Federal court tosses Texas Open Beaches Act

May 22, 2012 4:05:25 AM PDT
A federal appeals court, ruling in the case of a Galveston waterfront property owner, says the Texas Open Beaches Act that keeps the state's beaches public is unconstitutional.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling echoes a Texas Supreme Court ruling last month that found problems with the law as it applies to west Galveston Island beaches rapidly eroded by storms.

A San Diego attorney sued after she was ordered to move her home because storm erosion put it on the public beach.

In a 2-1 ruling Monday, the 5th Circuit said enforcement of the law was unreasonable seizure of property. A lower federal court had dismissed her suit.

The Texas General Land Office told the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/KPTtOV) it hadn't seen the ruling and had no reaction.

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