A Rising Tide: Supreme Court rules in favor of Aldrich family and City

The Mississippi Supreme Court handed another Tidelands defeat to Secretary of State Michael Watson today, with a unanimous ruling in favor of the Aldrich family, the City of Biloxi, and other local governments.

In this appeal, the Secretary claimed ownership of waterfront property at the site of the former Fisherman’s Wharf, even though the Aldrichs have owned the property and paid taxes for decades.

The 30-page opinion, authored by Justice David Ishee, covers a host of issues that the 2024 Senate is currently considering for amendment, including accretions, definitions of Tidelands, Secretary of State guidelines for map preparation, and upland ownership.

In finding for the Aldrichs, the Court stated: “The secretary of state failed to follow statutory guidelines in drafting both the preliminary and final map. . . it would be a travesty of justice to deprive Aldrich of the property his family has enjoyed the fruits of for decades based solely on a misdrawn map.”

On review of the opinion, Mayor “FoFo” Gilich added: “The law is what we said it was. But the fight continues. The tideland laws now being considered in Jackson will create confusion where we are finally getting some clarity.”
Read the opinion