Quiet Title and "Inverse Condemnation"
Two actions against the Colonial Trustees to quiet title to an ocean-front beach in the private upland owners are not barred by the statute of limitations for inverse condemnation claims. Seaview at Amagansett, Ltd. v. Trustees of Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton, #2015-08406 (2nd Dept. Sept. 21, 2016) and White Sands Motel Holding Corp. v. Trustees of Freeholders and Commonalty of Town of East Hampton, #2014-10573 (2nd Dept. Sept. 21, 2016).
Both actions involve portions of “dry-sand” beach that are in the record title chain for each of the upland owners. Despite the ownership claims of the plaintiffs, for many years the defendants have granted “permits” to members of the public to operate motor vehicles on the beach. Claiming the vehicles pose a safety hazard, the plaintiffs brought suit to establish their right to exclude vehicles from the property. The defendants, in turn, disputed the plaintiffs’ ownership and characterized the permitting as an “inverse condemnation” for which the statute of limitations had long ago run. The trial court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on this (as well as other) grounds. This appeal followed and affirmed the lower court ruling in all respects.
(Kudos to Constructive Notice subscribers Steve Angel, Esq., Tony Pasca, Esq., Nancy Silverman, Esq. and their team at Esseks, Hefter, Angel, Di Talia & Pasca, LLP on their impressive win.)
Mr. Pomerantz is a consultant and expert witness for most of the upland owners in this action. Because other aspects of this case are still pending, he is unable to comment further on the matter at this time.