U.S. Supreme Court denies family’s petition over public use of ocean beaches

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The United States Supreme Court denied a family’s request on Monday for the nation’s highest court to review their claims.

Unless reconsidered by the US Supreme Court, this ruling effectively ends the Town’s 6-year legal battle with the Nies Family.

Greg and Diane Nies filed a suit years ago upset at the town’s use of the dry sand portion of their ocean front property.

Thus, the November 2015 ruling of the NC Court of Appeals remains undisturbed as the definitive case law regarding the public’s right to use the ocean beaches of North Carolina.

According to the Emerald Isle town manager, Frank Rush, the town is pleased with the US Supreme Court’s decision, and is even more pleased that the public’s historical use of the beach since time immemorial remains intact and that current and future generations will continue to enjoy this special place in Emerald Isle and every other NC beach community.

The Town extends its sincere thanks to its legal team, especially lead counsel Brian Edes and attorneys Allen Jernigan, Ruthanne Deutsch, and Richard Stanley for their outstanding work on this critical issue.

The Town is also grateful to the NC League of Municipalities, the leaders of every other oceanfront county and municipality in North Carolina, former Governor Pat McCrory’s and current Governor Roy Cooper’s administrations, and numerous other groups and individuals that supported the Town’s position that the public has, and always has had, the right to use the entire width of the ocean beaches of North Carolina between the base of the dunes and the water.

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