Ocean Springs beach battle to be heard today by supreme court - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs beach battle to be heard today by supreme court


The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today in a case that asks the question who owns a stretch of 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. They're 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 and paid taxes on it. 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 on the beach. The state insists the line is the seawall. The families argued the boundary is the waters edge. 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.

Attorney make their arguments in front of the Mississippi Supreme Court today at 1:30 p.m. 

You can watch a live stream of the proceedings here: http://courts.ms.gov/appellate_courts/sc/scoralarguments.html

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