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Court holds that beach rights can be lost through erosion

May 17th, 2013 by Joseph William Singer

The Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has reaffirmed the old rule that property rights can be expanded by slow accretion or diminished through slow erosion when property is located on a stream or the ocean. In White v. Hartigan, 982 N.E.2d 1115 (Mass. 2013), beachfront owners claimed a right to use the beach behind their neighbors house because their deed had given them rights to the beach in 1841. The court disagreed, noting that changing boundaries had placed the plaintiffs’ beach under water and that they had no right to “moveable” boundaries ensuring access to the beach behind their neighbor’s house.

Posted in Easements, Title issues, Trespass, Water rights | Comments Off on Court holds that beach rights can be lost through erosion

More states recognize same-sex marriage

May 17th, 2013 by Joseph William Singer

Within the last month or so, new states have recognized same-sex marriage. They are Delaware, Rhode Island, and Minnesota. All did so legislatively. Del. Code, tit. 13, §§101 to 122, as amended by 2013 Del. HB 75 (May 8, 2013); R.I. Gen. Laws §§15-1-1 to 15-1-5, as amended by 2013 R.I. Pub. Laws 4 (2013 R.I. HB 5015); Minn. Stat. §§517.01 to 517.09, as amended by 2013 Minn. Sess. Law Serv., ch. 74 (H.F. 1054) (May 14, 2013). Internationally, recent additions to the list include France, New Zealand, and Uruguay.

As of May 17, 2013, there are now thirteen jurisdictions (12 states and the District of Columbia) that recognize same -sex marriage in the U.S. They include  Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Three American Indian nations also recognize same-sex marriage, including the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and the Suquamish Tribe. ee, e.g., Coquille Indian Tribal Code §§740.010, 740.100; Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Code of Law § 13.103; William Yardley, A Washington State Indian Tribe Approves Same-Sex Marriage, N.Y. Times, Aug. 11, 2011, at A-12 (Suquamish Tribe).

Posted in Antidiscrimination law, Marital property, Sexual orientation, Wills and inheritance | Comments Off on More states recognize same-sex marriage