Rick Scott’s “Wet Sand Law” is so ridiculous that even he recommends that people ignore it, but as a colleague recently found out, not everyone is so willing to abandon this ill-conceived legislation.
Perhaps you’ve seen the recent videos that show law enforcement threatening beachgoers with arrest….OR SIMPLY SITTING ON THE BEACH!
The person in the video just happens to be a very prominent Florida attorney, Daniel Uhlfelder, who is doing his part to defend the rights of citizens.
What you need to know is that a new law, that went into effect July 1, 2018, seriously undermines Florida’s greatest public asset…
Our Public Beaches!
Just think about that for a moment….as a direct result of this ill-conceived legislation, tens of millions of residents and visitors are subject to arrest and persecution from private landowners…who draw down resources from law enforcement asking them to enforce what is a very public legal argument.
In Consideration of the “Wet Sand Law”
Two important points: 1) Legislators that support this horrible new law have incorrectly asserted the new law would not provoke the type of conflicts seen in this video. That’s clearly wrong…the new law provokes conflict and will continue to do so. 2) This ill-conceived legislation was demanded by rich property owners as a means to intimidate, threaten and harass The People, giving them a means to ask law enforcement to enforce private property disputes.
Make no mistake, this legislation is a blatant land grab paid for by rich landowners, fighting to prevent the common man from enjoying our cherished public beaches!
Importantly, read the staff analysis and legislative histories….this law was a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing from the very outset. From the very beginning, it flipped the burden and required the common man to go to court in order to enforce his right to use our public beaches:
Moreover, a party seeking to impose a customary use of a portion of the beach must do so in a civil
action by proving such customary use by a preponderance of the evidence.
The facts that this legislation is just a gross overreach and a gift to rich and powerful waterfront property owners are apparent directly in the text of this bill itself. I’m sorry, but it’s just utterly disingenuous for any legislator to assert the impact of this law was unclear. It’s perfect clear and legislators that supported it didn’t understand or were fooled. In particular, I point to this section:
2. All proceedings under this paragraph shall be de novo. The court must
determine whether the evidence presented demonstrates that the recreational
customary use for the use or uses identified in the notice of intent have
been ancient, reasonable, without interruption, and free from dispute. There
is no presumption regarding the existence of a recreational customary use
with respect to any parcel of property, and the governmental entity has the
burden of proof to show that a recreational customary use exists. An owner of
a parcel of property that is subject to the complaint has the right to intervene
as a party defendant in such proceeding.
You see what they’ve done there in that last paragraph? They’ve inserted in a sentence that ensures that the general public, the common man, desiring to fight these overbearing property owners can count on on doing battle with silk stocking, tall building lawyers in what will be expensive and protracted litigation.
This is just another, completely outrageous example of legislators attacking the interests of The People they were elected to serve. (With legislation paid for and demanded by rich contributors.) Law enforcement should NOT be called on to resolve this dispute. Let’s let good lawyers, like my friend and Colleague Dan Uhlfelder, (pictured in the video) do good work for the people of this state, go to work and get this horrible law reversed.
And as if you didn’t think the real big money interests are behind this, take a look at the lobbyists that got behind this horrendous piece of legislation:
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS FIGHT…SIGN UP FOR UPDATES AND WE’LL KEEP YOU IN THE LOOP FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS!