State wants Bay St. Louis marina lawsuits dismissed

BAY ST. LOUIS — Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has asked a judge to dismiss two lawsuits over beach front property involving in the ongoing Bay St. Louis marina project.

Hosemann filed the motions in Hancock County Circuit Court. The city of Bay St. Louis has joined in the motions.

A judge has not ruled on the motions.

The Murphy family filed an inverse condemnation suit in April, building on the legal challenge they began last year. On June 30, 2011, Kenneth, Ray and Audie Murphy sued the city and Hosemann seeking the immediate “return and restoration” of their property, which was formerly the site of Dan B.’s Restaurant and Bar.

The city has countersued, asking the court to order the Murphys to reimburse Bay St. Louis for attorney and filing fees. Hosemann moved for the judge to dismiss the case or to issue a summary judgment.

The Murphys are asking the judge to find that their property is in compliance with the 1994 Final Tideland Boundary Map, lying between the retaining wall and the mean high water line and therefore not subject to Tidelands use.

Scott M. Favre Public Adjuster LLC sued Hosemann and the city in June, seeking to assert ownership of his property on Beach Boulevard across from Trapani’s Eatery.

Favre alleges the property line extends past the seawall and encompasses part of the beach, above the waterline.

The Favre company is suing to assert ownership of the property and to prevent it being taken without compensation. According to court filings, Scott Favre Public Adjuster obtained title to the property in 2010. At the time, there was no indication that the land beyond the seawall occupied the public trust, the suit claims.

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame contends that the city has a valid land use lease from the state and is acting in good faith.

Hosemann claims that the statute of limitations for either the Murphys or Favre to sue had expired as of 1998.

Hosemann says the 1994 Tidelands boundary line is at the seawall at the Murphys’ property; conversely, the Murphys claim that the tidelands boundary is actually at the water’s edge.

Hosemann said the statute of limitations to argue the boundary on that property was up when the previous owner and Favre was not the owner of the subject property within 15 years of the finalization of the Tidelands map.

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