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corsair23
11-12-2007, 06:41 PM
From what I understand this guy and his wife in Boulder bought a couple lots up in Boulder 23 years ago. They have paid the annual taxes, monthly HOA dues, etc for 23 years. They left the lots vacant with plans to build their dream home on the lots, not that it matters as many people buy land and leave it "empty"

Now, the people that live next door (a now retired judge) to one of the vacant lots has successfully taken the owners to court and WON part of that land under something called "adverse possession". They claim that they have been using the land (trespassing) for the last 20+ years and therefore they claimed ownership to it and won...

I'm stunned to say the least :eek:

http://www.landgrabber.org/


Note to Treeroot: DON'T move to Boulder!! :)

nakman
11-12-2007, 07:10 PM
that is amazing. what a way to treat your neighbor..

Romer
11-12-2007, 07:46 PM
Thats just a sad

Bighead
11-12-2007, 07:58 PM
I can't remember ever seeing someone actually exercise squatter's rights and win. I always thought they had to have an established residence on the land in question for it to even be an option. What a load of crap.

farnhamstj
11-12-2007, 08:09 PM
Lesson learned, Build a giant fence, buy a trailer home, and lawn chair on which to to sit, shotgun in hand to keep your f-n neighbors out.

Jenny Cruiser
11-12-2007, 08:21 PM
Happens all the time. I think the law is if you have used or have fenced in an area for 18 or more years it's yours. The judge's wife is a lawyer as well. Sneaky SOBs. :rant:

bskey
11-12-2007, 08:44 PM
Wow....I'm going to invest now in some fencing, go fence off some desolate areas of national forest, and wait.... then I will speak up in 18 years, try to claim my land, and see if the law changes....if not I'll have my retirement stash in hand!

treerootCO
11-12-2007, 09:20 PM
and we wonder why people snap

60wag
11-12-2007, 09:45 PM
Its actually got nothing to do with "Boulder" per se. Its a state law. There was a nice editorial in the paper today pointing out how Bob Greenlee, the local conservative pundit, was trying to twist it into something the progressives had created.

calphi27
11-12-2007, 10:19 PM
We had a guy trying to do that at my family's cabin near allenspark. He put his fence right over our property. Once we noticed it, we torn that part of the fence down.

In Colorado, it takes 18 years to have someone's property advesely possessed (without the owners consent) and 7 years if you pay their property taxes. It is very legal and people do it more than you would think. Also certain conditions must be met for this to happen.

corsair23
11-12-2007, 11:08 PM
From the web page...Listening to the guy on the radio talk about how much he has paid over the years in property taxes (IIRC he said ~16K/year, possibly per lot, not sure) and $65/month per lot for HOA dues. That is a lot of coin paid out to have some judge decide to give a 1/3 of one of your lots to the neighbor because they made some paths and plopped some wood down on your property :rant:...Oh, and to add insult to injury I believe the guy said that now the retired judge is going after them for the legal fees :eek:

ADVERSE POSSESSION

In common law, adverse possession is the process by which title to another's real property is acquired without compensation, by, as the name suggests, holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true owner's rights for a specified period of time. When an individual, not the owner, takes actual possession of the property, hostile to, and without the consent of the owner. The law of adverse possession is partly statutory and partly common law. The required period of uninterrupted possession arises out of a statutory limitation period or statute of limitations. Other elements of adverse possession are judicial constructs.

Now the way I was raised, with good old American morals and values, we call this STEALING!

Rezarf
11-12-2007, 11:37 PM
ADVERSE POSSESSION?

I think our second amendment right should allow for "AGRESSIVE REPOSSESION of ADVERSE POSESSION."

Absurd... nearly unbelievable.

Po' Sucka'

nuclearlemon
11-13-2007, 12:02 AM
welcome to the republic of boulder

corsair23
11-13-2007, 01:49 AM
It gets better as it appears some shady shenigans were going on behind the scenes as well leading up to this...Once the property owner found out what the retired judge was up to (via a fellow neighbor at their son's high school football game) the owner decided to put up a fence on the property line.

