At 10:00 the Miss.S.Ct. will hear the case of The State of Miss. by and through Delbert Hosemann as Secretary of State and Trustee of the Public Tidelands Trust v. Kenneth Murphy, Ray Murphy and Audie Murphy
Among other things, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Old Seawall built in 1917 in Bay St Louis. The United States Army Corps of Engineers built a new seawall east/seaward of the Old Seawall in 2010. Then, beginning in 2012, Bay St. Louis built a harbor east/seaward of both the Old Seawall and the New Seawall. The Murphys sued the State of Mississippi claiming that the State of Mississippi took property allegedly belonging to them situated east/seaward of the Old Seawall by leasing that property to the City of Bay St. Louis for construction of the Harbor. On August 18, 2014, the jury returned a verdict for the Murphys for the taking of their property and awarded them $644,000.00. They were also awarded $214,666.66 in attorneys’ fees, $48,676.32 in expenses, and interest on the jury verdict from the date of filing at 8% per annum.
The State has raised the following issues:
- Whether the State of Mississippi owns all property east/seaward of the Old Seawall as a matter of law in this case?
- Whether the Statute of Limitations bars any claim for inverse condemnation by the Appellees against the State of Mississippi?
- Whether the Circuit Court erred in admitting testimony of value that was the product of an improper analysis of the “before and after” rule by the Appellees’ appraiser, and whether such error warrants a new trial?
- Whether the jury’s award against the State of Mississippi was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence or was a result of bias, prejudice and passion requiring either a new trial or a remittitur?
- Whether the Circuit Court erred in granting Appellees attorneys’ fees, expenses and interest against the State of Mississippi when the State of Mississippi did not construct the Harbor and the State of Mississippi did not receive or utilize federal funds?
Watch the argument here.