A Case Management Hearing was held with Judge Green on May 20, 2021. The Court ruled that the County will be required to provide all of its documentary evidence to the Defendants within 45 days, after which the Defendants will be able to submit questions to the County regarding the evidence as it applies to the individual parcels. The Court also held that the County will have until June 28, 2021 to respond to the Answers/Counterclaims that were filed earlier this month. Please check here for updates.
On January 6, 2020, House Bill 6063 was introduced by Rep. Evan Jenne (a Broward County Democrat) in the Florida House of Representatives to repeal your rights as a beachfront owner.
In 2017, the Florida Legislature passed a law that invalidated Walton County’s Customary Use Ordinance that purported to establish Customary use on Beachfront owners’ private property. That law, now codified at section 163.035, Florida Statutes, requires a county to prove Customary Use in a court of law before a neutral judge rather than merely adopting an ordinance to declare your private property open to the public.
Walton County has initiated that process in which nearly 800 Gulf front owners have intervened to protect their property rights. If HB 6063 passes and Section 163.035 is repealed, Walton County will immediately adopt an ordinance establishing Customary Use on your private beachfront property instantly opening your property to the public. You as a beachfront owner will then have to file your own lawsuit against Walton County and you would carry the burden to prove Customary Use does not apply to your property.
This year’s Legislative Session began January 14, 2020.
Beachfront Owners must oppose HB 6063 to maintain their basic due process rights provided by section 163.035, Florida Statutes.
FlaCPR today announced more than 600 owners of beachfront parcels of the 1,194 parcels sued by the county, which includes individuals, associations and condominiums, have now challenged the Walton County customary use lawsuit. Interventions now represent over 4,500 owners in individual, associations and condos combined, representing a broad-based opposition to Walton County’s case. FlaCPR also corrected numerous inaccuracies regarding facts relevant to customary use and called for both mutual respect and accurate information in interactions. Click here to learn more.
The court instructed Walton County to effectively notice all owners. The county mailed notices on February 22, 2019. FlaCPR mailed large postcards to Walton County beachfront property owners informing them of the impact on their property rights. See why This is a Big Deal!
FlaCPR today announced the owners of 570 beachfront parcels of the 1,194 parcels sued by the county, which includes individuals, associations and condominiums, have now challenged the Walton County customary use lawsuit. Interventions increased by more than 200 interventions since February 18, 2019 and these interventions represent over 3,500 owners in individual, associations and condos combined, representing a broad based opposition to Walton’s case. Moreover, more interventions is expected since the court required Walton County to provide effective notice by April 19, 2019 to any beachfront property owner that has not yet received notice or has not intervened. Click here to learn more.
According to Walton County records obtained by FlaCPR, Walton County failed to effectively notice 1,280 interested parties, including over 260 owners of parcels that Walton County claims is subject to customary use. As a result, on February 22, 2019 Walton County mailed a second set of registered notices. Walton County was instructed on February 18, 2019 to effectively notice all owners by April 19, 2019 and report to the court. Effective notice is outlined and required in Florida Statute 163.035, to ensure all property owners are aware of the lawsuit.
More than half of Walton County’s beaches are public. Unfortunately, customary use advocates have created a false narrative that the law resulting from House Bill 631 leaves no beaches for the public to enjoy in Walton County.
More than 350 interventions from individuals, associations and condominiums were filed prior to Monday when a court hearing took place in the customary use lawsuit filed by Walton County against all private beachfront property owners. During the hearing, the vast number of interveners were accepted, and associations and condominiums are now allowed to defend themselves on behalf of their owners. The court also decided to significantly extend the deadline to ensure Walton County provides notices to all owners, thereby allowing all owners the opportunity to protect their property rights. Click here to learn more.
On February 4, 2019 FlaCPR mailed large postcards to over 1,000 Walton beachfront property owners informing them the lawsuit filed against them by Walton County attacks their property rights. See why This is a Big Deal!