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PORTER, Ind. (AP) - Three lakefront property owners in a northwestern Indiana town are challenging a state Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed public access to Lake Michigan beaches.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in a Hammond federal district court on behalf of Porter homeowners Randall and Kimberley Pavlock, who own a Chicago property management and brokerage company, and Raymond Cahnman, chairman of the TransMarket Group trading firm and a former director of the Chicago Board of Trade, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
The suit seeks to repeal the Indiana Supreme Court’s landmark 2018 Gunderson v. State ruling that established that the lake’s shoreline is open to all and that adjacent property owners can’t exercise exclusive control of the beach between their homes and the water. The decision set the ordinary high water mark, defined as the line on the shore created by the fluctuations of water, as the boundary between the state-owned land under Lake Michigan and the interests of private property owners.
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Within that area, people are permitted to access the water for the traditional purposes of navigation, commerce or fishing. The court also said walking on the beach is a protected public use, and the Indiana General Assembly can guarantee more recreational beach uses.
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