East Beach property issue to go before State Supreme Court - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

East Beach property issue to go before State Supreme Court

East Beach in Ocean Springs. (Photo source: WLOX News) East Beach in Ocean Springs. (Photo source: WLOX News)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

The State Supreme Court is set to hear opening arguments Tuesday in a case that asks the question who owns a stretch of east beach in Ocean Springs.

Mississippi's highest court will consider an appeal from the Secretary of State, Jackson County and the city of Ocean Springs, challenging a 2012 decision by a judge who denied the state's claim to two parcels on East Beach in Ocean Springs.

Two families filed suit in 2010 to halt the building of a sidewalk on the beach. They argued they owned the property. The judge ruled in their favor.

Attorneys for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, the county and the city argue that the property is public tidelands to be used for the benefit of the public.

This case goes right to the heart of a long standing argument over where private property and public land begins and ends. The state insists the line is the seawall.

The families argued the boundary is the water's edge and the judge sided with the property owners.

Hosemann appealed that decision and warned, if the ruling stands, a majority of the beaches in Jackson County could be considered private property.

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