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Judge dismisses Truck Beach lawsuit

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Appeals will follow

Good news for East Hampton Town and people who like to drive on the beach—Supreme Court Justice Ralph T. Gazillo has dismissed the lawsuit filed by oceanfront property owners in Amagansett and Napeague. He said that the owners failed to prove that the beach was included in their property title.

Quoted in the Southampton Press, the justice wrote, “The undersigned is not at all persuaded that the plaintiffs have established their ownership of the beach. Taken one step further, the absence of ownership severely undermines the support for the balance of their 'nuisance' claims. Even if ... that were not the case and ownership had been demonstrated to the law and the court's satisfaction, however, the court is also unpersuaded that those claims have been sufficiently proven and would otherwise survive objective scrutiny."

The story till now: the dispute is between Amagansett/Napeague homeowners who claim to own the beach in front of their houses and the town, Trustees, and residents who say that the beach is public and they can drive on it. The lawsuit, filed in 2009, states that the various homeowners purchased the land in question at various times.

The homeowners say that many trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles are on the beach during the summer, causing a hazardous condition. The group representing them is called SAFE. The other side, the town, the Trustees, and concerned citizens (represented by Citizens for Access Rights) say that the issue is that the homeowners are trying to privatize a public beach.

Of course, the homeowners will appeal, so watch this space.