Problems arising from disputed boundaries between adjacent land owners are of real importance to the practicing attorney. These problems are no less significant, and a good deal more complicated, when they involve tidal boundaries between upland and tideland ownership. To the layman who owns or purchases beachfront property, one of the main concerns is that his land extends to the water's edge, and he probably expects that such is the case. But when the description in the deed describes the boundary as the ordinary high-water mark, does he really know how much he owns or where his boundary line actually is? Does he know how that will be determined? When coupled with the fact that the "mapping of ...tidal boundary between private property and state-owned 'tide lands,' is becoming increasingly important to our coastal state as property values miles of tidal shoreline and the shore boundaries of all the properties along that shoreline are tidal boundaries," significant problems are presented. The totality of these factors can only escalate the desire for meaningful and understandable answers to the questions the landowner may ask his attorney. The case of People v. William Kent Estate Company is illustrative of the difficulties involved in answering these questions.
Peter K. Nunez,
Fluctuating Shorelines and Tidal Boundaries: An Unresolved Problem,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol6/iss3/7