November 17, 2009
The Ninth Circuit ruled in United States v. Milner that the mean-high-water line – this country’s principal waterfront property boundary, lies where it would lie, if shore-defense structures such as levees and seawalls had never been built. The new “legal” mean-high-water line thus lies in many cases landward – far landward – of where it had been thought to be. The result calls into question the title not only of the waterfront property owners, but perhaps also of the owners of more inland parcels. The Ninth Circuit is the federal appeals court for the western United States. Its decision was rendered by three judges and could be reviewed by a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit.
See article entitled The Mean-High-Water Line Is Not Where It Is, But Where It Would Be — If Seawalls And Levees Had Never Been Built, The Ninth Circuit Rules written by affiliated member, John Briscoe on this ruling.