The public will keep the right to use Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline for recreation as the U.S. Supreme Court won’t consider arguments from nearby property owners who claimed they also owned the beach.
The court’s decision was released Monday without any explanation in an order turning down dozens of cases from around the country.
The high court’s action keeps in place a 2018 Indiana Supreme Court ruling. That decision found that three property owners in the northwest Indiana town of Porter never owned a private beach because the state has owned the land under its section of Lake Michigan and the adjacent shoreline up to the ordinary high-water mark since its 1816 statehood.
That means the shoreline is available to the public for walking, fishing, boating, swimming and other recreational purposes.
The three residents represented by the California-based Pacific Legal Foundation property-rights law firm claimed their property deeds included the beach area and that it was wrongly taken from them without just compensation from the government, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
A federal appeals court in Chicago declined in May to overturn the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision.