Neighbor Uses 'Squatter's Rights' to Seize Church's Parking Lot

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Jerome, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
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    http://www.register-herald.com/news...cle_5b60d1db-f857-5112-874e-717f9d1ffcbc.html

     
  2. Rolfe

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    If the church has legal (until this decision) deed to it, they need to appeal with a better lawyer.
     
  3. CatMommy

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    Amen. Especially since churches do pay property tax. The cost of which would include that parking lot.
    It's brazen that someone would make a move like this in the first place. But in this world the way it's going I guess not all that surprising. :praying: May God's will and church prevail.
     
  4. Salty

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    ???? In NY State, churches do NOT pay property tax.
     
  5. CatMommy

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    This article relates to North Carolina. I just checked. They're exempt so long as they meet certain criteria. (link) This helps the church in the article even more so.

    I'd certainly hope they get a qualified attorney and appeal this decision.

    Property tax exemption varies from state to state. In NY one has to apply for the exemption and meet those state criteria. It isn't automatically a given just because someone says they're operating a church on what is typically land subject to taxation.
     
  6. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Huh?

    It's West Virginia.
     
  7. CatMommy

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    Raleigh in the article led me to think it was NC. One would have to look to find it was WV.
    Thanks.
     
  8. Zaac

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    This is why churches need to be up on the law. If this man has been using the lot and maintaining it and they haven't verbally or in writing said anything to him about it, why would they not think he might do what he did?

    Their attorneys should have been on top of this a long time ago and drawn up some sort of lease agreement, even if just a $1 a year, to show that the church was aware that he was using THEIR property and allowing him to use it.
     
  9. Salty

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    So If I go on a 3 month vacation, and someone starts sleeping in my car - they can claim it - Hogwash.

    Sounds like a bad law to me and/or poor application of the law.
     
  10. Zaac

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    If you go on vacation and someone is sleeping in your car and you knowingly allow them to keep sleeping in your car for years, then YES, they can claim it. It may sound like hogwash, but a lot of laws are hogwash.

    That's why again, the church's attorneys should have had enough foresight to make an arrangement with the gentleman. If they could have gotten him to agree to $1 at some point before he claimed adverse possession, then they would have had some leverage.

    But as it stands, it kinda looks like they were okay with him using the property as his own until they needed it. The only problem with that is that you have to stipulate that with someone if you're just gonna let them do that.
     
  11. CatMommy

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    You'd be amazed at the rights squatters have been given.
    This is but one example.


    Forced to live alongside squatter in my Detroit house, woman says

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    By Taryn Asher
    FOX 2 News Reporter


    DETROIT -- Heidi Peterson always dreamed of living in a historical home. In May of 2010, she bought one in Detroit's Boston-Edison District for $23,000.

    After being away for a year, she said she returned to her house last week and found a woman living there. Peterson learned from neighbors she had been living there for a few months. *Full Article*


    I remember not that long ago a family who retained a babysitter through an ad on Craig's List fired her because she was unfit for the job.
    They couldn't legally evict her from the room they gave her as a live-in babysitter. Nor could they touch nor enter her private property! (The room in their house).
    It was a long drawn out thing but finally the woman left of her own accord. Which was seemingly the only way she could be made to leave.
     
  12. padredurand

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    Yes we do. My church owns 6.1 acres of property. Since our principle place of worship is not on that property we pay taxes on it.
     
  13. Salty

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    True - the property must be used for religious purposes. A church I was a member of - had bought some property, to eventually build a building. The subject came up about holding a monthly service out there until the building was built.
     
  14. JamesL

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    That's downright shady
     
  15. JamesL

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    My mom's house, in Kansas City, Missouri, burned down in 1992. My childhood best friend bought the house next door in 1995.

    He offered to buy her lot, but she declined.

    He asked if he could exchange upkeep on my mom's empty lot, for use of it as a side yard. She agreed.

    She paid the property taxes on it until she passed away in 2010. When she passed away, we thought it would be fitting to see if my friend wanted to buy the lot.

    We were informed by a neighbor that my friend had filed papers to claim the lot.

    We then found out about the ordinance that says if someone maintains a property at their own expense, without pay, for a certain length of time, they can file a claim on the property.


    My sisters threw a fit. But I thought he had every right to it. He had maintained it for 15 years. And his actions were lawful.

    It shouldn't be any different for a church. If that guy maintained it for that long, it belongs to him. Good for him
     
  16. CatMommy

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    It sounds like your childhood best friend knew more about the law than your family did.
    When your mother declined to sell him her lot he found a way to get it and premeditated the offer of free upkeep for that purpose and to attain that goal.

    Before I said, good for him, about someone premeditating taking real estate at a huge bargain when my mom was paying the property tax, while he used it for what? Free?
    I'd think again. What's the real estate value now? When it once could accommodate a home, with all the utilities still available for new construction?




     
  17. JamesL

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    That property was/is worthless by itself. It's 25'x100'. The houses there are 22' wide, we could reach out a window and almost touch the house next door. Just a narrow sidewalk between them

    Easement restrictions now make it virtually impossible to build on a lot that narrow.

    And if the guy took 25' of property from that church, the lots there are probably the same size.
     
  18. OnlyaSinner

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    Adverse possession laws vary greatly by state, but in Maine this case would fail one of the three basic requirements, plus the timeframe. Possession must be:

    --For at least 20 years - obvious fail here.
    --Notorious - The use/occupation must be well known, which seems to be the case here.
    --Continuous - This does not mean 24/7/365; keeping the lawn mowed would likely meet this one.
    --Hostile - This means not just using the property but actually claiming ownership (such that the deeded owner knew or reasonably should have known of that claim), for those 20 years. I seriously doubt the church folks knew of the claim prior to the suit.
     

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