Marina dispute continues after state sec. backs inverse condemnation suit0
A family is continuing a legal battle over the future of a marina site Bay St. Louis after Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s motion to dismiss has been denied. The Sun Herald reported Judge Lisa P. Dodson ruled the Secretary of State did not properly support the motion to dismiss the Murphys’ case with documentation.
Earlier in the spring, the Murphy family filed an inverse condemnation attorney suit against Hosemann and the city concerning property between the seawall and tide line, which had been the site of Dan B’s Restaurant and Bar.
According to the Murphy family, the property has been unjustly seized and seek compensation. The Secretary of State’s Office claims the 1994 Tidelands Act defined all land on the shore side of a seawall as public trust.
Lacking a proper survey map, the state could not maintain its argument and the court could not determine the property in dispute, the judge said. By statute, property owners affected by the act were given three years to file a legal challenge.
The attorney for the secretary of state argued the case was a boundary dispute saying the Murphy family’s property ends at the water line, but the she declared it ends at the toe of the sea wall.
At the beginning of the the dispute, he Murphys simply wanted to have their property restored to its original condition, but with the marina access ramp complete, the family now wants compensation, he said. The exact amount will be determined by a jury.
The family’s inverse condemnation lawyer said a legal challenge was never filed because the map shows the Murphys’ property line extending past the seawall to the tide line. He argued interpretation of the Tidelands map was the issue.
The lawyer also said statute requires the secretary of state to notify property owners by certified mail when they are not in compliance with the Tidelands map. The owners are given three years from receipt of notice to respond. The Murphy family was never notified their land was in violation of the Tidelands map, Scott said.
A similar lawsuit was filed earlier this year by Scott Favre Public Adjuster LLC. The secretary of state has also filed a motion to dismiss that case. A hearing is scheduled later this year.