Maine Supreme Court - Goose Rocks Beach

Maine Supreme Court rejects claims that the public acquired a recreational easement to use Goose Rocks Beach. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of 29 owners of private beachfront property along Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, vacating a Superior Court decision that concluded the public enjoys a recreational easement to use the beach. Almeder v. Town of Kennebunkport, 2014 ME 12, 5 (Me. Feb. 4, 2014). The Beach is two-miles long with over 100 parcels of property abutting the beach, most owned privately but with nine parcels owned the Town or the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust. The case was brought in Superior Court in 2009 by the beachfront owners seeking to limit the rights of the public to use the beach. The Complaint sought a judgment declaring the public has not acquired title or use rights to the beach. The Superior Court separated the use and title claims to be heard in two trials instead of one. A two-week trial on the use claims was held with testimony from sixty-six witnesses. The use claims were based on the law of prescriptive easements and easement by custom. The Superior Court found that between the late 1800s and the 1940s, the Beach was used for a full range of recreational activities