October 23, 2013

In a boundary-line dispute between one oceanfront landowner and the East Hampton Town Trustees, the Appellate Division, Second Department has upheld the owner’s claim that the boundary was a movable one that was based on the average beach grass line, rather than a fixed line found further inland, as had been urged by the Trustees in Macklowe v. Trustees of the Town of East Hampton, 2013 NY Slip Op 6840. The dispute dates back more than five years, when the Trustees first claimed that some of the dunelands adjacent to the property of Lloyd Macklowe were really owned by them.  Mr. Macklowe was forced to bring an action against the Trustees.  He retained Esseks, Hefter & Angel, LLP and Ackerman, O’Brien, Pachman & Brown, LLP to argue his case, which went to trial before the Hon. Thomas F. Whelan of the New York Supreme Court in 2011.  Justice Whelan, after hearing both claims, found in favor of Mr. Macklowe and against the Trustees in a March 2, 2012 decision.  The Trustees appealed the decision to the Appellate Division, which again found in favor of Mr. Macklowe and upheld “the Supreme Court’s determination that the plaintiffs hold title to the disputed lands north of an ambulatory line defined by the location of the average southerly line of beach grass on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean.”