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Emerald Isle v. State

360 S.E.2d 756 (1987)

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Emerald Isle v. State

North Carolina Supreme Court

360 S.E.2d 756 (1987)

Facts

Emerald Isle (plaintiff) was a coastal town in North Carolina. The town built a vehicular ramp over sand dunes giving vehicles access to the beach. The State of North Carolina (defendant) passed a law requiring the Department of Natural Resources, with the town’s cooperation, to build facilities around the ramp, including facilities that provided for public access to the beach. The law limited vehicles allowed on the town’s existing ramp to emergency-service vehicles. With the legislation, the state aimed to increase public access to the beach. The town sued the state, claiming that the law was impermissible special legislation. Specifically, the town pointed to the North Carolina Constitution, which prohibited local acts that unreasonably covered limited, local, or private subject matter. The town believed that the law in this case was such a prohibited act because the law’s impact was limited to only the town and its ramp.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Frye, J.)

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