The fence builder was building the fence and around 3:00pm on a Friday afternoon the retired judge came out and told them to stop building the fence as he was getting a temporary retraining order and taking the issue to court. This retired judge was able to get the "TRO" within a couple hours, signed after 5:00pm on a Friday. Apparently getting a TRO typically takes the typical person a week or more to get...

I haven't heard the retired judge's side of the story but I'm not sure what they could possibly say to make me agree with their side. I think this tidbit from the above site sort of spells it out:

"The home adjacent to the Kirlin's is owned by Edith Stevens and Richard McLean. They apparently planted so extensively on their property that easy access to their back deck and yard was difficult. Somehow the two decided they would use their neighbors' property and created what they and Judge Klein call "Edie's Path." In addition to "Edie's Path" Richard apparently created his own access across his neighbor's property — also without permission. "Dick's Path" allowed him to move a lawnmower from his garage to the back yard."


Bottom line now these people are looking at spending $300K to get their land back (if they go through with an appeal) with no guarantees that will happen.

Hulk
11-13-2007, 10:36 AM
Wow. That judge should be ashamed of himself. It was a small lot to begin with. They knew they were trespassing from day one. They should have offered to buy the lot rather than using their legal know-how to steal it.

Red_Chili
11-13-2007, 10:52 AM
A good law with a very long history to resolve specific situations, twisted by someone with legal cunning to his own benefit. Yep, that fuels cynicism about the legal system for sure.

nakman
11-13-2007, 11:17 AM
welcome to the republic of boulder
no...
Its actually got nothing to do with "Boulder" per se. Its a state law. There was a nice editorial in the paper today pointing out how Bob Greenlee, the local conservative pundit, was trying to twist it into something the progressives had created.

Red_Chili
11-13-2007, 11:20 AM
Well... anybody have a link to Greenlee's actual article? Hate to harpoon a guy on third hand info just based on political perspective.

That wouldn't be a progressive approach at all...
(Billy make a funny...)

60wag
11-13-2007, 01:17 PM
The following is the text of Greenlee's column. After it is a link to a response to the column.



Greenlee: Trespassers have rights
By Bob Greenlee
Sunday, November 4, 2007

Most of us would like to believe that when we own property and pay taxes on it, a reasonable assumption is that no one else can claim it as theirs. Unless you live in a "progressive" community like Boulder, where common sense is occasionally as rare as a conservative's view of private property rights.

Twenty-three years ago, Don and Susie Kirlin purchased two undeveloped lots in Boulder's Shanahan Ridge. They were considering whether to build a home on their property or sell one or both lots sometime later. Last month a portion of their property was taken away by District Court Judge James C. Klein and given to neighbors under the legal doctrine called "adverse possession." If you've never heard this term before, it's likely you're not a clever lawyer who knows how to manipulate "the law" for personal gain at someone else's expense.

The home adjacent to the Kirlin's is owned by Edith Stevens and Richard McLean. They apparently planted so extensively on their property that easy access to their back deck and yard was difficult. Somehow the two decided they would use their neighbors' property and created what they and Judge Klein call "Edie's Path." In addition to "Edie's Path" Richard apparently created his own access across his neighbor's property — also without permission. "Dick's Path" allowed him to move a lawnmower from his garage to the back yard. Court testimony indicates McLean and Stevens also held a number of summer events on their neighbors' property and moved a wood pile on it.

McLean testified that: "No one interfered with (their) use of the disputed property" and goes on to say that neither he nor Stevens asked for permission to use the property and that they both knew the property was some else's. In addition they admit using the property "openly, continuously and notoriously for 25 years." They simply admit to trespassing on property that wasn't theirs and on which they had no legal right to claim as theirs. Seems pretty clear-cut. Unless, of course, you know the legal tricks of claiming "adverse possession." Stevens and McLean are both lawyers, and McLean is a former judge and once served as Boulder's elected representative on the Regional Transportation District's board of directors.

According to court documents, the concept of adverse possession "is a method of acquiring title to an interest in land without the consent and typically over the objection of the true owner." Interesting concept. But if you ever find yourself in a court of law, you'll soon discover that up can suddenly become down, black becomes white, and common sense disappears as quickly as walking through a metal detector on the way to never-never-land.

