous (at best)

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