Washington limits the reach of the public trust doctrine

March 15, 2018 | By BRIAN HODGES

The Washington Supreme Court, today, issued its final decision in the public trust case, Chelan Basin Conservancy v. GBI Holding Co.  Broadly stated, the public trust doctrine holds that lands under navigable waters are open to the public for commerce, navigation, fishing, and recreation, regardless of who owns the submerged lands. Over the years, ...


Secure property rights are the key to conservation

August 04, 2017 | By JONATHAN WOOD

Too often, property rights and conservation are treated as if they are in tension. But, in reality, property rights are a proven means to encourage responsible stewardship, resolve conflicts over limited resources, and empower environmentalists to protect resources they value. To achieve these positive environmental ends, however, property rights m ...


Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear public trust case

May 24, 2017 | By JEREMY TALCOTT

An interesting public trust case will be heard in the Wisconsin Supreme Court that has some potentially significant ramifications. Like many lawsuits, it starts with a dispute between neighboring landowners (who also happen to be brother and sister). At issue is whether or not a landowner that owns property adjacent to a flowage (a special kind o ...


Weekly litigation update — May 13, 2017

May 13, 2017 | By JOSHUA THOMPSON

PLF fights for booksellers’ First Amendment rights On Thursday, PLF filed a major civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Book Passage, a bookstore in the Bay Area. The lawsuit challenges a California statute that requires businesses that sell signed items to demonstrate the authenticity of the signatures. This is a particular problem for bookstore ...


NC Supreme Court agrees to review beach access takings case

April 15, 2016 | By J. DAVID BREEMER

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 islan ...


NC beach takings case to get a hearing

August 19, 2015 | By J. DAVID BREEMER

On August 24, 2015, the North Carolina Court of Appeals will hold an oral argument in the important beach takings case of Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle. That case, described more fully here, involves a Town’s attempt to re-define a strip of a couple’s dry sandy beachfront land as a Town vehicle service lane and a … ...


NC town's webpage defends invasion of beachfront property in PLF case

May 06, 2015 | By J. DAVID BREEMER

In Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle, PLF attorneys represent North Carolina property owners whose dry beach front land has been converted into a roadway for Town and public vehicles by Town laws. The owners — the Nies — sued the Town of Emerald Isle, asserting that it had unconstitutionally taken their property by authorizing an ongo ...


PLF files amicus brief in the Oswego Lake public access lawsuit

November 25, 2014 | By BRIAN HODGES

Today, PLF attorneys filed an amicus brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals in Kramer v. City of Lake Oswego—a case in which two public access activists argue that the “public trust doctrine” should be extended to create easements across dry, upland property so that the public can gain access “to . . . navigable … ...


Town settles one PLF beach takings case; dragged to trial in another

November 11, 2014 | By J. DAVID BREEMER

Several years ago, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) become involved as lead counsel in two important beach property disputes out of North Carolina, as discussed further here.  The cases are Town of Nags Head v. Toloczko and Sansotta v. Town of Nags Head.  In both cases, the Town denied repairs for private beach cottages, and tried to remove the ...