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Author Topic: is high tide line where private property starts  (Read 7029 times)
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Jim Bright
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« on: April 21, 2012, 10:11:54 PM »

I was walking a tidal creek w my kid today.  We were in the water and a guy walked over and said we were tresspassing...said his deed is old and he owns to low water .  Does this sound accurate to you guys?  I always thought the tidal rivers of Md allowed public access to the high water mark.b

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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 06:24:28 AM »

The guy was right.  My deed say I own the property to "mean low water"....

"Mean Low Water (MLW): A tidal datum. The average of all the low water heights observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch."
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
Jim Bright
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 07:37:00 AM »

Interseting....well i am glad i didnt argue with the guy and just left the area...even though we were prob still below where he owned.  So is every deed different?
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jack1747
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 07:41:58 AM »

I don't know but the place I owned in MD and this place in VA were both the same...
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
ChrisS
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 09:07:58 AM »

I believe Jack may be wrong, in MD, its the Mean High tide.

Riparian rights in MD are blurry at best.
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in·teg·ri·ty   
–noun 1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty

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Jim Bright
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 09:18:11 AM »

 I have asked a few other people and they all seemed to think high tide too but none of the people i asked own waterfront....as jack does. Im not sure what to think
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jack1747
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 09:18:44 AM »

I believe Jack may be wrong, in MD, its the Mean High tide.

Riparian rights in MD are blurry at best.
Your right Chris.. I just checked with my neighbor his property is in MD.  His deed say MHW...  Mine in VA it's MLW.
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 09:38:49 AM »

Interesting trend.. Thanks for posting. I kinda wondered about that.
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I wish i was a crab.
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 09:46:30 AM »

I was walking a tidal creek w my kid today.  We were in the water and a guy walked over and said we were tresspassing...said his deed is old and he owns to low water .  Does this sound accurate to you guys?  I always thought the tidal rivers of Md allowed public access to the high water mark.b



If the bold above is true, he has no case.

I know there are some areas on the mid and lower Eastern Shore where people are deeded the bottom of some marshes and guts. Like I said, its blurry at best.

Just go get a "Free" house boat and drag it up into that creek and invite a few homeless people to live it. Call it the S.S. Squatter and tell the guy, good luck getting them out of there and next time, dont try and be so Greedy!
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in·teg·ri·ty   
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Captain Dave
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 05:09:03 AM »

Even if your deed reads that you own to the low water,the Riparian Rights Act of(1978 I believe)says that you really own to the high mark and anything below that is public.A lot of people are confused about this but it is the law in the United States.I think if someone could prove that their property was a colonial era Kings Grant then they might have exclusive rights to low water but that would be rare.
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jack1747
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 07:44:01 AM »

In determining boundaries there is a clear distinction between properties that front on navigable and non-navigable waters. Navigable waters are both those bodies of water that are obviously highways of commerce (the Hudson River, the Delaware River, the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, etc.) and those that have been declared by a state legislature as navigable.

In the case of navigable waters, title goes to the average low water mark. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court defined this as the "ordinary low water mark, unaffected by drought; that is, the height of the water at ordinary stages." Appeal of York Haven Water & Power Co., 212 Pa. 622, 62 A.97 (1905). Land beyond the low water mark belongs to the state government in the case of the 13 original states. Lands between the high and low water marks are subject to the police powers of the states. (See United States v. Pennsylvania Salt Mfg. Co., 16 F.2d 476 (E.D. Pa., 1926)). In the case of the original 13 states, upon ratification of the United States Constitution, title to these lands did not change, it remained vested in the several states.

However, these titles became subject to the "Commerce Clause" of the Constitution which created an easement or "servitude" benefiting the federal government for the purpose of regulating commerce on navigable bodies of water. Borax Consolidated, Ltd. v. City of Los Angeles, 29 U.S. 10, 56 S. Ct. 23, 80 L.Ed 9 (1935).

As new lands were acquired by the United States, either by purchase or treaty, title to the beds of all navigable or tidal lakes, or rivers became vested in the United States, unless they had been validly conveyed into private ownership by the former sovereign. McKnight v. Brodell, 212 F.Supp 45. During the territorial period of these lands, the United States held these title "in trust" for the benefit of the future states which would be carved out of the territory. Hymes v. Grimes Company, 165 F. 2d 323. Each of the states were to come into the Union on an "equal footing" with the original thirteen states.

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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2012, 08:06:40 AM »

Now i'm not a waterfront homeowner and i dont' know what you were doing other than what your post said or if he has something worth protecting in the water, but GEEZUS Mr. Landowner the guy is just walking in the water.
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Crabs picked
crewstation
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 09:13:48 AM »

With his kid.
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Oh, de crab, he taste so fine.
Yuh catch 'um wid a neck an' a line.
Bile de water 'til 'e good 'n hot.
Den eat de crab strait from 'de pot.

Oh, de beer, he taste so chilly.
Drinks it 'til I gets too silly.
Washin' down 'de crab an' butter.
If I doesn't fall down, I'll 'ave anudder.
Jim Bright
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 12:41:05 PM »

WOW---this is definitely one of those legal questions where there is no easy answer.  So the way the law reads the average person would have to know if a body of water is considered navigable, or non-navigable waters, if it is tidal or non-tidal, if it is considered a tidal wetland area, and what the historical low water mark is before he or she decides to walk in the water?  I'm sure I missed something in there. 
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Jim Bright
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 12:47:40 PM »

Hey I should include that the guy was just speaking his mind. I guess he feels like his landowner rights are constantly being infringed upon by people.  From what I've heard he has owned that property for quite a while and I can imagine he has seen more and more people every year he has owned the place and I guess at some point you just reach a breaking point.  To give a few more details---that might really throw a wrench into the debate---his property borders a tidal creek that's 10 feet wide and it's beautiful--covered in grass and there is always baitfish/crabs/etc and my son and I were making our way up the creek.  He said he owns that creek as well.  Is this possible?  Seems like it could be based on tidal levels, although I have never seen the creek empty.  But then again maybe some days when the wind is howling and the tide is out there is no creek. 
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2012, 06:12:59 PM »

there are fresh water streams or cricks in md. where the landowner owns the stream bed and the water flowing over it...
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Captain Dave
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 11:16:05 AM »

Is there an attorney on this site? Grin
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Captain Dave
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 11:18:07 AM »

Go in by cayak and he cant do a thing about it.
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