In this Comment, the author explores the ambiguity that is Florida's Butler Act and argues that direction is needed, either from the Florida Supreme Court or the Florida Legislature. The discussion begins with the roots of the Butler Act, the Riparian Rights Act of 1856, the analysis of which blends seamlessly with that of the public trust doctrine. Turning to the most significant ambiguity in the Butler Act, the author surveys the cases construing the meaning of "improvements" as used in the Act and contrasts each of them against the others. Most notably, the author examines the effect the Butler Act has had since its repeal in 1951 and cases decided subsequently. Once again, the author analyzes the inconsistent application of the term "improvements" by the Florida courts. In closing the author suggest that direction from the Florida Supreme Court is long overdue. Additionally, he offers a legislative solution, a grant of rulemaking authority to the appropriate state agency to define the term "improvements."
Wulbern, Allan E.
"Improvements Under Florida's Butler Act: Can We Have a Definition Please?,"
Florida State University Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law: Vol. 14
, Article 2.
Available at: https://ir.law.fsu.edu/jluel/vol14/iss2/2