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Property Keyed to Merrill
Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Citation:560 U.S. 702
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
In Florida, the State owns in trust for the public the land permanently submerged beneath navigable waters and the foreshore (the land between the low-tide and the mean high-water line, the average high tide line). In 1961, Florida’s Legislature passed the Beach and Shore Preservation Act. One a beach restoration is “determined to be undertaken,” an erosion-control line is set. It must be set by reference to the existing high-water line, but might be located seaward or landward of that. The fixed erosion-control line replaces the fluctuating average high-water line as the boundary between privately owned littoral property and state property. Once the erosion-control line is recorded, the common law ceases to increase upland property by accretion or decrease it by erosion. Thus, when accretion to the shore moves the average high-water line seaward, the property of beachfront landowners is not extended to that line (as prior law provided), but remains bounded by the permanent erosion-control line. Those landowner “continue to be entitled,” however to all common-law-littoral rights, other than the rights to accretions. In 2003, the city of Destin and Walton County applied for permits to restore 6.9 miles of beach. The plaintiff, Stop the Beach, brought an, unsuccessful, administrative challenge against the project. After that challenge failed, Stop the Beach challenged the project in state court. The trial court ruled in their favor concluding that, contrary to the Act’s preservation of all common-law-riparian rights,” the order eliminated two littoral rights, the right to receive accretions to their property and the right to have the contact of their property with the water remain intact. The trial court determined this affected a ‘”taking” and required just compensation. The defendant, the Florida Supreme Court, rejected that ruling, and determined no taking had occurred. The Florida Supreme Court indicated accretions were not a vested property right, and held there is no littoral right to contract with the water independent of the littoral right to access, which the Act does not infringe. Stop the Beach sued, challenging that the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling itself amounted to a “taking.”
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.