The case clearly established that Stevens and McLean trespassed on their neighbor's property over a long-enough period and were therefore legally entitled to a portion of it. Free. Without paying rent or taxes. What a deal!

According to the judge, an initial presumption of ownership is in favor of the "record title holder." Just to sway things against rightful property owners, however, court documents indicate that after a period of time, anyone can claim land as theirs simply by forming "a personal attachment that is stronger that the true owner's attachment."

Really? In addition, when another person's use of a property goes unchallenged over a long period of time, the "use it or lose it" doctrine prevails. According to Judge Klein's final order, title must now be transferred from the lawful taxpaying owners to their trespassing neighbors because of their "strong attachment" to it.

If any of this makes a lot of sense to you, it's obvious you're far more "progressive" than I'll ever hope to be.

Bob Greenlee can be reached at: robertdgreenlee@aol.com.

This is a response to the column:
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2007/nov/12/no-headline---12elet/

Maddmatt
11-13-2007, 01:59 PM
This is a response to the column:
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2007/nov/12/no-headline---12elet/

This is a good response. I quit reading Greenlee's columns awhile ago, because they all seemed to be the griping of an uninformed grumpy old man.

Its very scary that buying a property and paying taxes and dues isn't enough to actually own it when it comes right down to the law.

And for the record, the Boulder way of doing things would have been to take the unused property, turn it into a park, hold a "be-in" to honor all the trees and shrubs, and then drive our 300+hp Audi station wagons to Pearl Street where we can double park while we wait in line at the Trident to get our triple lattes while we complain about the cost of our new Birkenstocks. All this on the way to our rock gym, so we can be climbers but not actually get out into the dirt. That's my opinion.

Uncle Ben
11-13-2007, 02:08 PM
This is a good response. I quit reading Greenlee's columns awhile ago, because they all seemed to be the griping of an uninformed grumpy old man.

Its very scary that buying a property and paying taxes and dues isn't enough to actually own it when it comes right down to the law.

And for the record, the Boulder way of doing things would have been to take the unused property, turn it into a park, hold a "be-in" to honor all the trees and shrubs, and then drive our 300+hp Audi station wagons to Pearl Street where we can double park while we wait in line at the Trident to get our triple lattes while we complain about the cost of our new Birkenstocks. All this on the way to our rock gym, so we can be climbers but not actually get out into the dirt. That's my opinion.

Sounds pretty accurate except the Audi.....put Subaru in the above statement and I think you have just written the ad for the Boulder Chamber of Commerce! :( I will never admit to living in Boulder but I do enjoy living near it! :thumb:

Maddmatt
11-13-2007, 03:13 PM
Sounds pretty accurate except the Audi.....put Subaru in the above statement and I think you have just written the ad for the Boulder Chamber of Commerce! :( I will never admit to living in Boulder but I do enjoy living near it! :thumb:

Yeah, but like yourself I don't want to be a person who lives "in" Boulder, and I happen to own (and really like) an Outback (doesn't everybody?) so I didn't want to associate myself too closely. I also like Lattes at the Trident....:o

I have to admit that I do enjoy the many advantages of living so close to what is actually a pretty phenomenal town. I fully planned to just stick around for college, but then the '80's ended. Then something happened to the '90's. Now 2010 is looming and I'm all of 6 miles out.

Red_Chili
11-14-2007, 07:35 AM
Sounds like Greenlee, in this instance at least, agrees with most of the posts on this thread!

Thanks for posting the original source.

Nemesis Gnat
11-15-2007, 04:15 AM
hey boulders sorta like where i grew up, cept minus the suby/audi, plus bmws and ferraris and the like, and minus even the attempt at an illusion of outdoorsiness, plus prescription drugs plastic surgery (my friends mom is totally hotter than her daughter, thats when you know its f'ed up and the plastic surgery needs to stop)... its just the state of the union these days... im 19 and even i look around and cant help but feel like an old grumpy man

but hey thats why i live in the hills... and ride my mountain bike all day...

but even on that note, everyone hates mt bikers! even up in the mountains! admittedly i do ride downhill, but dang son! land of the free aint so free anymore, im moving to northern canada...

just lemme finish my conveniently trendy illegal petes burrito first

Red_Chili
11-15-2007, 08:34 AM
:lmao:
You won't have to worry about mud most of the year in northern Canada at least. We may find you like that hunter that Jeremiah Johnson found, who was attacked and mortally wounded by a bear and 'kilt the bar what kilt me', and lived long enough to write a will giving his rifle to the one who found him frozen stiff.

