Legislation - Policy

U.S. Supreme Court won’t change Indiana ruling: Lake Michigan’s shoreline belongs to all Hoosiers

Photo: Homes along Lake Shore Drive in Long Beach are shown in this May 2017 file photo. The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would not review a Feb. 14, 2018 Indiana Supreme Court ruling that the Lake Michigan shoreline, up to the point where the beach becomes soil, also known as the ordinary high water mark, is unquestionably owned by the state of Indiana, and the public has the right to access the beach for navigation, commerce, fishing, recreation and other purposes. Jonathan Miano, file, The Times

INDIANAPOLIS — There no longer is any legal question that Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline is owned by the state and held in trust for all Hoosiers to enjoy.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would not hear an appeal by lake-adjacent land owners who were seeking to extend their properties to the water’s edge and to limit who could access the beaches near their homes.

As is typical, the nine justices did not say why they denied the review to Bobbie and Don Gunderson and their supporters in the Long Beach Lakefront Homeowners Association.

The high court’s refusal to intervene in the case simply was included on a 28-page order list summarily disposing of hundreds of appeals from across the county.

As a result, the Feb. 14, 2018, Indiana Supreme Court decision in Gunderson v. State is the final word on Lake Michigan property line boundaries in the Hoosier State.

The 4-0 ruling by the state’s high court definitively sets the ordinary high water mark as the boundary between the state-owned land under and adjacent to Lake Michigan, and the interests of nearby private property owners.

The high water mark, essentially the edge of the beach, is defined as the line on the shore established by […]

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U.S. Supreme Court won't change Indiana ruling: Lake Michigan's shoreline belongs to all Hoosiers
There's no longer any legal question that Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline is owned by the state and held in trust for all Hoosiers to enjoy. High Court...
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