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Property Keyed to Merrill
State of Oregon ex rel. Thornton v. Hay
Citation:462 P.2d 671 (Or. 1969)
From the time of the earliest settlement in the Oregon territory to the present day, the general public has assumed that the dry-sand area was a part of the public beach and has used the dry-sand area accordingly. The Hays owned a beachfront resort property and they decided to fence in the portion of the dry-sand area included in their title to the property. The State of Oregon sued the Hays to prevent them from erecting fences and obstacles to the dry-sand area included in their title under the theory that the public had a right to use the dry-sand area. The Supreme Court of Oregon affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the State and held that via custom the public had a right to use the dry-sand area on Oregon’s coastline.
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