Can I have your bike?

Inukshuk
11-15-2007, 11:46 PM
What would definitely work is, as Farnham said, "Build a giant fence, buy a trailer home, and lawn chair on which to to sit, shotgun in hand to keep your f-n neighbors out." Also get a video camera!

Another way to defeat adverse posession (if you are not presently using the area of land) is to give the neighbor permission. Send a letter certified, return receipt so you have proof of delivery. If their posession is not "adverse" then one element of the claim fails. Landowners, especially in the hills and rural areas (but really anywhere) do need to take this issue seriously. Usually it happens when people are innocently mistaken about property boundaries and build something thinking it is theirs. But it sure can be intentional. This is one of the reasons I always want people to get some kind of survey of the land before they buy and have the corners staked so they know where their boundaries are.

You can even buy land that is unknowingly subject to somene else's claim of adverse posession. One of the many reasons for title insurance.

This case in Boulder sounds fishy. Its a lot in a subdivision and the fee title owners said that they live two blocks away and saw their property all the time. Why didn't they speak up or act when they saw the neighbors using it? All that being said, if a former judge and an attorney did this deliberately as a land grab they should be brought up on ethical charges.

Daniel "Real Estate Attorney Extraordinaire" Markofsky

corsair23
11-16-2007, 01:17 AM
This case in Boulder sounds fishy. Its a lot in a subdivision and the fee title owners said that they live two blocks away and saw their property all the time. Why didn't they speak up or act when they saw the neighbors using it? All that being said, if a former judge and an attorney did this deliberately as a land grab they should be brought up on ethical charges.

Daniel "Real Estate Attorney Extraordinaire" Markofsky

That's the kicker IMO...According to the land owners as well as the majority if not all of the "neighbors" in the neighborhood stated in court and publicly that none saw these folks using the land and it was only a year or so ago when the HOA sent a letter to the true owners that they needed to remove the "scrap pile" on the land that they saw something was up. The "scrap pile" turned out to be a pile of wood from the neighbors that they put there when they switched to a gas fireplace. Many people have stated that the so called "paths" the judge and his lawyer wife claim to have been using for 20+ years did not exist last year, let alone for 18+ years as the law would require.

The judge ruled that the judge and lawyer wife had more of an "attachment" to the land that did the people that have been taxes and HOA fees on it for 23 years :eek:

I think "smells fishy" is an understatement and I for one home the true owners are successful in their appeal. I sent them an email suggesting they look to satellite imagery from over the years to see if that will show the "paths" conclusively did not exist.

The first picture below shows the 2 lots that the people own, or should I say use to own. Imagine now that 1/3 of the lot next to the house the the right of the property now belongs the people living in that house. Also keep in mind that the dirt road bordering the property is gated. You can see how when the owner states that losing that 1/3 of one lot pretty much makes both lots useless. I guess they could just put in a really skinng driveway, suitable for a motorcycle maybe. The second picture shows the border (in red) of what I understand to be the amount of land the owners lost.

.

nuclearlemon
11-16-2007, 09:20 AM
how about a duel..whoever survives gets the land

Uncle Ben
11-16-2007, 09:26 AM
how about a duel..whoever survives gets the land

Hey we can almost do that! We already have the Hatfield's.....just need the McCoys! :lmao:

Rezarf
11-16-2007, 10:24 AM
I think we all know who to call for this situation!...























































Thats right... time to involve the BIG GUNS! :D

Inukshuk
11-21-2007, 10:39 AM
There will be no investigation by attorney regulatory counsel :mad: :rant::

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7519098
"A judiciary oversight committee has rejected a Boulder couple's request to investigate a neighboring couple who used an arcane legal loophole to take over their property."