Almeder v. Town of KennebunkportAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs, owners of property fronting a beach in the Town of Kennebunkport, filed this action against the Town and any member of the public who claimed any right to use the beach. The State and neighboring landowners, who filed counterclaims, intervened. The superior court determined (1) the Town and the public enjoyed a public prescriptive easement and easement by custom to engage in recreational activities on both the wet and dry sand portions of the beach; and (2) the public had rights concerning the intertidal zone of the beach pursuant to the public trust doctrine. The Supreme Court vacated the superior court's judgment, holding (1) the neighboring landowners were not proper parties to the litigation; (2) the superior court erred in awarding the Town and the neighboring landowners a prescriptive easement and easement by custom over the beach; and (3) the superior court erred in deciding that the public had a right to engage in ocean-based activities in the intertidal zone pursuant to the public trust doctrine. Remanded.