Indiana Supreme Court: Lake Michigan shoreline open to all

The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark decision that Lake Michigan's shoreline is open to all

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 3:05 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 4:55 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark decision that Lake Michigan's shoreline is open to all, and adjacent property owners can't exercise exclusive control of the beach between their homes and the water.

The 4-0 ruling Wednesday sets the ordinary high water mark as the boundary between the state-owned land under Lake Michigan and the interests of private property owners, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. The high water mark is defined as the line on the shore created by the fluctuations of water.

The ruling settled a longstanding dispute with Don and Bobbie Gunderson, who alleged the deed to their lake-adjacent property showed it extending to the water's edge, regardless of where the water's edge is at any given time. Their attorney argued that landowners have the right to limit who uses the beaches abutting their properties.

Justice Mark Massa said the land extending from that line and continuing into and under the water of Lake Michigan was granted to Indiana at statehood, and has continuously been held in trust for residents since 1816. Individuals are entitled to access the water for navigation, commerce or fishing.

The high court also ruled that at a minimum, walking on the beach is a protected public use. But the justices also said it's up to the General Assembly to decide whether to enact "any enlargement of public rights on the beaches of Lake Michigan."

The ruling could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

West Lafayette
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Kokomo
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 76°
Rensselaer
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 78°
Crawfordsville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Frankfort
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 75°
Monticello
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 75°
Logansport
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 75°
Calm and Cloudy Start this Wednesday Morning.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events