Va. suit pits fishermen against property owners

RICHMOND, Va. — A court battle under way in Alleghany County centers on whether the state or residents of a riverside development own streambeds below the Jackson River.

The property owners have filed a $10,000 trespassing lawsuit against a group of fishermen who cast their lines into the Jackson adjacent to The River’s Edge community.

The landowners claim 18th century grants, including one from King George II, give them ownership of the streambed.

Virginia Lawyers Weekly reports that the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ longstanding position is that the disputed streambed belongs to the people of Virginia.

But the state attorney general’s office has refused to intervene on behalf of the fishermen, and Alleghany County Circuit Judge Malfourd “Bo” Trumbo last month refused to force the state into the lawsuit.

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