06-10-2009, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
All answers are on the internet, just not easy to find.
The above document has helped me before in finding the exact code. Some key pieces are outlined below......the document is from 2000 so some legal changes may have occured, but I doubt that the legal definition of public ownership changed in a major way without everyone hearing about it. I think I found it before, but I am not sure what the "low water mark" is defined as, especially on a tailwater. I am sure the most expensive lawyer would win that fight in the end....
The ownership of the bed and banks of navigable waters within a
state ordinarily is governed by state law, subject to the paramount
power of the United States to ensure that such waters remain free for
interstate and foreign commerce. The ownership of such lands, as
between the state and riparian owners, is determined according to the
local law of the state in which they are situated.
65 C.J.S. Navigable Waters § 106, at 183 (2000). Navigable waters of the United States are public,7
and their use cannot be interfered with by the state or the riparian owners.
In Tennessee, where a waterway is “navigable” in the legal sense, it is deemed to be held by the state in trust for the citizens. State ex rel. Cates v. West Tenn. Land Co., 127 Tenn. 575, 158 S.W. 746, 752 (Tenn. 1913). As such, neither the waters nor the lands underlying them are capable of private ownership. Id. at 747. “Under Tennessee law title to the bed of a navigable stream, to the low-water mark is publicly held and belongs to the State.” Uhlhorn v. Kaltner, 637 S.W.2d 844, 846
39-14-405. Criminal trespass. —
(a) A person commits criminal trespass who, knowing the person does not have the owner's effective consent to do so, enters or remains on property, or a portion thereof. Knowledge that the person did not have the owner's effective consent may be inferred where notice against entering or remaining is given by:
(1) Personal communication to the person by the owner or by someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;
(2) Fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders;
(3) Posting reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
(4) Posting the property, in accordance with the requirements of § 70-4-106(b)(1)(B)(ii).
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) The property was open to the public when the person entered and remained;
(2) The person's conduct did not substantially interfere with the owner's use of the property; and
(3) The person immediately left the premises upon request.
(c) For purposes of this section, “enter” means intrusion of the entire body.
(d) Criminal trespass is a Class C misdemeanor.
[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 2005, ch. 297, §§ 1-3.]
I think if you were walking in the water the land owner had no legal action against you, BUT you could have him charged with harassment. Hunter/Fisher harassment is a new one for most POs so you have to explain it to them calmly when the land owner calls them about you. I will not do all the work for you, so you look up your river and see how it is defined........
Aw what the heck I am feeling good today.
Last edited by gutshot; 06-10-2009 at 12:21 PM..