Murphy family vs. Mississippi, Bay St. Louis continues

(Image source: WLOX News.)
(Image source: WLOX News.)


The Murphy family verses the State of Mississippi and the City of Bay St. Louis headed into its fourth day at trial Friday. As we've reported, the case involves a beach front land dispute.

The Murphy family contends the city took their property and built the city's new seawall and marina there without compensation, and they say the Secretary of State's Office allowed the city to do it. Everyone involved were tight lipped about their cases.

"See us tomorrow. We will have something to say," said Ken Murphy.

Attorney Hugh Keating is representing the Secretary of State's Office.

"I'm not in the position to comment on litigation that's in process . I appreciate it, and I hope everybody understands, but we're making our case the best way we can, and we will see how it goes," explained Keating.

The city's attorney Don Rafferty was silent too.

"I can't make any comments right now," said Rafferty.

On Wednesday, the Murphy's attorney called to the stand a real estate attorney from Jackson.

"I told the court and the jury that the Murphy's have fee simple title to the property," said Real Estate Attorney

K.F. Boackle.

Fee simple title means the Murphy's own the property, according to Boackle.

Thursday, Real Estate Appraiser Robert Crook testified the 14,000 plus square feet the Murphy's own on the beach was valued at $800,000. The state contends the seawall and then the harbor marina were built there for a higher public use.

"It's unconstitutional to take private property without paying for it," Boackle said.

The state is leasing the property to the city for $1 a year.

An expert witness from the Secretary of State's Office testified the state supreme court ruled nearly 30 years ago that the state owned the littoral rights to all water front property bottoms of all beach front property from the seawall to the mean-high tide line.

Testimony continued in the case Friday morning. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann could possibly be called as a witness in the case.

The jury is expected to be taken to the beach front for an up close look at the property in question sometime Friday.

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